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Jul 23, 2019

How to Spot Hailstorm Damage

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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 and all possible parts of the home that were damaged. Additionally, take photos for proof.

It may be hard to spot the damage so we provided you with a few visuals you can look for.

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 the damage more than wood or vinyl unless the vinyl siding actually has holes in it.

Hailstorm Siding and Window Damage

Hail Damage to Vinyl Siding:

Dents, cracks, and holes in your siding are indicators of hail damage. Hail damage to 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.

Details of vinyl siding damage include:

  • Cracks – siding panels crack in arched patterns, most often in unsupported sections between the ridge and valley.
  • Chips – chips occur on the bottom of vinyl siding panels and can be seen best when viewing the panel from below.

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, wood and metal siding will show dents. These will be visible and depend on the size and impact of the hail. Dents to metal siding can be caused by hailstones.

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 with 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 nonetheless is there.

Oxidation marks are often what is left on aluminum siding after a damaging storm. While many homeowners will seek out solutions washing 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.

What Happens if You Do Not Address The Situation?

Hailstorm Damage to Windows and Siding

One thing that you do not want to do is to leave it untouched! If there are any holes or cracks from the hail, water can seep through and cause moisture to get into the siding. This can then result in damage to the house.

Additionally, each time a storm comes through, your house’s structural integrity will be threatened. One crack can lead to even more cracks.

Most importantly, if left untouched, you’ll discover drafts in many areas of the home as cool air replaces the warm air.

The longer you wait, the more moisture will find its way into areas that will cause an increasingly bigger problem, including rot, mold, and mildew. Pests will also invite themselves into damaged areas.

Secondly, it may be a good idea to check your home’s windows for any chips or cracks. If you find signs that hail has battered your property, take immediate steps to protect it from further damage. Cover any broken windows so that no water can enter and damage your home’s interior.

Selecting The Best Company!

In the event of an insurance claim, it’s best to have done a thorough look at the exterior and interior of the home and to know for sure if there are any problems that have come up with the siding. After an insurance adjuster has surveyed the hail damage to your property, select a reputable window, door, and/or siding company, like Window World of Joliet to replace your windows, siding and/or doors! Remember to save your receipts.

Window World of Joliet provides free estimates for windows, siding, and doors. Call (815) 729-3100 or request a free, no-obligation demo by filling out our form.

Knowing when a storm that produces hail will strike may not always be predictable. The next time you spot threatening storm clouds, take cover, stay safe and remember these tips to inspect your home for hail damage after the storm passes.


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