Fixing Your Home After a Maryland Hail Storm

Imagine the devastation after 2.75-inch balls of frozen rain plague your home, car, and surrounding property. The damage could put a massive dent in Maryland homeowners’ wallets while creating stress working with insurance companies to file appropriate claims. 

The largest hail storm in Maryland occurred in July 2016 in which Montgomery County residents suffered from tennis and baseball-sized hail stones. While rare, large-sized hail has historically hit Maryland property and has caused significant damage – in fact, millions of dollars in damage. 

It’s crucial for homeowners to prepare themselves to cover any defacement to their homes, vehicles, or other property and get back to normal as quickly as possible after the area has been ravaged by hail. 

Types of Hail Damage

Any piece of property that resides outdoors is subject to destruction after a torrential Maryland hail storm. Insurance agents and homeowners must work together to ensure proper home repair processes are completed timely. 

Vehicle Damage 

Unless parked inside the garage or underneath a carport, your car, truck, or SUV is at the risk of the elements. Dings, scratches, and paint chipping are common vehicle issues caused by falling hail. Hail the size of baseballs at approximately 3 inches in diameter, are large enough to crack front and back windshield glass and pull off side mirrors. 

Roof Damage

When hail falls from great heights, it can ding every roofing shingle on its way down. Resulting in large holes or denting, all damaged roofing shingles would require replacement before leaking ensues. 

Homeowners with metal roofing material may see large dents but oftentimes it does not penetrate the metal. It can still end in major roof leakage due to pent attachment points that leave your sub-roof susceptible to additional precipitation.

Gutter Damage

Gutter systems have one sole duty – to channel water away from the home’s foundation and structural features but when pounded by hail, they can become dented, loose, or detached, leaving rainwater to find its way into your basement if not repaired. Routine gutter maintenance and gutter repair are crucial to reducing costly home fixes relative to water damage. 

Glass Damage 

If large enough, windows are also an unknowing target of hail storms. Fragile, historic, and decorative glass could be ruined with one large hail storm and if the glass is part of your home’s exterior surface, it most certainly will allow hail to enter your home when broken. Specialty glass is even more expensive to replace and may not be 100% covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. 

How to Fix Your Home After a Hail Storm in Maryland 

If you are protected by a homeowner’s insurance policy for damage caused by naturally-occurring events, any hail damage to your home or property may be covered. Without insurance coverage, any repairs may be out-of-pocket costs. 

Step 1: Contact Your Local Homeowner’s Insurance Agent

It might be wise to contact your insurance agent first to notify them of possible hail damage and put your home on their radar. Widespread hail storms may have already prompted insurance adjusters to begin looking at covered homes. Discuss your policy coverage and any deductible requirements to ensure you’re aware of both your fiscal responsibilities and what will be assured. 

Step 2: Inspect Every Exterior Area of your Home

From top to bottom, inspect every area of your home well. Even small hail damage can worsen over time if not corrected. Access a ladder to investigate your roofing singles or panels to look for dings, dents, and holes. Don’t ignore chimney caps, flashing, and vent boots. While close to the roof, inspect your gutter lines. Bent, detached, loose, or broken sections will require gutter repair. 

Check exterior surfaces like siding, stucco, and painted surfaces for cracks and chips as well as window panes and surroundings. Outdoor dryer vent covers that protrude from the house and water spigots may have also seen some hail damage and need repair. 

Additionally, inspect structures not attached to the primary residence including sheds, decks, patios, and any other insured section of the property. Make a list of all damage – no matter how insignificant it may seem. 

Step 3: Reach Out to Reliable and Insured Contractors 

While a general contractor may be able to provide home repair to all damaged areas, they are not often specialized in every area so their work may not be up to par with insurance agencies. Contact a roofing company, gutter repair business, siding specialist, and window replacement company, if needed, to request a quote for services to submit to the insurance agency, if instructed to do so. 

Step 4: File an Insurance Claim According to Agent Instructions

As directed by your agent, file any and all insurance claims. Insurance policies can be confusing but your agent should be able to assist with completing the forms correctly to avoid delays in coverage. 

They may schedule the work or may ask the homeowner to take care of the scheduling – especially if the entire city and surrounding area have been hit hard by hail damage. 

Conclusion 

While hail damage can be devastating to both your home and your wallet, it’s imperative that you complete all home repair, gutter maintenance, and window replacement processes as soon as possible. Additional damage can ensue. For example, if prolonging roof and gutter repair, the next rain storm may result in a flooded basement and dripping attic spaces that quickly grow mold. 

Homeowners’ insurance agents are well-versed in the process so don’t be afraid to lean on them for directions to have your home repaired after a Maryland hail storm.

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