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What factors can change the degree of hail damage to neighboring homes?



As the end of summer approaches, now is a good time to review the hail phenomenon and the possible damage it can do. As the national severe storm laboratory indicates, hail is a form of precipitation that consists of solid ice that forms inside thunderstorms. Hail can damage aircraft, many structures, cars and can be fatal to livestock and people.

Unfortunately, as many of you may know, the roof of a home is often susceptible to hail. Of course, it is possible to damage windows, siding, decks, fences, landscaping, air conditioners, garage doors, gutters and downspouts – all depending on the size of the hailstone and the direction of the storm. Roofing studies have shown that it usually takes hail at least one and a quarter inches or larger to cause damage to a healthy asphalt roof system. When hail claims are reported to insurance companies, an inspection is usually required to confirm the presence and extent of hail damage to pay for the damage. Sometimes the adjuster or appraiser who inspects your property may report to you that they did not find any evidence of hail damage. You may ask how it can be when your neighbor next door heard that he or she had hail damage that required their roof to be replaced?

There are several factors that can lead to why a home may have evidence of hail damage and a home next door may not. Some of these factors may include:

  • The direction a house faces related to the direction of the storm. Roof slopes facing directly towards the coming hail are more susceptible to damage, as the hail will hit these areas straight ahead as opposed to staring hits on opposite or adjacent roof slopes. It is not uncommon for a ceiling height to have hail damage and the opposite slope has no damage.
  • The steeper the slopes of the roof, the less susceptible they can be to hail damage because the hailstones strike at a less direct angle than on the roofs which are not as steep.
  • The composition, quality and age of shingles play an important role in whether a roof receives hail damage. A heavier shingles can withstand hail much better than a lighter shingles. In addition, a newer shingles will withstand hail damage much better than an old shingles that is already showing signs of deterioration.
  • Trees can play an important role in protecting the roof from hail damage. Large mature trees near a home that provide shade to the home can also prevent or reduce the impact of hail hitting your roof.
  • You may also want to check that your neighbor's insurance company actually had someone who was eligible for hail damage. assessment inspect their roof to identify hail damage as opposed to paying a claim based solely on hail reports in the area or a hail damage report from a roofing contractor digging the area for business after a hailstorm.
  • Finally, you need to make sure that those who inspect your roof and state that you have hail damage actually know what hail damage looks like. They should be able to distinguish hail damage from other common types of roof damage, such as natural shingle deterioration and deterioration, nails, manufacturing defects such as blisters and excessive granulation loss, and mechanical damage from hammers, shoes, tree bones and the like.

Storm does not necessarily mean that you will damage your property. Hail can strike anywhere at any time. It is important to be prepared and to know your insurance when it comes to coverage to respond to hail damage. This means making sure your roof is in good condition and talking to your independent agent if you have any questions about your homeowner's insurance.

Copyright © 2020 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.


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