Did you know that hail is one of the biggest causes of home damage in America? Learn more about how hail damage occurs and what to look out for.
Staying safe in a hailstorm
- If there is a hail storm in your area, make personal safety your first priority. Take shelter during the storm. Large hail can cause serious injuries.
- Hail is often accompanied by strong winds and lightning, both of which pose their own dangers.
- After the storm passes, keep in mind that windows may have been broken and high winds may have knocked down trees and power lines. Look for broken glass, sharp objects and live wires. Be sure to wear proper shoes and gloves when walking around your property.
- If necessary, protect your property immediately against further damage and theft. Use plywood, tarps or other materials to cover broken windows or holes in roofs. Keep receipts for reimbursement of all expenses covered by your policy.
Understanding hail damage
- Hail is frozen precipitation that forms in storm clouds when super-cooled water droplets freeze on contact with dust or dirt in the air. Hailstones can be as small as the tip of a pen or as large as a softball. The larger they are, the more damage they can do.
- By understanding the signs of hail damage you can be better prepared to work with contractors and your claim professional after a storm.
- Cracked or missing shingles or lost granules may be the result of hail. They also may be the result of normal wear and tear.
- If there is damage from hail, your claim professional will determine whether the whole roof needs replacing or whether only part of the roof requires repair or replacement. This will generally depend on how extensive the hail damage is, among other factors.
- Hail may cause small dings in aluminum siding or cracks in vinyl siding. The winds that accompany the storm may pull off pieces of siding. Check your exterior walls closely for hail damage, preferably when the sun is lower in the sky (morning or evening). This will make it easier to see any denting.
- The claim professional will determine whether one section can be replaced or the entire house needs re-siding. This will depend on the extent of the damage and the age of the siding. The claim professional will then advise you of the best way to repair the damage to achieve a reasonably uniform appearance.
- Travelers recommends you speak with your claim professional before engaging a contractor to repair any damage. When selecting a contractor, be sure to check references. Your contactor should be insured and bonded.
- Our claim professionals will inspect your property to determine whether it was damaged by the hailstorm. If so, we will provide you with a detailed written estimate outlining what needs to be replaced and what you can expect the repairs to cost.
For more information on hail damage, read our article on identifying roof damage.