The Hidden Peril: Why Wind and Hail Damage Spells Trouble for Your Roof

October 15, 2023


The Hidden Peril: Why Wind and Hail Damage Spells Trouble for Your Roof

The Hidden Peril: Why Wind and Hail Damage Spells Trouble for Your Roof

A well-built and well-maintained roof is essential for safeguarding your home from the elements.

Your roof acts as the first line of defense against nature’s elements of rain, snow, wind, and hail. However, when wind and hail damage your roof, it can have far-reaching consequences and possible unwanted expenses if left unnoticed and unrepaired. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons why wind and hail damage can be so detrimental to your roof; and, what you should do about it before and after you buy a home.

1. Vulnerability to Water Infiltration

Roofs are primarily designed to keep you dry by repelling water. Shingles are installed at the bottom of the roof first, then overlapping, one of top of the other so that water roll off the roof. When wind and hail damage your roof, it knocks the granules off the shingle creating openings and weak points. These pin-hole size openings make it more susceptible to water infiltration over a period of time.

Even small cracks or punctures can lead to major issues. Water can seep through damaged areas, causing leaks that can damage your home's interior, such as ceilings, walls, and insulation. Over time, water damage can also lead to mold growth, further exacerbating the problem.

Hail storms in Florida and Indiana are common, and cause more unknown damage to roofs. While wind storms in Indiana are uncommon, Florida has many violent wind storms that can cause further damage to shingles. In addition to granule loss from hail, wind can cause the shingle to lose adhesiveness letting water in underneath it. The combination of these two “acts of God” can cause catastrophic damage to a homeowner’s roof.

Hail as small as a quarter inch size can cause serious damage to a roof shingle, the first line of defense in protecting the inside of your home from the outside. Granule loss can create small holes in the underlayment that eventually lead to leaks inside the home. Often times, homeowners will wait until they see a leak before having their roof inspected and filing a claim. However, insurance companies can deny claims if they determine the cause of the leak is a hail storm that happened outside of the filing window of usually 12-24 months after the known weather event.


Hail damage causes asphalt granule loss and is easy to spot.

Wind damage is just as dangerous as hail. When wind blows the shingle back it creates a crease at the top of the shingle. Shingles that don’t reseal to the one below it cause risk of water getting under it and eventually leading to leaks inside the home.

2. Reduced Lifespan

A roof is likely the most expensive investment in your home. You want it to last as long as possible. Wind and hail damage are big threats to its lifespan, and can eliminate years of usage. Dislodged or weakened shingles or roofing materials can accelerates the aging process of the roof. What might have been a 30-year roof can end of being a 5-year roof with enough wind and hail damage.

3. Compromised Structural Integrity

Your roof doesn't just protect your home from water; it also plays a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of your house. Just as the foundation is the important part of holding your house up, the roof if your foundation from the sky. Given enough time, wind and hail can weaken the structural components of your roof, such as trusses and rafters. Over time, this structural damage can extend to other parts of your home, potentially compromising its stability and safety.

4. Energy Inefficiency

Your roof is as important home energy efficiency as your windows and doors are. A damaged roof may not offer the same level of insulation and energy efficiency as an intact one. Gaps or holes caused by wind and hail damage can let conditioned air escape and allow external air to infiltrate your home resulting in increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. Additionally, the temperature fluctuations caused by an inefficient roof can affect your comfort and well-being. The EPA estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, among other places.

5. Decreased Property Value

If you’re trying to sell your home, a bad roof can cause a lot of problems for you. No one wants to buy a home knowing they’ll have to repair or replace the roof soon thereafter. If there are any gapping holes or missing shingles, the home won’t pass inspection by the buyer, meaning the buyer won’t be able to get insurance and final approval for the mortgage until the damage is fixed. If you’re trying to sell your home and the roof needs some repairs, the best thing to have a credible roofing company do a wind and hail inspection. If they find damage, filing a claim with your insurance company is the best route to take. 

The condition of your roof can significantly impact the value of your property. A well-maintained, damage-free roof enhances the curb appeal and overall desirability of your home. Conversely, a roof that shows signs of damage can detract from the property's value and may make it less attractive to potential buyers. When it's time to sell your home, a damaged roof can lead to a lower sale price and longer time on the market.

6. Costly Repairs and Replacements

Wind and hail damage can result in costly repairs and, in some cases, full roof replacements. This is what insurance is intended to cover, but is not covered by the hurricane deductible. Wind and hail damage is covered under the smaller “all other perils” deductible. Homeowners usually have 12-24 months to file a claim from the date of loss, or the known weather event like a wind or hail storm.

Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs may involve patching holes, replacing missing shingles, or addressing structural issues. Roof replacements, on the other hand, are a substantial expense that most homeowners hope to avoid. Proper maintenance can help extend your roof's life and reduce the risk of having to replace it prematurely.

7. Safety Concerns

Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to your home. Damaged roofing materials may pose safety risks, especially when high winds or additional storms strike. Loose shingles or roofing materials can become projectiles, endangering people and property. It's essential to address roof damage promptly to mitigate these safety concerns.

8. Insurance Premiums and Deductibles

In Florida, insurance premiums have increased 35% from May 2022 to May 2023, which leads the nation. Most insurance companies raise your rates when your roof turns 10 years old. Some companies refuse to renew policies if the age or condition of the roof is poor or has been damaged in a storm. One homeowner in Jacksonville, Florida was denied coverage renewal by Tower Hill Insurance after years of good payments and no claims simply due to the condition of the roof. To make matters worse, the insurance adjuster told her she couldn’t file a claim to repair the hail and wind damage even though there was a documents hail and wind storm months before when she had coverage.

This is a lie commonly told by insurance companies to get out of paying for a full roof replacement. Insurance companies don’t make money paying out claims. They make money collecting premiums.

Thankfully, there are public adjusters and credible roofing companies that will fight with a homeowner’s insurance company to get them to do what they should have done all along, honor their coverage. 

If your roof sustains damage from wind or hail, you may need to file an insurance claim to cover the repair costs. Anyone can file a claim based on a date of loss. The date of loss is the known weather event, such as a hail or wind storm that’s been documented by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Although insurance companies can raise your rates whenever they want, a new roof means you are less of a risk for a claim; and some homeowners have been able to find cheaper premiums with another insurance company after getting their roof replaced.

9. The Importance of Regular Inspections

Prevention is often the best strategy when it comes to protecting your roof from wind and hail damage. Regular roof inspections can identify and address minor issues before they become major problems. But there’s a difference between the common 4-point inspection done before buying a home, and a wind and hail inspection.

A 4-point inspection done by the prospective home buyer doesn’t usually look for wind and hail damage. They normally make sure there’s no gapping holes or missing shingles on the roof, and that the roof is structurally sound.

A wind and hail inspection is different and should be done by someone trained to look for hail and wind damage. It’s easy to miss hail damage if you don’t know what to look for. Small indentions, missing granules, or discolorations in the granules can all be signed of hail impact. Wind damage is best found by either looking for creases in the to of the shingle from where it was blown up, or gently tugging at the shingle to make sure it is still sticking in place.

10. Conclusion

Although some roofing companies have contributed to the rising costs of insurance premiums in Florida, there are reputable companies that can do a free roof inspection for wind and hail, or other damage. Some roofing companies work through your insurance to have the insurance company send their own inspector out to verify the weather related damage and approve a full roof replacement. In this scenario the homeowner usually pays the smaller deductible in their policy, the non-hurricane deductible.

Protecting your roof and maintaining its integrity is a crucial part of homeownership. By taking preventive measures, promptly addressing damage, and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure that your roof continues to provide shelter and protection for your home and loved ones. Remember, when it comes to your roof, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Join transplants from all over and enjoy the unique opportunities that Warsaw, Kosciusko County has to offer. To learn more about what to expect as a homebuyer in Kosciusko County, visit the Bee Mortgage video page. Each video is dedicated to a topic of interest for today’s home buyers, such as when to buy, what net assets you will need, and how to quickly qualify for an Indiana mortgage. If you need to speak to a human, you can call or text us direct at 855-626-1999.

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