How do you know if you have sustained hailstorm damage to your roof or other hidden areas of your home? While you might assume that damage to your house or to your vehicle caused by hail will be obvious, this is not always the case. Even if the damage you see is indeed the product of a hailstorm, your insurance company might try to deny your claim, alleging that the damage resulted from something else. Given that a recent report in Accuweather forecasted severe thunderstorms for the recent holiday weekend in South Florida (which can produce damaging hail), and since Floridians should always be prepared for a damaging thunderstorm, it is important to understand the ins and outs of hailstorm damage.
How do you identify hail damage? A helpful fact sheet from the National Storm Damage Center, as well as an article from Property Casualty 360, can help homeowners classify and understand hailstorm damage on their properties. Keep reading to learn more about how you can determine whether or not that property damage resulted from the most recent hail storm.
Understanding Your Roof Damage
What does hailstorm damage look like on a roof? And how can you be sure that the damage was not caused by other debris from a recent thunderstorm? Given that hail can be extremely large-sometimes the size of a golf ball-it can cause a lot of damage when it hits your roof. Because your roof protects the top of your house, it is often the part of your home that will sustain the most damage in a hailstorm. In some instances, hailstorm damage to your roof looks exactly as you might suspect: cracks or holes in roof. Florida houses use a wide variety of roofing materials, according to a fact sheet from the University of Florida’s Department of Community Affairs, including but not limited to:
- Clay tile;
- Concrete tile;
- Copper; and
- Polyurethane foam.
As you might be able to guess, some of these materials are more susceptible to hail damage than others. But in addition to cracks and holes, you should also be aware of shingles that have fallen off the roof-this could be a result of hail damage. In addition, slate roofs often show chips when they are damaged by hail. While you should immediately check your roof after a hailstorm (and before another thunderstorm hits), a leaking roof can be a sure sign that your home sustained damage.
When hailstorms also involve high wind speeds, hail can do substantial damage to your windows. Unlike your roof-where you do not immediately see the damage unless you look-you probably will know if a piece of hail hits and damages your windows. With heavy winds, hail can actually fly sideways, and it can crack or break the windows in your house.
In addition to obvious cracks in your windows, you should also check the window seals. When minor cracks occur, the damaged seals may deteriorate, which can result in mold and other harmful substances entering your home.
Contact a West Central Florida Damage Lawyer
If you suspect that your home has sustained damage in a recent hailstorm, it is important to check for damage immediately afterward and file a claim as soon as possible. An experienced West Central Florida hailstorm damage lawyer can assist you with filing a claim or disputing your insurer’s claim denial. Contact the Valrico Law Group to discuss your options.