Tips for Homeowners Before, During & After a Hail Storm
If you’re reading this you likely just went through Colorado’s latest hail storm. So, lets start with the after, then the during, and then the before. Colorado is one of the three most frequent storms in the US for hail storms. Depending on the size of the hail, it can be dangerous for people, pets and damaging to structures. The most common of all insurance claims resulting from hail storms in relation to houses are damage to roofs, gutters, siding and window screens.
After A Hailstorm:
- Take photos of the hail & damage: Make sure to note any and all damage. And I mean all: gutters, yard furniture, window screens, missing paint, etc.
- Call a trusted roofing company: In Colorado there are roofing companies that are storm chasers. They will come knocking on doors and swarming your neighborhood. Some of these companies can be good but they are fleeting and scams are at an all time high right after a storm sweeping through your neighborhood. So instead get in touch with a roofing company from the Megan’s List App (click here to download for iPhone / Android). All of the roofers on the Megan’s List are local, provide and stand behind their warranties, and can be trusted allies when working with your insurance company. One of the Roofers on my app, American West Roofing, even has access to hail reports that they keep on record to bring to the meeting with the insurance adjuster.
- Assess damage: The most likely thing to be damaged is the roof. The roofer will get on your roof and look to see if the damage is considered enough for an insurance claim and enough to impact your roof doing its job. They look to see if there are a certain amount of hail dings per square of roof. Hail damage is generally not all that obvious to the untrained eye, particular from the ground. In fact, it can take years before the damage becomes evident when you start having leakage. Make sure to keep these photos for your own file. Also, call any other contractors for damaged items like screens, gutters, etc. Collect written quotes from all contractors.
- Arrange for the contractors to meet the insurance adjuster: I would recommend attending the meeting with the adjuster but having the professionals there who you want to repair the damage. They will be helpful so that they can stick up for you with the recommended repairs. For example, in some of Denver’s older homes some have relatively new decking and some have the original decking. If the house doesn’t have the right decking to meet current code then the roof repair will be more expensive than if it has newer decking. The roofer will know to look for this so that the money the insurance company gives you is accurate to complete the job. This is just one small thing I learned when my roof was replaced but I know there are many other intricacies that I rely on my various vendors to know.
During a hailstorm:
- Take photo and video evidence: It’s especially a concern if the hail starts hitting the ground and bouncing pretty high.
- Stay calm: Hopefully you prepared and tackled some of the items I recommend in the before section.
Before a hailstorm:
- Make sure your downspouts are extended: The worst enemy for houses In Denver is water so do your best to get it away from the home.
- Cover furniture and plants: It’s not guaranteed to save it but it might help.
- Check insurance coverage for peace of mind: Check with your insurance agent to make sure that your car and house have the proper coverage. Please once again use a reputable company, I have a couple my clients regularly trust on my (click here to downloand for iPhone / Android).