When hailstorms strike, it’s not uncommon for damage to your home’s exterior to follow.
Many homeowners find themselves concerned about the state of their home after a powerful storm—and for good reason. It’s important to assess your siding’s damage immediately so you can submit an accurate insurance claim. However, if you’re unsure how to identify hail damage, you may overlook dents, cracks, chips, and other signs of wear and tear that can compromise the integrity of your siding down the road.
The next time a hailstorm occurs, use this handy guide to identify hail-damaged siding. Plus, discover the siding solution that will allow you to never worry about hail damage again!
Hail Damage Inspection Tips
Before you start inspecting your siding, be mindful of the following advice:
- Evaluate your home in the morning or evening, just after sunrise or just before sunset, when the lighting is less harsh, for a better view of denting.
- Walk around the perimeter of your house and evaluate each wall thoroughly.
- Don’t touch any holes, dents, cracks, or bruises until the insurance company comes to assess the damage.
- Take photos of any damage you notice during your inspection.
Signs of Hail Damage for Each Siding Type
Hail damage manifests itself in different ways depending on the type of siding you have. Unfortunately, vinyl, wood, metal, and aluminum siding are all susceptible to hail damage.
Here’s a look at how to identify hail damage for each siding variety:
Vinyl siding can be severely damaged when large, dense, fast-falling hailstones hit the panels.
If your home is covered with vinyl siding, here’s what damage you should look for after a hailstorm:
- Cracking—Look for split siding boards, particularly in the weaker areas between the ridges and the valleys.
- Chipping—Evaluate the siding panels to see if the vinyl material has been chipped. It’s also wise to look at the entire board to identify chipped paint.
- Buckling—Cracked siding boards may also begin to buckle, which will make the panels more susceptible to future damage.
Wood and Metal Siding
Although wood and metal siding are incredibly different in appearance, they show hail damage in the same way.
If you have wood or metal siding, here’s the primary type of destruction you should look for:
- Dents—Check for visible dents on your siding. The marks can vary in size depending on the size of the hailstones that hit your siding. Dents may be invisible, especially on wood siding, so gently run your hand across your siding boards to feel for minor damage.
Similar to wood and metal siding, hailstorms can leave dents in aluminum siding. However, this type of siding also has its own unique challenges.
Here’s how to identify damage on aluminum siding:
- Dents— Like wood and metal siding, check your aluminum boards for visible nicks and run your hand across your siding to identify invisible marks.
- Oxidation marks— Look for white, chalky patterns to determine if your home was damaged by hailstones or flying debris. If you can’t spot them with your eye, run your hand across your siding to feel for the chalky residue.
Although many homeowners wash off or paint over oxidation marks, they are usually a sign your aluminum siding has sustained damage and needs to be replaced. Before you decide how to fix your aluminum siding, call a contractor for a professional opinion.
What Should I Do If I Notice Hail Damage?
If your evaluation concludes that your siding was damaged during a hailstorm—don’t panic.
Home insurance might cover wind and hail damage that occurs to your roof, windows, and siding, depending on your policy. Check with your insurance company to see what is covered.
When filing your claim, be sure to take photos of the damage and keep all the receipts for your cleanup and repair expenditures.
Protect Your Home from Damage with Hail-Resistant James Hardie Siding
If your siding is damaged during a hailstorm and you’re looking for a reliable replacement, look no further than fiber cement siding.
James Hardie fiber cement siding is made from sand, cement, water, and cellulose fibers to create durable, long-lasting boards that are entirely resistant to storm damage. Fiber cement is resistant to hail, snow, rain, wind, and heat damage, and the boards won’t crack, dent, rot, or erode in adverse weather conditions.
Discover Siding Replacement Options to Protect Your Investment
It’s no secret that James Hardie siding is a durable replacement option to protect your home against hail damage. However, when you’re ready to invest in new siding, there are many other factors to consider, such as aesthetic appeal, maintenance costs, longevity, and more.
Before you invest in your siding replacement, learn more about different types of siding to determine which option is best for your home!