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Wilmington Roofing: Article About Evaluating Hail Damage On Slate Roofs

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In 2012, hail damage cost insurance holders over $3.9 billion in property damage. Even small hail can cause significant damage, and the roof of a home is usually the first thing to be damaged during a hail event. Slate roofs are known for their durability, but this material can't always withstand the effects of pounding hail. Evaluating hail damage on slate tiles can be done by Wilmington roofing professionals before work on an insurance claim starts.

The nature of slate makes it easy to spot hail damage. Slate can hold up to a barrage of small hailstones, but it will succumb to larger stones if a few conditions are right. First, large hail will almost always cause damage to the pieces of slate. The extent of the damage will depend on the slate's overall condition. Deteriorated and delaminated slate will be more easily damaged than slate that's still in good condition. Slate that has been installed in a side lap style is also more likely to be harmed because there is only one layer of shingles on most of the roof.

For insurance purposes, the insurance adjusters will be able to tell how much of the damage was caused by the recent hailstorm.

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They'll do this by looking at the metal features on the roof and taking note of the indentations left behind. If the slate isn't cracked by particularly large hailstones, it can be littered with small holes. Some slate experts have seen such extensive hail damage that, when they look up through the roof, it looks like the roof has been turned into cheesecloth.

Because slate can develop craters over time, experienced roofers will be able to determine the difference between these and hail damage. Holes created by hail will have sharp edges while holes resulting from nail damage or aging will be crater like in appearance. An experienced worker can effectively tell what tiles will need to be replaced and which ones are still salvageable. Hard slate is far more likely to be repairable while soft slate is probably going to need to be replaced after a significant hailstorm. As the shingles are being replaced or repaired, it's likely that other elements of the roof system will also need to be replaced. The biggest challenge in replacing damaged slate is finding new shingles that will match the existing shingles.

A hailstorm doesn't automatically mean a slate roof is going to need to be scrapped. Calling out an experienced slater will often make the biggest difference in how much of the roof can be saved.

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