Summer hailstorms often make a big impression when they hit. Whether a minor dusting of small ice pellets or a severe storm with large hailstones, large hail is an infrequent occurrence here in Calgary, but it does happen. In fact, just last fall, a hailstorm smashed car windshields all throughout the northeast side of the city, as the Calgary Herald reported. When hail falls, though damage to vehicles may be clear, many homeowners don’t see any damage to their homes, but the damage that hail causes isn’t immediately obvious. Let’s take a look at what to be aware of with your home when it comes to summer hailstorms.
Shingle damage from hail is not always obvious from the ground. Large hailstones frequently crack and puncture shingles, but even smaller hail can cause damages. Storms with smaller hail may loosen the granules on the surface of the shingles, reducing their efficacy. The loosened protective granules can then wash away in the next heavy rain, leaving shingles exposed to increased wear and degradation. This type of damage can shorten the life of a roof by years, and will eventually result in expensive leaks.
Rain gutters play an important role in protecting a home from water. The gutters divert water that is running off the roof, and carry it safely away from the building foundation, helping prevent issues with flooding or erosion. However, a serious hail storm can damage gutters on your home. Heavy hailstones can crack, dent or even puncture gutters, reducing their efficiency or allowing leaks to form. If you have gutter guards installed to help prevent debris from building up, damages can allow leaves and other items to clog gutters as well, leading to blockages and other issues.
The glass in windows is an obvious concern when thinking about hail storms. After all, a storm with large hail and driving winds can easily shatter windows in homes and vehicles. The glass is not the only part of windows that are at risk though. Window seals can also be damaged by hailstones. If the caulking around windows is damaged, water can more easily penetrate into your home during future storms, potentially leading to rot of the wood or mold growth around the window frame. This broken seal can also reduce energy efficiency in your home, meaning you’ll pay more to keep your home heated and cooled, as well.
Skylights are a wonderful feature of a home. Unfortunately, they are also very susceptible to damage from a summer hailstorm. The glass itself may be broken by large hail, but hail can also cause damage that is not easily detected. This hidden damage may include minor cracks in the surface of the skylight that might not be obvious at a glance. Larger or sustained hail storms can also cause cracks or dents to the skylight frame, damage the integrity of sealant, or dent or bend flashing that helps keep water from getting into your home.
Exterior siding is another component of your home that is often damaged during summer hailstorms. Sometimes this damage is obvious, such as sizable dents or even punctures to vinyl siding in particular. Siding may also be damaged in ways that are not easily observed. Small dents may form after hail impacts and only be noticeable when the siding is wet or when viewed from the right angle or in the right lighting. There may also be small cracks that form, allowing water to seep behind the siding, allowing water to seep in and damage or destroy sub-surface insulation or moisture barriers.
The best way to protect yourself and your property following a summer hailstorm is to have a professional home inspection performed. Many times the damage from a summer hailstorm remains hidden for months or years, and by the time it is discovered, it will no longer be covered by your insurance policy. A professional home inspection can identify this damage early, allowing you to file a claim promptly, if necessary, saving you a lot of money and trouble. Inspections can also give you a more comprehensive look at the overall health of your home at any time or year, allowing you to identify any concerns or critical issues that need to be addressed right away. Contact Accurate Home Inspections in Calgary at 403-826-6111 today to learn more or to schedule an inspection.