What I'm Seeing Now

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All Hail! Spring Begins The Hail Season

All hail!  Spring begins the hail season.  Every year!

Hail is a weather event that can cost us!  It costs homeowners some $1 billion annually in roof and siding claims.

I recently had a "roofer" come to my house saying that I had hail damage on my roof - FROM A HAIL EVENT THAT HAD HAPPENED A YEAR AND A HALF EARLIER!   He said they would do all the work with the insurance company and that it would cost me nothing!

Not remembering such an event, I immediately dismissed him as a scam artist and not a roofer.  But I went up and looked at my roof nonetheless.  Finding nothing I contacted a friend who is a roofer for twenty years (I refer him a lot - he is on my very short list of referred contractors).  Coming to the house, he confirmed my suspicion that there was no hail damage.  He did make other recommendations, which I went with, and he "tuned-up" my roof.

Many houses in our neighborhood had their roofs replaced, with this "company" apparently doing their negotiations.

Insurance companies have very sophisticated ways of determining if there has been hail damage.  They measure dimples, hail direction, and the like.

I am less sophisticated in my analysis - I look at metal ridge-vent denting, severe granular damage on the shingles and I look for extensive granular discharge at the bottoms of downspouts.

Insurance companies also look for those indicators also.

WHAT IS HAIL?

Small ice cubes, essentially, pellets of frozen water vapor that develop inside thunderstorm clouds.

Warm air rises from the ground and meets very cold air moving downward from inside the large, puffy clouds.  Rain gets carried upward by the warm air, and into freezing temperatures. 

Small "stones" develop, fall and thaw, completely or partially into small spheres.

This freezing, thawing, re-freezing cycle can happen over and over again, with these small spheres getting larger each time.  The eventually-larger and heavier, frozen spheres fall, carried downward by the cold air drafts.  The larger the hail stones, the more damage they can produce!

Hail that is about the size of a half dollar, or 1 1/4" in diameter, is what it takes to damage newer composite asphalt or wood-shake shingles.  That is about the size of the coin you see to the left (and 1953 was a VERY good year...).

NOW THAT'S A SIZABLE HAIL STONE!

For older roofs damage can be demonstrated when the stones get to be about the size of a nickel, or 3/4".

Here is where the game begins.  The "contractor" then comes to the house, after the storm is in the recent or long past, and claims you have damage.  He will fix it for you!

When there is a hail storm with stones of 3/4" or more, it will definitely make the news.  If you don't remember such an event, like in my case where the "contractor" claimed there was such a storm a year and a half earlier, do your own research!  And if you have damage, find a bona fide* roofer!  Your insurance company will help to determine if there was damage, but a bona fide roofer will be able to make your case.

My recommendation:  hail is an odd circumstance.  It can affect one side of a street and not the other.  Damage can be severe on one side and not so severe on the other.  This can be true even on one side of a roof and not the other!  It really does take investigation.  But be sure your investigator is a bona fide contractor, and not the fly-by-night operator there to make a quick buck.  False claims help nobody.

* The words "bona fide" come from the Latin words meaning "with good faith."

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 33 commentsJay Markanich • April 19 2012 02:06AM

Comments

Jay - little to no hail in our forecasts, but have seen friends in Texas have to replace an entire roof due to hail damage, on a 6000 SF house, not a small investment....

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) over 6 years ago

It can be one hail of an event but you didn't mention cars left outside.  It's a rare occurance in the Boston area and usually very small.  

Posted by John F Muscarella, Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast (RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC) over 6 years ago

Carol - is that a hail storm area?  And if so, do you find that insurance companies will replace the roofs over and over?

Cars are another issue altogether John, and a problem too!  But I am a home inspector!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Hi Jay, Glad you did not get taken by the roofer & scam artists.  It is a shame people can't make their living honestly.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 6 years ago

Gosh, this sounds a bit like ambulance chasing.  And, wow to hail 3/4".  Yes, I think you would have noticed and remembered that.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

I investigate stuff Bob.  You should have seen the guy's face when I said I was a home inspector and would have had a million calls had there been such a storm.

Debbie - that's exactly what it is!  Taking advantage and lieing to do so.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

With all the press about scammers and possible scammers, they wouldn't be around less folks fell for their BS.

Thank you for sharing the post with all of us.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 6 years ago

Joe - I am convinced some people don't care so long as they get a "free" roof.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

My Recommendation:  DO NOT hire folks who come knocking on your door. 

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

We don't do anything at the door Lenn.  That changed when a "girl scout" came by selling cookies, what we paid for and never saw.  Now we get them from the table at the Safeway!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

If you want a free gift the only one on the roof would be Santa. If it is too good to be true, it aint.

Posted by Erv Fleishman, Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates (Realty Associates) over 6 years ago

For sure Erv.  And be sure not to scare Santa such that he falls off the roof.  I saw a movie about that.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Morning Jay last Saturday while I was on the links at the 9th hole I was getting ready to putt and a hail storm hit.  Needless to say we left. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 6 years ago

I guess that guy did not know you were an inspector!  Makes me mad that these folks don't find a real line of work.  Great warning!  But Lenn is right.....don't hire anyone that just shows up on your doorstep!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 6 years ago

Did it dent the green James?  Makes for difficult putting!

Kathryn - we often have to learn things the hard way.  And when you get faked out by the Girl Scouts, well, it's time to avoid the door altogether.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, I had no idea that Hail causes this much damage.  I am going to research and see if the damage to Canadians is relatively the same.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 6 years ago

I can't remember the last time there was a hail storm up here. In fact I can never remember having a storm that produced big hail. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

Chris - seeing yours and Jim's comment, it makes me wonder if it is only something that happens in warmer areas! 

Jim - it would seem to me that you all, and further north, would get hail as it is cold up there, certainly in higher altitudes.  But maybe your ground temps are not warm enough to produce the freeze/thaw cycles.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

With the number of hail storms in our area, the "scammers" are always out in full force.  I recently had the pleasure of bursting one's bubble when they came knocking...so much fun!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 6 years ago

Jay, that is another one of those extreme weather events that rarely happens around here.  It happens---but the pellets rarely get over a 1/4 inch.  Did you see that picture----in the news a few days ago---of hail 4 feet deep?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 6 years ago

Great info for all on hail and the havoc it can cause.  When I hear about golf ball size hail I think what damage that could do you personally if it struck you let alone all the vechicles, roofs, etc.  Hail is among an insurance company's fears I'm sure.  And yes, beware of the scammers coming to your door.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) over 6 years ago

Jay, We get a scammers also but it usually from wind storms. They come fix the roof (poorly I may add) and off they go.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

I bet Lisa.  Every time there is a disaster, the scammers are out in force.  Like roaches at night...

I didn't Charlie, but that is a WHOLE bunch of hail!

Sue - golf balls flying that fast would damage most anything and these ice stones are about as hard!

Don - I don't know the quality of these scammers in my neighborhood, but time will tell!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, Great post and so true about the scammers. I am like Lenn above I do not do business with anybody that knocks on my door. At least a roof can be fixed. I spent a long time in the automotive business and try fixing a car or truck after a big hail storm.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

That is another interesting side of the hail damage saga Tom, with its own scammers I am sure.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, there are not a lot of scammers on the repair side because there is no way to fix the problem short of replacing every panel on the vehicle. The scams come from people who try to sell the cars that have small damage.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

I have heard that the dings can be pulled out.  No so?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Big ones can be pulled out with out too much trouble. A lot of small ones can be almost unfix-able.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

That makes sense Tom.  Maybe filling it with Silly Putty and just painting over it.  I heard Silly Putty has a million uses!  That's what the TV commercial said anyway.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago
 

Thank you for sharing your blog; we need Real estate Professionals to share their comments and information regarding their markets and experiences. Thanks again from beautiful Sunny San Diego

Posted by Paul Gapski, 619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo (Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty) about 6 years ago

Thanks Paul, you found an oldie but a goodie!  And that jersey seems a bit out of place.  Shouldn't it be burgundy and gold?

Yes, I'm sure it should.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

They way my chargers have been playing maybe so....lol

sorry for your tough lost againt the Patriots, They have our number too. So hard to beat the best Quarterback though of Brady!

Take Care Jay

Posted by Paul Gapski, 619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo (Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty) about 6 years ago

We'll see how the year unfolds Paul.  Every year we win the off season and suck thereafter!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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