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Is it hail damage?

A guide to help you understand what is hail damage…and what’s not.

Hail can occur in any strong thunderstorm, which means hail is a threat everywhere. Think you have hail damage? Call your insurance representative first.

Hail can damage roof coverings and shorten the life of a roof. Hail can also cause damage to siding, windows, fences, lawn furniture, vehicles and other property.

Knowing which roof coverings better resist hail impacts can save you trouble and money. If you are replacing or repairing your roof covering, check for products that meet the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2218 standard.

Select a reputable, bonded, licensed, and insured roofing contractor. Get more than one estimate; check references; and don’t allow a contractor to pressure you into hiring them. Some roofing manufacturers also have training and certification programs for roofers installing their products.

If your local government requires a permit for re-roofing, make sure that the roofer obtains the proper building permits before starting work.

Find collateral damage

Seeing spatter marks or impact indentations on other items around the building like A/C units or metal flashing is a good indicator hail has occurred.

Beware of look-alikes!

You may find marks caused by installation, man-made damage, or natural weathering that are not caused by hail impacts.

For example, if you see that some granules have come off your shingles, this doesn’t mean there is hail damage. Granules can be knocked off by heavy rain. Natural weathering can also cause some granule loss along the edge of shingles. Manufacturer defects can also be mistaken for hail damage.

Look for other collateral evidence of hail impacts.

This is hail damage!

After you’ve identified collateral damage and ruled out non-hail imperfections, look for these indicators of hail damage. Real hail damage occurs in a random pattern. A bruise can usually be felt on real hail impacts. Ridge caps are one of the most hail-vulnerable parts of a shingle roof

Call your insurance representative (broker, agent or direct insurer) first to report any property damage after a severe weather event or other natural disaster. Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For information about filing an insurance claim, contact your insurance representative.

IBHS© Reproduced with the kind permission of the Institute for Business and Home Safety.