A Few Tips on Hail Damage

Hail forms in strong thunderstorm clouds with high water volumes sometimes helped along by airborne dust. Most hailstones are smaller than 2 cm. And then there are the ones we got on Wednesday, June 13th. What do you do when North Texas weather occasionally tries to pummel you and your house to pieces?

Cars: Cars that have been hit with hail look more like golf balls than automobiles. If your car had glass damage, water intrusion, and dings on every panel, it may be “totaled” for purposes of insurance (typically repairs equaling 75% of the current retail value of the car). For those with lighter damage, paintless dent repair is sometimes able to restore a car’s appearance for $50-$75 per body panel – something to consider if you carry a high deductible or no comprehensive coverage. Body shops are swamped right now; so consider driving a dented car for a few weeks if you don’t like waiting for an appointment.

Roofs: You probably can barely get to your mailbox because of the blizzard of roofing contractor advertisements on your front porch. Be careful in how you deal with a potential roof claim on your homeowner’s insurance. Unless you have an older Texas policy with a lower fixed deductible, most Texas homeowner’s policies have a deductible equal to 1% or 2% of the insured value of the property. Many roofing contractors will offer to pay some or even all of this cost to induce you to hire them to replace the roof. Contractors may also be able to help you identify other areas of damage to your house that are covered by insurance. It may be advisable to speak to a reputable contractor prior to having your insurance carrier write an estimate on the roof and have the contractor on site for the insurance carrier’s inspection. “Reputable” can be difficult to determine.  Contractors are paying residents to put signs in their yards right now; so don’t just go with a name you’ve seen. Dallas’s Better Business Bureau website (http://dallas.bbb.org/) is a good place to start as is Angie’s list (http://www.angieslist.com/).  Remember that you probably don’t need your roof replaced immediately.  You can take the time to learn who does good work.

Trees: You may have noticed your trees losing a large number of leaves or even whole branches. Fortunately, our trees have received a lot of rain lately. Try to make sure that your trees get extra water during the summer months to counteract the stress of losing so much foliage. Did you know that you already employ an arborist? The City of Dallas has arborists on staff who have overseen multiple tree planting projects in LGNA and are ready to answer your tree care questions. Read more about them at http://www.dallascityhall.com/arborist/index.html.