April Showers Bring Hail Headaches for Homeowners

It falls out of the sky faster than an Aroldis Chapman fastball often without warning and with no regard for the property and personal damage its about to inflict on its unsuspecting victims. Asteroids – which at least provide fair advance warning of their intentions – show more concern for the objects in their path than hail.

And alas, April showers bring May flowers and the severe risk of hail across America.

On March 16, a swarm of hail pulverized North Texas ringing up an estimated $500 million in damage across Arlington and Tarrant County. The storm pummeled 50,000 cars – including 5,000 vehicles alone at a Plano new-car dealership – and 25,000 homes. Meanwhile, hail storms have blistered states throughout the Midwest, South and Rockies.

“It’s a lot earlier than we have seen in the past,” Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas told the Dallas Morning News. “April to June is normally the big part of the storm season. It’s an auspicious start.”

These days, hail is raining down on America with its most recorded force in history. The largest hailstone in U.S. History fell on July 23, 2010 in Vivian, South Dakota, measuring a whopping eight inches in diameter and weighing in at 1.94 pounds. The historic stone is now on ice at the National Center of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and serves as a telling reminder of the massive size and wrath of hail’s fury.

Wind and hail damage cost insurance giant State Farm and its policyholders more than $3.9 billion in 2012 according to an April 2013 analysis by the insurer. In 2013, the NOAA’s Severe Storms database tracked 5,457 major hail storms in America. The top 10 states for wind/hail damages are Texas, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, New Jersey, Kentucky and Colorado.

Remember, when hail targets your home, target your trusted professionals for home hail damage reconstruction: Reconstruction 380.

So with hail hailing down from the sky with greater frequency and potency than ever before, how do home owners protect their most important investment?

From Gorgeous To Swiss Cheese

Nothing – not even an artistic 4-year-old with crayons and spray paint – can deface a home’s outer beauty than hail, which can pelt a home’s exterior and roof into swiss cheese in mere seconds. The key to protecting your home from hail’s wrath is to make it hail proof. Remember, your home’s first line of defense against hazardous weather is your roof: This is where hail-proofing your home should begin.

Unfortunately, hail damage doesn’t stop at uglying your home. Major roof damage can lead to water leakage within your home. And water leakage can lead to all sorts of trouble, including mold, water damage and flooding.

Hail preys on vulnerable roofs tiled in shakes, ceramic and slate. These materials can easily crack and shatter during hail storms. Remember, hail can travel up to 100 mph, making roofs very susceptible to cracking and breaking. The most hail-proof roofs are stainless steel and asphalt shingles.

Home Hail Protection Starts Up On The Roof

Here is a closer look at America’s most common types of roofing and textiles and the bottom line of which will give your home the best defense during a hail storm.

  • Asphalt Shingles: America’s most common type of shingles, they can be reinforced and last up to 20 years.
  • Modified Asphalt Shingles: Made of a rubber-type compound or plasticizer, these shingles hold up well in hail storms.
  • Slate: The Grandfather of roofs, slates can last up to 100 years, even outliving your home. The downsize: Installation is very expensive. Slate is also very heavy, so you need to ensure your home can carry its weight. Slate’s grand weight has its advantages: It offers your home a strong defense shield against high winds. A note of caution: Slate can chip and break in hail storms.
  • Metal: Lightweight and aesthetically pleasing, many Americans are turning to metal roofs. The danger: Metal can dent easy during hail storms and may not hold its shape over time, making it a no-go for homes in severe hail alleys.
  • Tile: A popular, stylish roof choice for many homes, concrete and clay tiling are America’s favorite roof tile. Concrete is the much better hail fighter, lasting up to 20 years and impervious to most hail storms. Tile, unfortunately, can become brittle and break down during a hail storm.
  • Wood Shingles: Made for many types of wood – including pine and cedar – wood shingles are aesthetically beautiful, but easy, soft targets for hail. Another note of caution: Check with your roofing company to ensure that all wood shingles are fire retardant and pass a fire rating.
  • Synthetics: A hail storm wild card, synthetic roof coverings vary in style and effectiveness against hail in storms.

A sound roof is our home’s best defense against the heartless ravages of hail. Make sure you and your family are sleeping under a strong storm defense system the next time hail targets your neighborhood.

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