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What is hail? How does it affect roofing structures?

Learn the basics on one of planet earth's most potent forces.

Hail, a close relative of natural rain, forms when water droplets collect and freeze together in the top portions of large thunderstorm clouds. These droplets then begin falling, accumulating water as they fall, before being pushed back up by updrafts inside the cloud. They then may collect even more water on their surface, growing in size, before falling again.

In the Midwestern US, hail falls so often that the area of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Missouri, and Colorado are known as 'Hail Alley'.

How can hail affect private property?

Small chunks of hail less than half an inch in diameter bounce harmlessly off most surfaces. However, when hail is over 3-inches wide, it can actually fall from the sky at speeds exceeding 70 MPH!

This type of hail can shatter glass, crack lumber, damage metal-work, dent most plastics, and even potentially harm living organism such as humans and pets. (Imagine the force of a golf ball being thrown at something).

How can hail affect your roofing structure?

A hail impacting with sufficient force will remove the 'granules' from a shingle, greatly compromising its ability to protect from wind, rain, and other elements. Hail could also even completely shatter cheaper shingles, completely going through the shingle in extreme cases.

Once this protective layer is penetrated, heat and moisture can then begin to affect the underlayments and the decking. Such events can dramatically reduce the life of the roof and cause much bigger issues such as leaks into the interior of the property.

Does home insurance cover hail damage?

When a hail event occurs to private property such as automobiles and homes, most insurance coverage is supposed to cover hail damage. Specifically in Illinois, roof hail damage must be covered to full extent by law, as outlined in your insurance policy.

It is recommended that property owners and policyholders always obtain a Certified Public Adjuster when filing a claim with an insurance company.

Think you may have hail damage from a recent storm? Feel free to reach DGB Construction, Inc for a FREE estimate. Seasoned industry experts can tell you whether your roof sustained damage, or if you have no honest cause to worry.

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