As a lawyer who handles property insurance claims I am often asked how to determine whether a roof has suffered hail damage.
Damage from hail usually has a distinct mark. Some examples are below. It will bruise or mark the granules or the gravel on a commercial built up roof. It may also cause dents in the soft metals on a roof, including the vents or the fins of an HVAC units. Finally it may cause punctures or marks to the exterior insulation and finishing systems (EIFS).
As shown in the photograph, some hail marks can be difficult to discern. It is important that you conduct a thorough examination for hail. Left untreated, even a small hail mark can lead to problems. Once the fibers or the membrane of a roof are compromised by hail the erosion process will accelerate and lead to a shorter life span for the roof.
There are only a few things that will cause damage to a commercial roof. Oftentimes an insurance adjuster will examine a roof following a hailstorm and deny a claim by blaming the damage on “wear and tear” or “mechanical damage.” I have even had insurance adjusters deny a hail claim by blaming the damage on pigeon droppings!! If you suspect you have hail damage it is important to have your own expert examine your roof.
Your expert may indeed find wear and tear or mechanical damage; BUT your expert may also see evidence of hail among the other damage.
In order to have a claim you must be able to prove that the damage occurred in your policy period and that it caused “functional” damage. Again you will need an expert to assist with this determination. An expert will mark a 10’ by 10’ section of your roof (called a test square). Then he/she will count the hits in that square. Keep in mind that not all sections of the roof will be struck by hail in a uniform manner. An entire section may have extensive hail damage while another section shows none. This may be especially true on sloped roofs.
I have worked with many of the most reputable and thorough roof experts in Texas. My experts typically represent only the policyholder and they are very good at holding property insurance companies accountable.
If you have a property damage claim, call me. I will help you navigate the claims process.
“ Tim represented us in a dispute with our insurance company over roof damage due to a hail storm in the Dallas area. We were very disheartened by the constant denials and dishonest treatment we were receiving from the insurance carrier, and Tim counseled us to remain patient while he systematically put together expert opinions and facts that supported our claim. Eventually we were able to settle our case and...
Law & Litigation “Tim’s knowledge and insight regarding not just the law, but business and human nature in general was greatly appreciated and relied upon as we navigated through a difficult situation. Tim has my utmost admiration and respect both on a personal and professional basis.”
“When faced with the prospect of complex business litigation in Dallas County district court, Mr. Hoch came highly recommended. In short order, he was able to quickly understand and master the details of our case and map out a very cost-effective, efficient legal strategy. After a series of quick wins in court, our opponent came to the table with a highly satisfactory settlement. Mr. Hoch’s ability to effectively tell a...
“We have hired Tim Hoch for a number of different legal matters including property insurance claims and collection matters. He understands our business and the need for quick, cost efficient results. Tim has a no nonsense approach when dealing with legal matters. In my business, that approach is refreshing. We look forward to using Tim in the future to handle our litigation.”