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Austin Roofing: Article About Dealing With Hail

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Hail is a type of precipitation that's not limited to cold climates. In fact, hail results in millions of dollars of damage to homes and vehicles throughout the country each year. All homeowners should be aware of the risks and take preventive measures. Since the best efforts cannot avoid hail entirely, it is crucial that homeowners ensure that their home insurance policies cover the roof in the event of hail damage.

When hail damage to roofs is discussed, great emphasis is often placed on the durability of the shingles. While that's certainly an integral factor, what's often overlooked is the general resistance of the home to wind. The great damage that hail can cause a roof is not the result of gravity; it's the result of strong winds hurling the hailstones against the home. Homeowners can hire an Austin roofing professional to inspect the shingles, sheathing and other areas of the home, such as the gables.

The next area of concern is the roofing material itself. Although significantly more expensive than asphalt shingles, an advantage of slate tiles and cedar shake is that they're essentially impervious to hail. Standard three tab asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are actually prone to hail damage. Even if an asphalt shingle is wind zone rated for up to 90 mph, hail distributed by a 60 mph wind can easily gouge a shingle and require it to be replaced.

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Architectural shingles are an attractive upgrade because they are significantly thicker, withstand hail much better and are far less expensive than slate or wood.

When hail occurs, wait it out. It's far too dangerous to go outside during an active hailstorm. After the hail has subsided, walk the perimeter of the property and look for signs of indentations. Markings that look like dents are often gouges that have exposed the inside of the shingle, and those shingles have to be replaced in order to avoid leakage and other issues. If available, use binoculars because the gouges will be much more apparent.

If damage is visible or suspected, then homeowners should call their insurance companies as soon as possible. Homeowners should never assume that they're not covered. Let the appraiser come out and be the judge of that. If there is no or partial coverage, keep in mind there is often low rate financing available for these kinds of unexpected home repairs. Be wary of so called storm chasers, which are roofing contractors that come into an area after a hailstorm to offer their services.

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