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On average, hail causes around $1 billion in property damage each year. A significant amount of that damage is to our homes, primarily a roofing system which includes home gutter systems. In the U.S., hail most commonly occurs in the central region stretching from North Dakota through Texas, Wyoming and Colorado. Areas around the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River also have frequent occurrences. Hailstorms are most common from May through September, but can occur at any time of the year when conditions are right.
One of the most memorable storms of last year happened in Denver in May, when a Colorado Rockies game had to be rescheduled due to golf-ball-size and even larger-size hailstones covering the field. Broken windows in homes, businesses and cars were reported. Other damage included broken siding and roofing damage. Anytime a roof has hail damage, you should assume your gutters are damaged too. Most gutters are aluminum and, as much as they are made to withstand rain, snow and ice, falling hail that exerts enough pressure to break a car window or dent a shingle can dent a gutter.
Storms outside of the traditional summer hail season are not uncommon. One that covered a large portion of the I-95 corridor in Virginia happened in February 2017. Most of the hail from this storm was an inch or less, but that doesn’t mean home gutter systems weren’t damaged because of the storm. In fact, many homeowners reported significant damage to their personal property.
Another out-of-season storm that did significant damage throughout Greeneville and Spartanburg counties in South Carolina in March dropped hail from 1-2 inches in size. Damage was reported to homes and cars, and caused power outages. When hail of that size falls, you’re going to see dimpled gutters. If you have sectional gutters, you may even see split seams. When you contact your insurance company about roof damage, be sure to mention that you have gutters that may also be damaged.
One of the storms this past summer that saw the largest hailstones was in WaKeeney, Kansas. Residents reported hailstones the size of tennis balls and softballs. Damage was significant. In one of the images from this article, you can actually see the gutter with holes and a portion ripped off the home.
Even the leading roofing brands and top-rated gutter guards can be damaged as a result of hail, but homeowners insurance policies generally cover hail damage. If you suspect your home sustained damage from a hailstorm, be sure to contact your insurance company before making any repairs. Your gutters are included as part of your home, and your adjustor should include your gutters, downspouts and gutter covers in his inspection. If not, point out any damage you see and make sure that if your gutter covers are damaged, a replacement cost is included for those as well. Then call Gutter Helmet at 919-694-4191 so you can get top-rated gutter guards on your home!