Hail Damage: Prepare and Lessen Potential Impact
In 2020 alone, Texas experienced 601 major hail events resulting in damage to more than 1.5 million properties. The state accounted for almost a quarter of the total U.S. properties affected by hail throughout the year1. Just last month, a hailstone measuring in at 6.4 inches in diameter fell near Hondo, Texas. That’s the size of a honeydew melon!
While we can’t change the weather in Texas, there are things your ministry can do to help lessen the damage hail leaves behind. Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company offers some things to consider:
- Explore impact-resistant materials. Ministries have several options like commercial metal roofs, including standing seam roof panels, and impact-resistant shingles. A roof covering is classified by its impact resistance rating: Class 1, 2, 3, or 4, with 4 offering the highest impact resistance.
- Look into other roofing options. The FORTIFIED RoofTM method offers a solution that enhances your building’s defense against severe weather.
- Protect your HVAC systems. Roof-mounted heating and air-conditioning units are especially vulnerable to hail. Damage to the coils and fins alone can cost thousands. Hail guards,2 which can be factory-configured or installed after the fact, provide a protective layer without impacting the system’s efficiency.
- Consider impact-resistant glass for windows/skylights. This type of window is glazed to be more resistant to shattering. You may live in an area where these already are required by building codes.
- Move vehicles. Pay close attention to weather forecasts, watches, and warnings. When possible, move ministry-owned vehicles to a covered structure, like a parking garage. If moving vehicles is not possible, invest in heavy blankets to cover vehicles.
- Prevent injury. Hail can precede heavy rain, lightning, or a tornado, so don’t wait if threatening weather is close by. Bring people and animals inside and stay clear of windows and skylights. Seeking shelter under a tree is an unsafe option and should only be used as a last resort. If you’re in a vehicle, try to find a covered structure as soon as possible. Do not get out of the vehicle until it is safe to do so.
When Hail Strikes…
Immediately contact your insurance company to survey the damage, from the roof to the ground. What may seem like minor damage at first can develop into major problems later.
Download Brotherhood Mutual’s Hail Damage Checklist. This handy checklist helps create a record of damage you’ve observed prior to filing a claim or a visit from an adjuster or contractor.
1 “Facts + Statistics: Hail.” Insurance Information Institute. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-hail#:~:text=Texas%20had%20the%20highest%20number,with%20about%20372%2C000%20properties%20affected.=, Accessed 9 May 2021.
2 “Reducing Hail Damage.” Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety®. https://ibhs.org/hail/hail-resources. Accessed 20 February 2020