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Replacement Siding

Detecting Hail Damage on Siding: A Comprehensive Guide

3 min read

After a hailstorm, you may notice some damage to your siding, windows, and even doors. If you call your insurance company to file a homeowners’ claim, you’ll want to mention any possible parts of the home that were damaged. Taking proactive steps like documenting the damage with photos can strengthen your insurance claim and ensure a smoother process for repairs.

Where to Start

To begin with, you should check your exterior walls closely, preferably when the sun is a little lower in the sky (morning or evening). This will make it easier to see the denting. Old aluminum siding will show damage more than wood or vinyl unless the vinyl siding has holes in it.

Hail Damage to Vinyl Siding

Dents, cracks, and holes in your siding are indicators of hail damage. Hail damage to the siding may require immediate attention. Vinyl siding can crack or chip when large, dense or fast-falling hailstones hit the panels. When hail strikes vinyl siding, it will not typically leave a dent. A crack may occur more often in older vinyl siding.

Additionally, you may see holes or puncture marks where the hail has hit. This is a given way to be able to tell that there is damage, but remember just because you don’t see any problems doesn’t mean that hail hasn’t damaged your siding.

Signs of vinyl siding damage include:

Also, look for any buckling or warping, which is common in vinyl siding that has been damaged. Buckled and warped siding is significantly less efficient than siding that hasn’t been damaged.

Hail Damage to Wood & Metal Siding

Unlike vinyl siding, which may not always show visible signs of damage, wood and metal siding can display noticeable dents after being struck by hail. The size and force of the hailstones determine the severity of these dents. With metal siding, hailstones can leave distinct marks upon impact, altering the appearance and integrity of the siding.

Hail Damage to Aluminum Siding

When hail hits aluminum it makes a definitive and specific type of dent. The larger the hail the bigger the dent. Sometimes the dent is visible to the naked eye, especially if the metal’s surface is smooth. If there is a wood pattern the dent can be more difficult to see but is there.

Oxidation marks are often what is left on aluminum siding after a damaging storm. While many homeowners will seek out solutions to wash off the oxidation, others will paint over it. However, oxidized siding is a warning sign that it could be close to its end and needs replaced.

To test for oxidation, run your hand along with the siding and look for a chalky residue left on your hand. If you also feel small dimples, this is a sign that it has taken a hit and is not going to protect your home for much longer.

Use a high-powered spotlight to look for denting that might be hard to see otherwise. Look in between the siding and see if there are any significant gaps or unequal gapping across several layers of siding.

Another way to spot hail damage is to look for chipped paint. Aluminum hail damage tends to be easier to spot, but any material can show chipped paint spots from hail. To make it a little bit easier to check out, you can spray the siding with a hose. The water on the siding will reflect any damage that is present.

Should I Repair Hail Damage?

Yes. If hail creates holes or cracks in the siding, water can penetrate, leading to moisture buildup within the structure. Over time, this moisture infiltration can lead to significant damage, such as rot, mold, and mildew formation. Additionally, damaged areas may become accessible to pests, exacerbating the issue.

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Hail Damage

When it comes to protecting your home from hail damage, having the right insurance coverage is essential. Understanding your insurance policy and the claims process can help you navigate through the necessary steps to get your siding repaired. Here are some important factors to consider:

Replacing Vinyl Siding with Window World of Joliet

Discover a range of stylish and energy-efficient alternatives to replace your damaged vinyl siding with Window World of Joliet. Our team offers expert guidance to help you choose the perfect replacement for your home. Contact us now to schedule your complimentary estimate and begin transforming your home today!