According to The National Storm Damage Center, hailstorms cause around $1 billion worth of damage to buildings, cars, and property every year. Unfortunately, damage from hailstorms is not always easy to detect, so it’s a good idea for Oklahoma homeowners to keep an eye out for damage after a hailstorm and so prevent leaks and severe water damage in the future.
Hail is a form of solid precipitation, that is created when clouds with strong updraft winds blow precipitation upwards to the top of the cloud, causing it to freeze. In the top of the cloud, where the wind is less intense, gravity takes over, causing the hailstones to fall. As they fall, hail stones pick up additional moisture and grow in size and when heavy enough, fall to the ground, sometimes at alarming speeds.
Starting at a diameter of 0.2 inches, hail often reaches the size of golf balls and can even grow as large as a baseball or in extreme cases, a soccer ball. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stated that hail larger than 0.75 inches can cause serious damage as stones of this size often fall at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.
Because it is formed of ice and falls from the sky at such high speeds, hail can cause a significant amount of damage to homes and vehicles, although in many cases it is difficult to detect. For example, roofs are one of the most commonly damaged parts of a building during a hailstorm. However, if shingles are not completely torn off, it can be difficult to ascertain the severity and extent of the damage. This means that hail damage often goes un-repaired, leading to additional and more serious water damage at a later date. So if a homeowner sees any indications of damage, it is critical to contact an experienced fire and water restoration contractor who can do a thorough inspection.
Common Types of Damage
Those with asphalt or composition shingles may have sustained hail damage if they notice:
- Dark spots on the shingles;
- A loss of granules on the shingles, which can expose the underlying roof felt;
- Asphalt that appears shiny; and
- Spots on the shingles that are soft to the touch.
Damage to wood shingles may manifest differently and could include:
- Brown or orange splits in the shingles;
- Splits with sharp corners or with little deterioration at the edges; and
- Evidence of impact marks or dents along splits in the wood.
Regular aging or manufacturer’s defects are often misidentified as hail damage, costing unknowing homeowners who do not request the aid of a restoration contractor thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs.
Other common types of damage caused by hail include:
- Shattered skylights;
- Cracked windows;
- Damaged siding;
- Splintered trees and other forms of yard damage; and
- Flooding caused by melting hailstones.
One of the most dangerous characteristics of hailstorms is that they often lead to secondary damage. For example, when hail breaks a window, the interior of the home will become exposed to the elements, including water, which can be extremely destructive. Hail can also crack siding or peel paint, exposing the underlying wood to rot.
Unfortunately, hailstorms are a common occurrence in Oklahoma. For this reason, it is especially important for residents to hire an experienced restoration contractor who can make necessary repairs and so prevent additional, and more expensive damage. If you have reason to believe that your house was damaged in a recent hail storm, please contact Dason Fire & Water Restoration, Inc. by calling 918-379-0390. We are available to address your questions and concerns on a 24/7 basis.