It's hard to predict when hail will be a problem in most areas. It typically accompanies thunderstorms and can be as small as a pea or as large as a softball in some cases, making it extremely destructive to your home and property. Combine hail with strong winds and rain, and you have the perfect recipe for damage. You may not be able to predict when hail is likely to damage your home or belongings, but there are some things you can do to limit the damage. Here's how to protect your property from hail damage.
Know what your insurance covers
This may not protect your property physically if a hail storm hits, but it will protect your wallet from having to pay out of pocket for the damage. Coverage for claims against hail and storm damage will depend on the age and condition of your roof, whether you've had similar claims in the past and even the area that you live in, so don't just assume that the coverage you have now with your homeowner's policy is enough.
Repair weak or damaged roofs before a storm hits
Strengthen a weak roof before storm season to make sure that leaks don't damage the interior of your home. You can take a look at your roof by yourself, but be careful. There's a reason why reliable roofing companies carry accident insurance, and it's not because roofs are such a safe place to explore. If you do choose to investigate the state of your roof, look for loose or missing shingles, cracks in the lining around chimneys and pipes, and lots of loose granules from your shingles building up in the gutters and other crevices. These are all signs that your roof may not be in good enough shape to prevent water from penetrating into your home.
Don't forget to inspect your roof from the inside, which is where you'll be most likely to spot signs that your roof is leaking. Head up to your attic or crawlspace and look for water stains, moisture trails and light penetrating from the outside into your home. These weak spots are vulnerable to hail and can quickly go from being a minor problem to becoming a major one quickly if you don't repair them before your next hail storm.
If your roof is older than ten years, you may want to consider replacing it altogether. Newer roofing advances such as impact resistant shingles make it harder for hail to penetrate your roof and easier for you to protect your property.
Don't forget doors and windows
Because your roof protects your entire home, and because its repairs can be costly, most people worry about sustaining roof damage during a hail storm, but you need to keep an eye on your doors and windows too. Shutters can protect your windows from the impact of hail and other debris during a storm, and many newer windows feature impact-resistant glass to reduce the chance of breakage.
Installing storm doors can limit the amount of damage to your exterior doors and provide an added layer of security. They can also block out wind and rain, prevent hail from striking your exterior doors and increase your home's energy efficiency.
Protect your vehicles
If you have a garage or carport, park your car inside, away from the brunt of the hail storm. This can save you costly repairs from dents and windows broken by flying hail. If you don't have a structure under which to park your vehicle, you can purchase hail guards, which cover your car and protect it from the impact of the hail.
Don't let Mother Nature cost you a fortune in emergency repairs. Take steps to protect your property from hail damage, and you can weather those storms a little easier. Click here to learn more about this topic, or contact a local roofing or door and window company.