Minnesota hailstorms can come up suddenly, without warning and cause a great deal of damage. While windows, automobiles and siding can be damaged, it is usually the roof of your home that takes the brunt of the assault and you may not even be aware there is damage. So what should you when hail strikes?
If you have the chance, move your vehicle under cover and stay indoors. Notice the size of the falling hail. Meteorologists have discovered that damage tends to be insignificant if the hail is less than 1.5 inches in diameter. Anything larger means your roof is likely to sustain damage.
Once the storm has passed it is time to assess the damage. Observe the bushes and trees around your home for signs of distress such as missing or hanging branches or branches stripped of leaves. Notice if your awnings, trellises or other outdoor accessories are dented or damaged. You may notice loose shingles in your yard or see missing shingles on the roof. Even if the shingles look intact but the other signs are there, you probably have damage.
Now it is time to call your insurance company. They will send an adjustor to inspect the damage and determine whether or not the damage is significant and covered by your policy. You will also want to call a reputable roofing contractor to do the same inspection and give you a quote on repairs. If the damage is severe, the roofing contractor can make temporary provisions to protect your home from further damage until repairs can be made.
It is important not to ignore the potential damage hail can cause, even if you can’t see it. Hail can speed up the aging process of asphalt shingles by knocking the protective granules off prematurely. With the granules gone, the shingle is exposed to more of the elements and doesn’t work to channel water off the roof as efficiently. In essence, it can shorten the life of your roof.