In 2019, Texas experienced 872 hail storms (that's a 71% increase over 2018!), as documented by the NOAA’s National Weather Service. May is typically the most active month for hail, accounting for about 22% of the entire year.
Hail forms when a thunderstorm updraft lifts a water droplet above the freezing level in the atmosphere. The frozen water droplet then accretes super-cooled water or water vapor, which freezes once it comes in contact with the frozen droplet. This process causes a hailstone to grow.1
Depending on the strength of the updraft, the hailstone continues to circulate and grow until it gets too heavy to remain lofted. For more information on how hail is formed, watch this video.
Severe hail is anything larger than a quarter as hail this size typically causes damage to cars, crops, and property. Significant hail is anything above 2” which is the size of a pool ball. The largest hail stone ever recorded was a whopping 8” in diameter and weighed nearly two pounds!
As the size of the hail grows, damage becomes more and more obvious, but storms in the range of penny to golf ball size can permanently damage a roof, but may not be as obvious, leaving homeowners to wonder if there is enough damage to file a claim.
What can you do to protect your home from hail?
The unfortunate answer is “not much.” While you can purchase an inflatable cover to protect your car, such a product isn’t practical for your home. Your roof is your primary defense from hail, but hail can do some serious damage – especially the larger it is.
The best thing you can do to prepare is to read your insurance policy. Find out how much your deductible is and make sure you have those funds available should you need to make a claim. You also need to understand what is covered and what isn’t as well as what your obligations (and rights) are when it comes to making a claim.
What should I do if my house was impacted by hail?
If you suspect (or know) your house was impacted by hail, you should first repair any damage that you have to your roof to ensure it continues to protect you from future storms, then you should make an insurance claim!
Damage from “Significant Hail” will be obvious to you as it will often break glass, punch holes in siding, and severely dent metal surfaces.
On the other hand, “Severe Hail” damage might not be as obvious. Look for small dents and dings on metal surfaces like mailboxes, gutters, garage doors, or roof vents. Inspect your bushes and other vegetation around your home for signs of hail. Splintered decks, damaged air conditioners, or chipped window casings are good indicators too.
If you aren’t sure if the damage is severe enough, hire a competent roofing contractor to inspect your roof before you make a claim, but before doing so, read our free guide 6 Colossal Mistakes Homeowners Make with Insurance Claims to avoid making a mistake that could cost you thousands.
By using these resources, you will increase your chances of achieving an approval of your insurance claim. Should you receive a denial or not receive enough money to repair all the damage suffered, give our insurance team a call at 877-408-3328 or schedule a free consultation here.
1. Reference source: Living with Weather - http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/living_wx/hail/index.html