According to the National Severe Storms Lab (NSSL), Florida may get the most thunderstorms, but Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming usually have the most hail storms. From a safe vantage point, people find hail storms amazing, but reality quickly sets in with the thought of dealing with hail damage.
The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) estimates annual property hail damage has ranged from a low of $482.9 million to a high of $2.96 billion over the last ten years. Add in the impact to crops and livestock, and the numbers are significantly higher. Since hail storms don’t typically last more than 15 minutes, it doesn’t take long for expensive damage to occur.
Significant hail storm areas are typically found in the Midwest. That’s because ground elevation (compared to sea level) is closer to the point in the atmosphere where water freezes and hail forms, giving it less time to melt (or diminish in size) before it hits the ground.
When it comes to your home, hail size, wind direction and roof pitch can make a difference on the amount of damage that can occur. Obviously, the larger and heavier the hail pellets are, the more damage they can cause. Direct impact of hail to your roof and gutter guards will cause more damage than a glancing blow. The flatter the pitch of your roof, the worse the damage can be. Glancing blows (think of a punch where you turn and avoid most of the impact) are more likely the steeper the pitch of your roof, particularly when it’s not windy.
If it is windy, hail will blow in on an angle. In this circumstance, a steeper roof could be at a greater risk, since the angle that the hail hits at may be the one that causes a direct impact. It is also more likely that your siding can get damaged in the wind, windows may be broken as well. In any type of hail storm, gutters can also sustain significant damage.
Damage most often occurs to roof shingles since they cover your roof. According to Roofhelp.com, a great way to keep on top of damage that can occur to roof shingles is with some pre storm knowledge and a few sets of photographs.
To learn what to do, check out our next post on how to discover and deal with hail damage.