Has your roof been hail damaged?
On December 25th, 2011, hail stones the size of billiard balls caused carnage across Victoria, now know as ‘the Christmas day storms’. The estimated damage bill runs into the 10’s of millions of dollars. Thousands of cars were pelted with hail stones and in some cases writing cars completely off. The biggest cost was the damage to homes and businesses throughout Melbourne. Terracotta and concrete roofs were completely smashed, leaving hundreds of holes. The worst hit areas were Keilor, Keilor downs, Taylors Lakes, Eltham and Greensbourgh, in Melbournes north/west. Approximately 3000 calls were made to the SES to attend make-safes to businesses and homes. Once the hail storm had subsided it was the torrential rain that did most of the damage. Rain water entered straight into peoples ceiling spaces causing ceilings to collapse making many homes unlivable.
How to identify when your roof has been hail damaged:
Of course the above story is an extreme case, but spotting hail damage can be a little difficult, depending on how your roof absorbs the impact of the hail stones. Poorly kept older roofs are more likely to be severely damaged compared to a older roof that has been painted and restored. Newer roofs with minimal wear and tear are more likely to hold up better during a storm.
The best way to identify that your house has been hail damaged is to firstly check the main bodied roof tiles. These tiles are the flatter looking tiles covering the majority of your roof. Check these for any chipped corners or breaks straight down the middle. Secondly you will want to check your capping tiles, these tiles are shaped like a ‘V’ and generally run across the top or the peaks of your roof. Make sure these are not cracked or broken along with the mortar beneath them. if any of the above has happened you will need to employ a roofing contractor to repair these before the next storm otherwise there is a possibility of rain water entering into the ceiling space which can cause all sorts of problems.
How you can minimize the damage to your roof during a hail storm:
To minimize the damage to your roof during a hail storm it is important to put precautions in place regarding your roof to protect your home.
1. I would research the weather around the area you live in so you can take precautions for protecting your roof against the elements.
2. Select a roofing material that you think will withstand hail the best (generally speaking concrete roof tiles are stronger and more durable than terracotta).
3. Make sure your guttering is free of any debris so that during heavy periods of rain there is nothing obstructing the rain water to flow down the down pipes and into the storm water drains.
4. Have a monthly routine of getting up on your roof and inspecting the roof tiles and mortar will prevent any leakage and allow early intervention if you notice any damage to your roof.