A hailstorm can leave homeowners with severe property damage, and Colorado is one of the worst states in the country for hail damage. In 2020, State Farm paid about $208 million in hail damage claims just in Colorado. That’s about $12,000 per homeowner, based on national averages.
It’s no surprise that hail can be so damaging. In a typical hailstorm, ice is falling between 25 and 40 mph, which can damage roofs, siding, windows, and more. In the most severe hailstorms, ice can fall as fast as 100 mph. That would be the equivalent of a pro baseball player throwing thousands of balls directly at your home.
Which Colorado City Has the Most Hailstorms?
NOAA’s Storm Events Database reveals that hail affects areas of Colorado in different ways. Greenley, CO, is only an hour outside of Denver, but the high plains area is much more exposed to hailstorms and has more than four times as many hail events than Denver. Colorado Springs is also prone to hail, experiencing 51 hailstorms that year.
|County||City||Number of Hail Events in 2019|
|El Paso||Colorado Springs||51|
Hail damage can happen quickly, leaving you with a house that needs lots of repairs. However, preventative maintenance can help you get ahead of some of the issues and reinforce your home against hail damage.
Follow these 10 tips to prepare for hail in Colorado.
1. Trim Trees
The onslaught of ice and wind can mean dead branches or weak trees crash into your home, damaging the roof or siding. Removing dangerous tree limbs can help you reduce the risk of hail damage. Clearing trees that are too close to your home can also help you avoid foundation damage from tree roots.
2. Check Insurance Coverage
Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover hail damage. However, in hail-prone states like Colorado, there could be specifications such as exclusions for hail damage or a separate deductible for wind and hail claims. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered, and if you’re concerned about severe weather damage, ask about adding on flood insurance.
3. Maintain Roof
Hailstorms can tear off shingles, wear away a roof’s aggregate surface, and reduce its lifespan. Perform regular roof maintenance to help it withstand hail damage. Secure any loose shingles and seal flashings when needed. Keep your roof free of moss and mildew. When it’s time to replace your roof, choosing Class 3 or Class 4 shingles will improve its impact resistance and may even make you eligible for an insurance discount.
4. Protect Windows
Windows, skylights, and glass doors could shatter during a hailstorm. You can protect these surfaces by installing exterior shutters or upgrading to impact-resistant windows. Alternatively, adding drapes or shades to your home interior can protect occupants from shards of glass if windows do break during a hailstorm.
5. Look for Chimney Cracks
An unstable chimney could topple or shear during the winds and pounding ice of a hailstorm. Check for a tilting chimney by looking to see if it’s starting to separate from your home. Also, look for masonry cracks that could indicate shifting soil and a weakened structure.
6. Upgrade Gutters and Drainage
One inch of rainfall on an average-sized house can mean nearly 1,000 gallons of water are carried through your gutters. Lightweight aluminum gutters are especially at risk for hail damage, and if your gutters fail, all of that water could end up in your basement or crawl space, or damage your foundation. Upgrade gutters to ones made from sturdy, impact-resistant materials. Installing a sump pump can also help protect your Colorado home from water damage and severe weather.
7. Add a Carport
A garage is the safest place for your vehicle during a hailstorm, and exposed cars face an average of $2,500 in damages, according to insurance claims. Adding a carport or car covers can help you protect your vehicle from the dents and broken windows that can occur during hailstorms.
8. Install Hail Guard on HVAC
Outdoor air conditioning compressors can become dented and mangled when hail hits the aluminum grating. If your HVAC system doesn’t already have a hail guard installed, check with the manufacturer for the best add-on protective covering.
9. Protect Roof Vents
Hail can damage rooftop exhaust systems and vents for the clothes dryer or water heater. This can cause fumes or carbon monoxide to build up in your home. Perform regular maintenance to make sure covers are securely in place and water seals are intact. Consider adding hail guards to protect vents from storms.
10. Install Hail-resistant Siding
The directional winds during a hailstorm can mean one or two sides of a home are dimpled and cracked after being pounded by hail. Vinyl siding is easily damaged, but homeowners can upgrade to impact-resistant siding made from fiber cement, engineered, wood, or steel.
Do you want to learn how to protect your home from severe weather threats? Get a free inspection from the basement waterproofing and foundation repair professionals at Complete Basement Systems.