With record amounts of hail damage lately it is easy to see some of the serious damaged areas. Most home owner insurances will send someone out to assess the damage and they are very good at helping deal with your loss or damaged home. Hail can do some very serious damage to anything in its path. I have witnessed everything from roof damage to shrubs around homes that probably will die from the hail storms.
I have compiled a short list of things to look for to help assess your damage.
1. Roof; Hail can literally beat the life completely out of your roof. The amount of damage to the roof is directly related to the size of the hail and how long the storm lasts; dime sized hail will do some damage but, hail as large as a golf balls will destroy a roof in just a few minutes. To look for hail damage you will need to get on a ladder (Safety First, only climb where you feel safe) and look for random areas that have round damaged areas, remember whenever you look at a roof that is 10 years or so old it will have some uneven spots. If you see several of these dents or divots where the granules are missing or anything worse on your roof there is a good chance your roof surface will need to be replaced.
2. Gutters; Gutters are usually aluminum and will dent very easily in a hail storm, look along the tops for dents. In a storm with high winds the hail will even damage the downspouts. Look for small dimples along the entire run of the gutters and downspouts.
3. Chimney or Gas vents; Metal chimney caps and rain caps can be damaged by the hail stones. The very high chimneys should be checked by a roofing contract or someone with the proper equipment to access the top. The aluminum gas vent covers are made of soft aluminum and can be totally crushed but they are easily replaced.
4. Flashing; Aluminum flashing along wall intersections and chimneys are very subject to be damaged. Step flashing cut into brick chimneys are susceptible to be damaged and are not easily repaired.
5. Skylights; if you have skylights they should be looked at closely. The aluminum frames are subject to severe damage, and look for cracked or broken glass. The plex-glass dome type are subject to get small cracks and should be looked at very closely.
6. HVAC Units; Your outside heating a cooling may have a few dents on top but this should not hurt the performance of the unit. The important thing to look at is the fins and coils along the side, if the fins are damaged the unit will not get good airflow or create a leak causing problems. Notify a Heating and cooling contractor check units.
7. Windows; Broken glass is easy to see, but check along the sash and trim for damage. There are many different styles of windows but the vinyl trim along many brands that is susceptible to being broken during storms. Look closely at every window.
8. Window Screens; The window screens are easily examined for damage. List and replace as needed.
9. Siding; the type cladding of your home will determine the amount of time necessary to inspect. Vinyl siding can be chipped, broken and simply have a hole knocked through it with big hail stones. Brick and stone homes are very unlikely to have problems. EIFS (Synthetic stucco) does not perform very well in hail storms, if you have EIFS on your home you should look closely for dents and holes in the house. This is not something a do-it-yourselfer can repair; get a Stucco contractor to make any repairs. Another thing to consider if you have stucco and the windows are damaged, make sure the seal between the two materials is finished correctly.
10. Outdoor equipment; Grills, children’s play sets or gazebos should be checked for damage.
11. Shrubs; your plants are often overlooked in the process of checking around your home. If you have any seriously damaged trees or shrubs you should call a professional or at least spray the plant with a fungicide to help with the healing process.