Todd Miller - Roofing Expert

Hail Damaged Roof

From a homeowner in Kansas:
Hi Mr. Miller, We live in Kansas where there are lots of storms and heavy wind. We have a 12-year old house with wood singles. We’ve just received allowances to replace due to hail damages a year ago. We own the house. We have had a few times bad weather since the damage and so far have not see any problems. From the outside of house, you can see nails popping up quite a bit on the ridges. Our house is a small high valued property ($900,000+ easily sold in today’s market). My questions are:

1. do we have to change the roof or can we pocket the money and insure through a different company?
2. If we have to change, should we do wood again or the ones that come with 50 years warranty. No matter what I think they will be damaged again won’t last more than 15 years anyway.
3. Also, are wood more hail tolerant than others?
4. We have vent on top of the roof and when we had strong north wind with in storm, there is big pile of snow in my attic under the vent. was told there was no solutions and lots people had a leak.

My response:
Great questions. Thank you.

1) Insurance is regulated and controlled on a state by state basis. I am not sure exactly how things are done in Kansas but if you collect on this roof and do not replace it, chances are you will have a very difficult time getting another insurance company to underwrite your property until the roof is replaced or, if they do, they will exclude coverage on the roof or any damages related to the roof. First and foremost if there is visible damage I do not believe they will even write you a policy until the roof is replaced.

2) and 3) Wood and asphalt shingles both resist hail fairly well when they are new … wood probably resists hail a bit longer than asphalt but both, by the time they are 10 – 15 years old, will be very prone to hail damage. The one product that resists hail as it ages is metal. It may get some dents in a major storm but that will not shortern the product’s life or protection. Also, do not expect a “50 year shingle” to last 50 years; even the manufacturers will tell you that is a warranty not a statement of life expectancy.

4) Some ridge vents have better filtering at keeping out snow than others. Inquire with your contractor.