Don't freeze up if hail strikes your siding, follow these tips as soon as possible to avoid long-term damage
It’s tough to see your house get pummeled during a hail storm, especially when you’re left with siding damage that could cause even bigger problems down the line. While situations like this can leave you feeling pretty defeated, there are actions you can take now to turn your luck around. Below are our top tips for dealing with hail damage on your siding.
1. Inspect for Hail Damage to Your Siding
First thing’s first: If you haven’t already done so, take a walk around your home and look for hail damage on your siding. Take note of any damage you find. It’s best to do this in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun isn’t too bright, as it can cast shadows and obscure certain details.
Here’s what to look out for:
Warping or buckling
Be sure to take plenty of pictures as well—these will come in handy when you’re working with the insurance company.
2. Get an Estimate From a Third Party Contractor
Even if your insurance company assigns someone for you, it’s still a good idea to get an estimate from a siding contractor near you. The average cost to repair siding is about $600, and labor averages between $40 and $50 per hour.
An impartial estimate from an independent party is helpful for comparison purposes. Contractors and insurance companies often use the same software to determine the cost of the damage, so the estimates should be similar.
3. Review Your Insurance Policy
While insurance companies determine the scope of the work and cost, you should ensure you’re getting the best deal possible under their policy. In most cases, your insurance will cover replacement siding for each side of the home that got damaged, but you might get more if you know what to look for in a policy.
For example, if there aren’t any replacement options that match your home’s existing siding, you don’t necessarily have to pick one of them. Your policy could include an extra provision (called an endorsement) that would allow you to redo the whole house, even if only one area sustained damage.
4. Contact Your Insurance Agent (Not the Insurance Company)
Rather than immediately filing a claim with your insurance company, contact your agent instead. Let them decide whether it’s necessary to file a claim since filing too many claims could leave you in bad standing with the company. If your agent determines that you should file a claim, they will dispatch an adjuster for you.
5. Don’t Wait to Address Hail Damage
One of the most important tips to follow is: Don’t wait to deal with hail damage to your siding. It’s important to either repair your siding or seek a full-on replacement, as holes can trap water and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Cracks can also worsen over time, taking the situation from bad to worse. You might even have to deal with extra drafts in your home—and higher energy bills as a result.
6. Consider Replacing Your Siding
Replacing your siding costs around $10,000 on average, but prices vary based on the type of siding, as well as the size of your home. While it’s a big investment, if there were existing issues like warping, rot, or other siding problems, then you’re likely better off with a full replacement.
Vinyl siding is a popular option. Unlike aluminum, vinyl doesn’t dent, chip, or rub off on your clothes since the color is solid throughout the material and not sprayed on. Choosing the best vinyl siding or the best siding for your home involves weighing the pros and cons and taking into consideration all of your options.