If you have lived in Austin for more than a year or two, you have probably noticed that hailstorms are frequent in the area during the spring months. Sometimes, the hail is as small as a pea, but at other times, the hailstones are as large as softballs, and stones the size of bowling balls have fallen in parts of Texas. However, hail does not need to be the size of a volleyball to inflict significant roof damage. Even hail the size of golf balls can cause significant damage, and when the rain that typically follows or accompanies hail falls, the damaged roof can allow water to leak into your attic, behind your drywall, or onto your furnishings. However, roof hail damage does not always result in immediate and apparent leaks. It may be weeks or even months before you notice a leak in the interior of your home, but water may have been damaging your roof deck, wall supports or other structural elements throughout the intervening period. An inspection by a credible, experienced, local roofing contractor can help you address any issues caused by the unpredictable weather in the Austin area.
Spring Hail Damage | Austin Roofing Services
What Are the Signs of Damage Caused by Hail That May Appear During the Spring Inspection Roofing Contractors Conduct?
Hail can inflict different types of damage. The size of the hailstones, their angle of impact, the wind speed, and the type of roof covering can affect the kind of damage that the roof will suffer.
1. Wood shingles will be more likely to crack with the grain. Depending on the type of wood and the roof’s age, even relatively small hailstones can cause cracks to form. Medium-sized hailstones can break off sections of the shingles that can slide off the roof.
2. Asphalt shingles can be cracked or broken by hail, but the hailstones usually need to be around the size of golf balls to break them. If the breakage occurs at the tabs, the rest of the shingle can slip out of position or be carried away by the wind. However, even small hailstones can displace the granules or drive them into the mat that lies under the granules. Shingles that are no longer protected by granules will have a shorter life; the granules protect the asphalt from damage caused by the sun that can rob asphalt of its waterproofing capabilities.
3. Hail can also inflict damage on the flashing that forms a watertight seal around roof penetrations. Bent, broken or loose flashing around skylights, chimneys, vents, wall intersections, and pipes can lead to severe leaks that may go unnoticed for an extended period.
What Should Homeowners Do After a Hailstorm?
Austin residential roofing can take a severe pounding during a hailstorm. Although a storm can be disconcerting, it is essential to remain calm during and after the storm.
1. Do not go outside to inspect for damage while the storm is raging. If the hail occurs at night, wait until morning to check the condition of your roof. You should never try to walk on a wet roof, and you should never try to walk on a dry roof without the proper training and safety gear.
2. If your roof starts to leak, take immediate action to protect your furnishings. Move items away from the leak or cover them with a tarp. If the leak is near an outlet, unplug everything if you can do so safely. You may be able to secure a tarp to the underside of the roof deck from your attic to help control the water entering through a leak.
3. As soon as you have protected your property as best, you can call a dependable, local contractor for an emergency roof repair. At the same time, request the roof inspection Austin contractors typically offer for free, especially after a severe storm moves through the area. Although there are different schools of thought on the matter, most roofing contractors believe that it is better for you to know the extent of the damage before you file an insurance claim. If the cost of repairing your roof is less than your deductible, for example, it could potentially be counterproductive to file a claim instead of paying for the repairs out of your pocket.
4. Take your time when selecting a contractor to handle the replacement or permanent repair of your roof. If you file a claim, the insurance company will probably send an adjuster to inspect your roof, but the company cannot force you to select any particular contractor. Do not fall prey to one of the storm chasers who often rush to towns with widespread damage. Select a local roofer with local references, a strong reputation, and the appropriate experience. You might want to ask for quotes from three or four suitable roofing companies and compare their bids before making a decision.
5. If you have chosen a roofing contractor before the insurance adjuster conducts his inspection, ask your contractor to be present for the inspection. Adjusters may miss damage identified by the contractor, or the adjuster may be looking for ways to minimize the amount of your claim.
Alpha Roofing is a respected roofing company servicing Austin and most towns in Central Texas. We have won awards for our recognition of wind and hail damage as well as for our customer service. Our roofing services include emergency repairs, inspections for storm damage, asphalt shingle installations, metal roofing systems, chimney repairs, flashing, metal fabrication, siding installation, and flat roof replacement. More than one-fourth of the roofs we install undergo independent inspections by either city inspectors or insurance companies, and we have earned a reputation among both groups for delivering outstanding work. If you would like a quote from an honest, dependable roofing company, call 512-777-1086 or fill out the convenient online request form.