Should I turn in a hail claim?

Hunt's Construction Roofing

The hail season is upon us.  After a hail storm, you may notice roofing granules coming out of your downspouts.  Granule loss doesn’t always mean that you have damage. Please read our industry trade post about granule loss, if you are so inclined.

BEFORE YOU CALL YOUR INSURANCE

If an insurance storm team is in your city or on your block totaling out roofs then it is probably a good idea to have your roof checked for hail damage.  But, immediately calling your insurance carrier to check isn’t the best way to investigate your roof condition.

The reason is that this slows down the adjusters, sometimes it is the CAT team (catastrophe team) that has been deployed and they have a certain amount of time to look at a set number of properties, another reason is that the damage may be under your deductible – which now you have no payment but a claim on your insurance record and yet another reason is that sometimes the insurance companies are so overwhelmed with policyholders wanting their roofs checked that they ask people to have a roofer write an estimate or check for hail before an adjuster is assigned to come out.

We will come inspect your roof for damage at NO COST.  There is no obligation to use our company if you have damage. As members of the Lincoln County Board of Realtors, we are impartial and will give you an honest, professional report including photos documenting the condition.  We won’t tell you that you need a new roof if you don’t – that is unethical and against our company and personal values.

Every insurance company has a certain requirement of hits-per-square and/or slope that are factored into roof replacement versus repair.  Amanda, who estimates for Hunt’s Construction, was an insurance adjuster for a decade.  This experience means that she can give a more accurate prediction of whether your hail damage would be worth turning in an insurance loss for.

Additionally, each insurance company has certain standards about timely reporting of loss and if you have an accumulation of multiple, old hail storms she can draw upon her insurance knowledge and advise you if your damage would be outside of a payable claims range.  For example, some companies will not cover hail damage older than 2-years old because that is not timely reporting of loss.

Neglect is also not something that insurance companies will cover.  An example of neglect is letting the roof deteriorate for a decade with active leaks and no maintenance repairs or replacement.  Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of roofs that constitute as neglect.  But, the good news is that we sharpen our pencils to give you a locally competitive price to replace the roof that has outlived its life expectancy.  If you are interested, take a look at our photos that depict neglect.

INFORMATION ABOUT HAIL DAMAGE

The larger the hail, usually the fewer and farther apart the hailstones will fall.  Hail can also be wind driven and therefore not all slopes will be damaged the same.  This is important because perpendicular impacts transfer the most impact energy to the shingles.

Metal vents and flashings will show indications of hail more readily than shingles.  So, just because you have hail dents on your metal doesn’t necessarily mean that your shingles have damage.  Also, we have seen some roofers leave the old vents during roof replacement and therefore the vents look trashed from hail, but the roof is fine.  This is not a practice of Hunt’s Construction and we have seen many roofs with old vents and new shingles.

Granule loss from hailstone impact does not affect the life of the shingle because it is not functional damage fracturing the mat.  Composition shingles are made of a reinforcement called mat and a water proofing binder with surfacing granules.  Granules protect the binder.  If hail fractures the mat then your shingles are compromised from adverse weather damage (i.e. hail damage).  Bruising typically affects the granules.  The binder is made of asphalt or modified bitumen, while the mat is usually organic or fiberglass.

IF YOU STILL HAVE 3-TAB SHINGLES

If your home still has 3-tab shingles then it is time to have your roof inspected as most roofers do not install 3-tabs any longer and have not for many years.  3-tab shingles (20-25 years) are rated for 60 mph winds while laminated, architectural shingles (30-30+ years) are rated for 110 mph winds or higher.  The chances that your 3-tabs have seen a hail storm are likely since they are an older trade standard of material.  The older that hail damage becomes, then the less likely that insurance will consider it.  Hunt’s Construction will inspect your roof AT NO COST or obligation.

IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE LAYER ON YOUR ROOF

If you have a lay-over, which is a second or even third layer of shingles on your roof, then your roof is more prone to hail damage due to the uneven support of the underlayment.  At Hunt’s Construction we don’t put on lay-overs as not only is it asking for a leak, but one layer of asphalt shingles weights approximately 240lb per square (10′ x 10′ area).  We have seen roof trusses that are permanently bowed from the weight of multiple layers of shingles and sometimes woods (wooden shake or wooden shingles).  The trusses of the roof speak to the structural integrity of the framing and to add unnecessary weight on them is a poor trade practice.

IN SUMMATION

If you are unsure whether you have hail damage or whether your roof is in need of replacement, please give us a call at 308-532-3546 for a free roof inspection.  We will furnish you with a written report with photos and let you know the remaining life expectancy of your roof.  We can provide guidance and advice on getting your insurance company involved.  There is no obligation to use our company for any roofing concerns.  We do these inspections without charge as a courtesy.

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