This blog was originally published on August 25, 2016 but was updated in July of 2021.
As Albertans, warmer weather means spending time outside in our beautiful province, and that summer storm season is here. Last summer on June 13 2020, Calgary experienced a ferocious hail storm, with the price tag reaching at least $1.2 billion, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. This price tag makes this hailstorm the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history, damaging at least 70,000 homes and vehicles with hailstones as large as tennis balls falling at speeds up at 100 km/h.
Canada’s infamous “Hailstorm Alley” runs through south-central Alberta, from Calgary through Red Deer to Edmonton, with regular hail damage seen almost every year. Last year’s record hailstorm impacted homes in Northeast Calgary, Airdrie and Rocky View County.
Insurance Bureau of Canada western vice-president Celyeste Power advises that the $1.2 billion in damages is just a preliminary estimate, and will likely rise as more homeowners and property owners have their damage assessed. With the steep price tag of hail damage, protecting your home and fixing any damage before it gets worse is critical.
What causes the hail and roof damage?
According to Environment Canada, hailstones with a diameter of 2 centimeters or greater present a risk to properties depending on hailstone size and shape, hailstone density, storm duration, and the accompanying wind speed and direction. Wind-driven hail can severely damage roofs and skylights, but also wall sidings, windows, doors, exterior insulation finishing systems (EIFS), glass façades, downspouts, and vents.
For residential buildings, most of the damage occurs to roofs and roof coverings. In fact, a recent hail claims study by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) on residential buildings following the 2011 hailstorms in Dallas-Fort Worth, USA showed that over 90 percent of the losses were from roof damage.
What to do if you suspect hail damage?
According to Insurance-Canada.ca Inc., there are a wide range of variables to consider when inspecting potential hail damaged roofs and there are definitely some justified cases where the damage absolutely warrants a new roof, other cases are not as clear. When our experienced roofers at A. Clark Roofing & Siding LP look at hail damage they typically look for functional damage, the loss of water shedding ability or the loss of functional life.
Step 1: Inspect your roof yourself
The first step should be basic roof inspection, by examining your roof from the ground for any visible damage, such as dents in gutters and checking in your attic and exterior walls for any noticeable leaks. Any small signs you notice may indicate larger issues with the roofing system.
Step 2: Professional hail damage roof inspection
Next, you’ll want to bring in a professional to assess the damage and look for any visible tears, rips or dings. In Canada, most homes have an asphalt shingle roof cover. Any visible evidence of an opening on the surface of roof shingles – tearing, fracturing, cracking, or rupturing – indicates damage and could warrant roof repair or replacement. Hail damage on metal roofs is characterized by dents and chips; damage to wood shakes/shingles is characterized by a split in the wood associated with a fresh impact on the wood, or a puncture through the wood. A professional roofing contractor can identify issues that may not be visible or obvious and can provide an accurate quote for your insurance company.
Step 3: File a claim
Don’t delay filing your claim with your insurance company. Most insurance companies recommend that you file as soon as possible so you can begin repairs on your roof immediately and protect your home from further damage.
Additionally, waiting too long may result in issues with your claim or additional damages that may not be covered, leaving you footing the bill. Many insurance companies will only process the claim within one year of the incident, so it’s important to act quickly. Depending on the severity of the hailstorm on the property, the damage can sometimes be repaired. Otherwise, if the repair costs are too high and the gains too low, a replacement may be required.
Step 4: Fix the damage
Although it might not appear to be very damaged, you should never ignore or put off fixing hail damage on your roof. Some damage may not be visible, such as damage to the protective granules of your shingles, which protect the shingle from UV damage and will impact the lifespan of your shingles. Over time, chipped or damaged shingles can lead to gaps in your roofing system and allow moisture buildup, causing serious leaks into your home.
How much hail damage will there be?
There are a number of factors that impact how much damage the hail storm has done to your roof, both in regards to the hail and your home.
The direction and speed of the wind can greatly impact the damage of the hail, as these determine how hard and where the hailstones will be hitting your roof.
Size and Shape
Depending on the size of the hail, from pea-sized to the extreme tennis ball-sized hail seen recently in Calgary, your roof will be impacted differently. It’s important to note that just because the hail may be small – even less than 1 inch – in some cases, it can still cause serious damage to your roof. The shape can also impact the damage, as rougher edges can cut and rip into your roofing materials.
Type of Roof
Depending on your roofing system, the hail will have a different impact. Asphalt shingles and gutters may be dinged or dented, and vinyl siding may be ripped or punctured. The age and condition of your roof will also impact the level of damage, depending on the strength of your roof.
Hail & roof damage repair in Calgary and Edmonton.
If your home experienced damaging hail from Alberta summer storms, or if you have questions about your roofing or siding needs, call A. Clark Roofing & Siding LP. With 60 years in the residential roofing and siding business protecting homes in Calgary and Edmonton, backed by a 5-year workmanship warranty and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, you can trust A. Clark Roofing & Siding LP.