Hail damage is a common occurrence in the United States. According to statistics, each year, the country faces damages amounting to billions of dollars. With Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota competing as the most hail prone states in the country, hail presents itself as a major problem occurring every year.
Today, we present to you an adjuster’s guide to identifying hail damage and assessing the extent of damage it can cause on a property. As an adjuster, it is important to understand hail damage and the extent to which it can cause an impact. We also look at the best safety measures that must be undertaken before inspecting roofs. It is advised to invest in roofing shoes before investigating roof damage. During the inspection, it is also important to ensure proper ladder safety practices to minimize accidents.
Let’s first observe what hail damage looks like.
While it is difficult to understand the impact of hail damage on roofs from the ground level, checking for supplementary damage around the house can help you determine the level of damage the roof must have sustained.
The areas that can be assessed are as follows:
- Dented Gutters and Downspouts: The gutters attached to a property and the adjacent downspouts will show the impacts of hail damage. Checking for small dents and bruises in the gutters and downspouts will help you determine the extent of the damage.
- Window Case and Windowsills: Window case and windowsills will also sustain damages during hail. Check for signs of bruisings and cracks on any kind of exposed area near the roof.
- Air Conditioners: While roofs and adjacent areas will showcase an impact of hail damage, there are other outdoor items that can be assessed to determine the extent of damages. Checking outdoor AC vents and air conditioner units for damage will help you assess the impact on the roof as well.
A roof inspection is an important step in assessing hail damage. Apart from the tools, you’ll require, it is necessary to have a trained eye so that you can catch all the different kinds of damages you may find.
Shingled Roofs: An average roof contains a skylight, a chimney, vents, and shingles. Assessing damages on the roof includes inspecting all these appendages associated with a roof. An important aspect of assessing roof damage is indicating particularly damaged areas with chalk. The shingles on your roof can sustain damages that are hard to notice. They might not look significant but overtime, water leaking can develop.
After carefully assessing the entire roof, you must determine if the damages are worth filing a claim for. An average insurance company accepts roof damage claim only if the roof has suffered 8+ hits on at least 3 sides.
Metal Roofs: Apart from shingled roofs, a lot of properties have metal roofs in place. Metal roofs can showcase bruises and indentations which are usually half the size of the diameter of a hailstone that hit it. Metal roofs are tougher than other roofs and may not have the same impact as a shingled roof for instance. It is relatively easier to spot damage on metal roofs.
Wood Shingled Roof: Wood shingled roofs are surprisingly tougher than what many think but a heavy hailstorm can cause cracks and splits on the shingles. If the cracks are too severe, water could seep through and cause damage to the entire structure.
Hail damage inspection is a very important process in an adjuster’s job and taking extra care to carefully go through all the details of one’s roof and inspect each and every inch of the structure will enable you to determine the extent of damages. Apart from inspecting roofs, it is also important to inspect attached structures like gutters and drainage so that there is no scope of water damage as well.
We hope this guide helps you assess different kinds of roofs and come up with fair settlements for the people who have been affected by hail damage.