The majority of the time, the weather we experience will do little damage to our lives. We might have to dress differently for the day ahead than we originally planned, or we might find ourselves unprepared for the change from dry to wet weather, but we don’t find ourselves facing serious damage to our homes and cars. However, this is exactly the case when it concerns hailstorms.
What is a hailstorm?
A hailstorm is a storm in which multiple heavy ice balls fall from the sky in quick succession. These balls of ice form at very high altitudes within the clouds from water droplets collected on the specs of dust in the air. As the layer freezes over, the water droplet will drop slightly before rising, collecting more water and freezing once again. The cycle will continue until it is so big that it will fall to the earth at a high velocity. As it is one of the more unusual weather storms people experience, not everybody is aware of the repercussions.
The damage to your car
The hailstones can vary in size, from pea size to softball size, but even the smaller stones can cause serious damage to both your home and car when there are vast numbers. When it concerns your car, hail can damage your car in the following ways, even if the storm doesn’t last that long.
- Smashed windscreen
One of the more notable signs of damage to your car is a smashed windscreen. When the hailstones fall at such a high speed, it can shatter the glass completely. However, sometimes it can scratch, dent, or even break through the glass, leaving behind a ball-shaped hole.
It’s not just the windscreen that can experience dents after a storm. The bodywork, such as the hood and roof, can be dented, sometimes damaging the paintwork with it. In some cases, when the paintwork or finish of the car isn’t damaged, dents will still be visible and will need repairing.
What to do when your car is damaged in a hailstorm
If you happen to be driving in a hailstorm, try to remain calm. Look for a public parking garage close so you can park under. Don’t leave your vehicle until the storm is over as hailstones can cause serious injury. Here’re some professional tips from StromWise regarding pre-storm protection and driving in a hailstorm.
There is not much you will be able to do during the storm to protect your car if it does not have adequate protection in place, such as keeping in the garage or by putting a cover over it. If this was the case, for instance, if the storm was unexpected and you find yourself with damage to your car, you will need to set about getting in touch with the right hail damage repair company. You need to work with a repair company that will not make the process of getting your car back to its optimal and safe driving condition difficult, but instead will work to your needs, such as helping with your insurance claim, covering your deductibles, and providing a free rental car, etc..
The damage to your home
Although your house may be bigger, stronger, and sturdier than your car, that doesn’t mean it isn’t prone to damage from a hailstorm. You can experience damage to your:
As you expect, as the hailstones fall to the earth, the first thing they will come into contact with regards to your home is your roof. The stones can dent your roof shingles, displace them completely, or even crack them, which could lead to leaks. Any missing tiles can leave you at more risk when harsher weather conditions come back. Not all of these can be visible at first glance, so a thorough inspection will be necessary after the storm has finished.
Just like your car windscreen can be smashed, hailstones can smash through your windows, potentially causing damage to the interior of your home as the glass shatters inwards. If you are inside your home during a hailstorm, to avoid serious harm to yourself, keep away from the windows.
As the speed of the hailstones and the sheer number of them during a storm can shatter your windows, it is no surprise to learn that it can also cause damage to your house’s siding. From cracks and holes that can result in leaks to cosmetic damage to the paintwork, your siding will need to be checked after to ensure that you aren’t leaving your home more vulnerable. Remember, when the wood is exposed to the natural elements, it will rot, causing more long-term damage.
What to do when your home is damaged in a hailstorm
Once the storm has ended, you will want to inspect your home for any visible signs of damage. When you discover what damage has occurred, be sure to take plenty of pictures as evidence for your insurance company (you should also do this for your car) and note down the time and day. It might be possible to carry out repairs by yourself but to ensure your house will withstand more extreme weather, call in the professionals.
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann