Hail is one of the most common and costly weather threats facing homeowners in the US. Hailstones are essentially balls of ice that form when thunderstorm updrafts carry rain upwards to extremely cold altitudes. When they fall, they can be deadly, and they frequently cause damages to homes, cars, and other properties. Hailstorms are especially common in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, and the area where the states meet has been dubbed “hail alley“ thanks to the frequency of hail days.
Hailstones can get as large as baseballs, and larger stones fall harder and cause more damage. In 2017, hailstorms caused $22 billion in damages across the United States. Common damages include broken windows, dented roofs, and cracked windshields. Potential costs of hail damages are concerning for anyone, especially a borrower wrapping their head around mortgage 101 and trying to buy their first home. Long time homeowners could see hail damage lower their home’s value in addition to the safety concerns. Fortunately, hail damage is covered under most homeowners’ insurance plans, but you’ll have a limited time to file an insurance claim following damages. No one can stop the effects of weather hazards, but there are some things you can do to keep you and your family safe as well as protect your home.
Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan
This goes for any type of weather threat, but the most important thing during a storm is your safety. If you have a family, it’s important to discuss supplies you’ll need, how you’ll receive news, and how you’ll evacuate if it comes to that. You can create an emergency plan based on government guidelines to ensure everyone knows what to do. Hail is often accompanied by high winds, flooding, and other severe weather that may disrupt power or cause injury, so you should always have a first aid kit in the house.
Shield Your Windows
Glass breaks easily during hailstorms, especially if it isn’t impact or wind-resistant, so you’ll need some extra protection for windows, skylights, or sliding glass doors. If you live in an area that’s at high risk for hail, like Fort Collins or Colorado Springs, you might consider a hurricane shutter system. These exterior shutters are great for protecting glass openings and doors alike. If you need quick installation, like if there’s a sudden storm system coming, you can even install temporary shutters to provide some level of protection before the permanent installation is complete.
Prepare Your Landscape
Falling trees and limbs are a danger during any storm, so it’s always important to maintain the health of any trees in your yard. Have dead trees removed as soon as possible, and ensure any dead or worn limbs and branches are trimmed before a storm hits. If you have a garden, it’s a good idea to build a canopy over it for protection, or you can use trashcans and other containers to shield individual plants.
You’ll also need to protect your vehicles, which should be easy if you have a garage. Otherwise, investing in a paint-protection film is a decent way to protect against corrosion and some storm damage, but it’s best to purchase a car protection cover for a hailstorm.
Care for Your Roof
As you likely expect, your roof will take the bulk of the damage from hail and other weather hazards. The best way to prevent damage is to invest in high-quality materials from the beginning, or you could have a contractor weather-proof existing shingles. Unfortunately, roof damage is likely following a hailstorm, so you’ll probably need to call some Denver CO roofing companies to see about fixing it. They can work with your insurance company to make sure you’re covered for quality roof repairs or even a full roof replacement should you need it.
Hailstorms are always inconvenient and dangerous, but with proper preparation, you can keep damages to a minimum.