Hailstorms can come out of nowhere – like that one in early July – leaving you feeling unprepared and worried about potential damage. They may be short-lived, but they can wreak havoc on homes, vehicles and landscaping. And while there is usually not much we can do once the storm has started, there are proactive measures that you can take to help minimize the risk of damage from these surprise storms. The most important thing to remember is to stay out of the storm. Even if you left a window down in the car, it’s not worth the risk of getting hit and injured by the hail.
Most of these tips are fairly easy and low-cost, and can save you a huge headache in the next Calgary storm.
So, what can you do before the storm?
Maintain trees and shrubbery
This is a chore that will not only keep your yard looking nice and sharp, it can also prevent branches from falling on your roof or your vehicle (or your garden!). Make sure to keep branches trimmed and promptly remove branches that overstep their reach and are hanging over your house or driveway.
Store outdoor furniture
If you don’t use your furniture often, try to get in the habit of storing it in a shed or garage when it is not in use. If you do use the furniture regularly and don’t want to haul it back and forth, try tying them together with a cable. The combined weight of the furniture will prevent any chairs from flying away and damaging your home or vehicle.
Keep gutters clean
Your gutters are the only thing that ensures precipitation is properly drained from your roof and away from your home. It’s important to keep these free of debris so that water can flow freely, even in light rain storms. This will prevent your home from incurring water damage in addition to hail damage.
Inspect roofs regularly
While it’s recommended to have a professional roof inspection done every year (this is a service usually offered for free), you can also inspect your roof from the ground on a more frequent basis. Look for shingle granules in the down spout and curled, broken or missing shingles. If you see anything, even it if seems minor, make sure you have it repaired right away. Usually these issues can be fixed quickly and easily.
What should you do after the storm?
Assess the damage
Depending on the intensity of the storm, there is a chance that your home or vehicle could have sustained damage. It’s best to go inspect for damage as soon as possible once the storm has ended. You’ll want to be aware of the damage and you’ll also want to take preventative measures the ensure that no further damage is incurred.
If the damage is severe enough, you’ll likely want to file an insurance claim. If so, you’ll need proof if that the hail has caused damage to your property. If the damage is on your roof, it’s recommended to bring out a roofing professional for a free inspection and quote to repair or replace your roof.
Once you have the pictures and the quote, you can go ahead and notify your insurance company. They should provide you with detailed instructions on how to file the claim. We recommend filing your claim as soon as possible as the longer you wait, the harder it is to prove that it was hail that caused the damage.
Make sure to keep any receipts for materials or labour to repair the damage in a safe pace. These will serve as proof of damage costs for your insurance company.
As we all know, in Calgary storms can strike out of nowhere and with little to no warning. By preparing yourself with the list of tips in this guide, you can minimize the stress and worries associated with storms.