The arrival of spring is a happy occasion, as the days grow longer and warmer, and the rains bring all the flora to vibrant life. But as every Denver resident knows, those April showers also have a dark side: hail storms. Depending on who you ask, Denver’s hail storm season lasts from mid-April until sometime around mid-August or mid-September. In particularly bad years, though, those four or five months can feel like years as storm after storm pummels the homes and livelihoods of folks across the Front Range. That’s because Denver lies within what meteorologists call “hail alley,” an area of the U.S. that sees more hail storms than any other.
But why does this happen? How costly are Denver’s frequent hail storms? And what can Denverites do to keep their families, their homes, and their livelihoods safe? At Elite Roofing, a significant part of our work involves inspecting, repairing, and even replacing roofs that have been severely damaged by Denver’s all-too-common hail storms. Because we’re so familiar with the incredible destruction caused by these storms, we’ve decided to put together a complete guide to Denver’s hail storm season to help our readers understand these powerful forces of nature—and how to prepare for them. Let’s get started!
To understand why Denver and the rest of hail alley see so much hail, it’s important to understand both what hail is and how it forms. At the most fundamental level, hail is ice that falls to the ground as precipitation. Hail forms inside severe thunderstorms due to updrafts, as raindrops are forced to higher altitudes where the temperature is much colder, causing the droplets to freeze into ice. These pieces of ice then collide with other droplets of rain, which freeze onto the fledgling hailstones and cause them to grow larger. When the hailstones are too heavy for the updrafts to support, either because the updraft becomes weaker or the hailstones grow larger, they fall to the ground as hail.
Hail formation is not necessarily uncommon. Many severe storms have updrafts that blow raindrops such that they freeze. However, oftentimes hail melts before reaching the ground. This can happen either due to warmer air temperatures closer to the ground or because the hailstones have so far to fall. A combination of these factors explains why Florida tends not to have many hail storms despite having the most thunderstorm-prone cities of any state. Florida is relatively low-lying and warm, meaning that while severe thunderstorms are quite common, hail has far to fall in warmer temperatures before reaching the ground.
This is why Denver sees damaging hail storms so often. To reach the Mile High City, hail has much less farther to fall and less time to melt into rain—we are, after all, as much as a mile closer to the hail here in Denver. In addition, mountain ranges see updrafts much more commonly, acting as an elevated heat source that pulls warm air up into the atmosphere. In other words, the high elevation paired with the nearby Rocky Mountains are a perfect storm for hail production—a storm with Denver and the rest of hail alley caught smack-dab in the center.
When it gets down to it, severe hail can have many negative effects on humans. However, that human cost usually doesn’t come in the form of a death toll. If you’re thinking “Can a hail storm kill you?,” you can find some solace knowing that deaths from being struck by hail are incredibly rare. The last hail-related death in Colorado occurred in 1979, while the most recent hail fatality in the United States overall was in 2000. Hail storms can certainly kill animals, however, and humans have been injured by hail often enough. For instance, a 2018 hail storm injured 14 people and killed five animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, near Colorado Springs.
Rather than looking at these storms in terms of casualties, however, the negative effects of hail are more commonly framed in terms of the damage done to homes and livelihoods. Hail storms commonly destroy crops and, yes, kill livestock caught out in the open, a tragedy that also severely harms the economic situations of farmers. And as we know all too well at Elite Roofing, Denver’s brutal hail storms can cause severe damage to the roofs of homes and businesses throughout the area. Hail damage to properties and vehicles in the Denver metro has been measured in the billions for particularly destructive storms, such as the May 2017 tempest that caused upwards of $2.3 billion in damages.
Weather reports on hail use a variety of comparisons in describing the size of hail. You might see minor hail storms produce “pea-sized” hail, while some of the more destructive storms on record have pelted areas with hail “the size of golf balls.” The National Weather Service even has a complete hail size chart, with comparisons to peas and marbles all the way up to grapefruits and softballs.
The largest hailstone ever recorded in the United States fell in Vivian, South Dakota, a hailstone that was nearly 8 inches in diameter. But with larger comparisons easily imaginable—like dodgeballs, basketballs, and beach balls—is this the upper limit? It’s difficult to say what the largest possible hailstone could be, especially with factors like climate change to consider. Some have theorized that climate change could result in fewer, but more severe hail storms, which could certainly break the above record. The important takeaway, though, is that hail can be quite variable, and it’s best to err on the side of caution when hail might be headed for your city.
When listening to weather forecasts, you may have identified a pattern with reporting on hail. Weather reports and news broadcasts tend to say that storms “could produce hail,” rather than offering more definitive information on how likely hail is to fall and how severe it could be. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), this is because “There is no clear distinction between storms that do and do not produce hailstones.” In fact, “Nearly all severe thunderstorms probably produce hail aloft,” but as noted in the previous section, hail often melts before striking the ground and causing damage.
Even so, there is a great deal of research currently studying how to better predict the likelihood of hail storms, as well as other factors such as the size of hail. The NSSL, for example, has worked on a technology called dual-polarization radar, which aims to better identify different kinds of precipitation. Many different research groups, including at the NSSL and other meteorology institutes, have formulated algorithms to aid forecasters in predicting hail. The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UC Boulder even has a project called CHAT dedicated to tracking and predicting hail accumulation—an unfortunately real and surprisingly common phenomenon that may have you breaking out your snow shovel in the spring and summer.
Even with these research efforts, however, hail remains difficult to predict, especially as to where it will fall. Hail tends to fall along relatively narrow swaths, similar to the path of a tornado. Because of this, the best advice may actually be to react to hail the way we do to potential tornadoes. After all, tornadoes are incredibly destructive, yet hard to predict in terms of where they’ll touch down—if they do at all. Thus for hail and tornadoes alike, it’s a good idea to pay attention to forecasts describing storms that could produce either of these weather events and prepare accordingly.
As readers well know, there’s really no way to avoid being affected by Denver’s frequent hail storms. Short of picking up and moving, these weather events are simply a fact of life—but that doesn’t mean Denver residents are helpless. There are several actions home and business owners can take to prepare for these storms and minimize the out-of-pocket costs incurred by hail damage.
One of the most essential ways to prepare ahead of time is through insurance coverage. For any Denver resident, it’s critical to make sure your home or business is covered by a policy that includes coverage for hail damage. You wouldn’t be alone in getting hail insurance, not by a long shot; Colorado is second only to Texas—a state more than twice its size—in terms of hail damage claims. And while insurance does carry a cost, hail damage is practically inevitable in Denver. Insurance coverage can help farmers recover crop losses, drivers recoup expenses from vehicle damage, and homeowners pay for a roof repair, costs that might otherwise drain a large portion of your savings or necessitate a loan.
As for more in-the-moment preparations, you may feel like the only thing you can do is hunker down when hail storms are predicted in your area. And it’s certainly true that you should stay indoors, as one of the reasons hail-related injuries have declined over the years is because meteorologists are able to warn people early on. If the hail storm is still a ways off, bring any outdoor machinery, vehicles, or appliances to a sheltered area. Be sure to park your car in a garage or carport, if you have one. Keep children and pets indoors and away from windows.
But besides these safety precautions, it’s also important to pay close attention to hail-related weather updates. This is because meteorologists will often describe the hail in terms of its size, color, or even its destructive capabilities. Large, clear-colored hailstones generally cause more damage than smaller, cloudier ones. If your local weather station describes the hail as pea-sized and cloudy, you likely won’t have to worry about damage to your roof or home. If the hail is larger or denser (and thus clear in color), be prepared to assess any damage to your home promptly.
After a hail storm passes, the clock starts ticking. This is because insurance claims for hail damage must typically be filed within a certain window of time. That makes paying attention to the destructive capabilities of the hail storm all the more important; if you know the hail was likely to damage your roof, a roof inspection becomes very necessary.
You can do a cursory visual inspection of your roof from the ground before calling in a professional roofer. First, look for any pieces of roofing that have fallen to the ground. This could include things such as shingles, chunks of tile, or pieces of flashing. Broken pieces of roofing material are the clearest evidence of damage to your roof. Next, you can look for more circumstantial evidence of damage. For example, take a look at other portions of your home’s exterior. If you find dented gutters, broken siding, and damaged decks or fencing, it’s very likely that your roof has sustained damage as well.
In doing this cursory inspection, it’s very important to stay off your roof. While walking on your roof is never a good idea at the best of times, it’s even more risky when your roof has just been hit by a hail storm. Walking around could worsen existing damage to your roof, and it’s generally best left to the experts. If you note any signs of hail damage to your roof, it’s important to schedule a professional inspection promptly. Even if you don’t notice damage, it’s good to err on the side of caution, as an experienced roofer will be able to identify signs that you may have missed.
Hail storms can be a stressful time. These damaging weather events can put families and livelihoods at risk, and that risk is even greater here in Denver because of our hail alley location. The Elite Roofing team is locally based, so we personally understand just how scary it can be to know your roof may be damaged. That’s why we offer free roof inspections after hail storms: to give folks the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what’s happened to their roof and how to make it good as new again. If you think your roof has been damaged by recent hail storms, or if you want to make sure it’s ready for the Denver hail storm season, contact us today for a free inspection!
It doesn’t get much better than springtime in the Rockies. As we all thaw out from the winter and begin planning for our favorite summer activities, we also need to start preparing for Colorado’s infamous storm season. With it comes beautiful lightning shows, major rain falls, gale-force winds and even heavy hail storms.
The first major storm of 2019 hit the Front Range on the evening of June 8, packing a major punch and leaving a lot of damage in its wake. While we have experienced small hail and wind storms already this year, Saturday storm was by far the biggest. Tennis ball sized hail was reported around 7:15 pm, just 3 miles from the heart of Castle Rock. In addition to the Castle Rock hail damage, Henderson, Lafayette, Brighton and other Northern Denver suburbs were also hit with major hail damage.
Was your property hit by Saturday’s storm? If so, chances are, you sustained at least some degree of damage. The good news is however, minor hail or wind damage is not always indicative of the need of repairs. While we always recommend leaving roof hail damage inspections to the professionals, there are some signs you can look for from a safe vantage point on the ground. We encourage you to walk the perimeter of your property and to check for signs of hail or wind damage, not only to your roof but, to your vehicles, windows, siding and other vulnerable areas. When observing your roof, look for the following:
If you see any of these signs, it’s a good idea to contact a Castle Rock roofing company to schedule a professional inspection.
One major mistake homeowners makes is not acting quickly after sustaining storm damage. This is a concern for several reasons:
Depending on your insurance coverage, you have a specific amount of time in which you can make an insurance claim following an incident. While this grace period will differ from provider to provider and policy to policy, you have a predetermined amount of time to make your claim. Putting things off can place you in danger of not being able to file a claim.
In addition, by allowing your Castle Rock hail damage to remain unaddressed, you run the risk of having a larger problem on your hands in the future. Erosion of shingle damage can continue, causing a compounding problem. A small leak today can become larger water damage in just a matter of days or weeks as summer storms continue. In other words, what may begin as a minor roof repair can quickly become a major problem, or even a roof replacement, before you know it.
At Elite Roofing, we are proud to be Castle Rock’s leader in storm damage repair. Our experienced team is here to help you through every stage of the process. Don’t allow a small issue to become a costly problem, schedule your free, no-obligation roofing inspection today!
Did we mention that while we’re on your property, our professional roofing inspector will also provide a comprehensive inspection of your windows, siding, fencing and gutters? Allow us to help you determine if Saturday’s storm did in fact cause property damage that needs to be repaired. Schedule your free inspection today!
Is your roof in need of a repair or replacement? Or perhaps you’re not quite sure? In either case, now is the time to find the best roofers in your area and schedule a roofing inspection. Why the rush? As we look ahead to spring, hundreds if not thousands of home owners in your area will be taking to the web searching for ‘best roofers near me’ as the busy season begins. By putting off your request for an inspection, you will unfortunately be in line behind a long list of area property owners and risk having a limited selection of roofing companies from which to choose.
The roofing industry has a very distinct ‘busy season.’ While it can differ from region to region, busy season is during warm weather months when temperatures range from 40° to 85°. When high and low temperatures remain consistently in this range, roofing contractors can work as many as 7 days a week replacing and repairing roofs. Here in Colorado, this means that roofing contractors are in prime busy season from late spring into mid-fall.
The best roofers in your area are already beginning to plan for their busy season. These companies in high demand begin preparing months in advance, lining up project managers and crews while helping property owners select roofing products and, in some cases, interfacing with insurance companies on their behalf. If you suspect that you will be in need of either a roof replacement or repair when warmer weather prevails, we encourage you to complete the search for ‘best roofers near me’ and schedule your inspection today.
Any reputable roofer will provide a free, no-obligation inspection, so you have nothing to lose. Your professional inspection will help you determine if you should be planning for a roof repair or replacement when warm weather arrives. You may very well discover that your roof is in good shape and will not need any service in the near future. If, however, you find that you’re in need of a repair or replacement, you will be able to make arrangements to be included in your roofing contractor’s production schedule.
Don’t make the mistake so many property owners do. Find a leading roofing contractor in your area today, before they are backed up for weeks or even months.
At Elite Roofing, we are proud to be Denver’s top roofing contractor. Having served property owners throughout Colorado for more than a decade, we are the roofing contractor of choice for discerning area property owners. As Denver’s favorite roofers, we are already beginning to plan for the spring and our production schedule is filling up quickly. If you are going to be in need of a roofing inspection this spring, contact us today.
Don’t put it off another day, schedule your free, no-obligation roofing inspection now!
At Elite Roofing, we often hear from concerned homeowners during the spring/summer Colorado storm season. From strong wind gusts to hail damage, these storms often leave plenty of property damage in their wake. If you suspect that you’ve sustained hail damage, we encourage you to take note of today’s post.
Depending on the type and intensity of a hail storm, the aftermath can be extremely varied. Like any property damage, you have a limited amount of time to make an insurance claim after hail damage has occurred. This is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs and varying degrees of hail damage.
Sign of Denver Hail Damage
As leading Denver roofers, one of the most important pieces of advice we give homeowners is to avoid climbing or walking on a roof. Not only do you run the risk of a dangerous fall, damage or deteriorating roofs may not be able to support your weight. Leave the roofing inspection to the experts. However, there are several signs you can check for from a safe vantage point. If you suspect you have notable Denver hail damage, we encourage you to check for the following from ground level:
What is Hail?
Before we get into the different types of hail, let’s first establish what we mean when we say hail. Hail is a type of precipitation that forms during thunderstorms when updrafts push raindrops higher into the atmosphere into freezing temperatures. The raindrops then freeze forming small balls of ice. For frozen precipitation to be categorized as hail, it has to have a diameter greater than 5mm. To the untrained eye, hail is hail. However, the size, color and clarity of hail is actually indicative of just how destructive is can be.
Believe it or not, the clarity of hail is a big indicator of potential damage. Next time you’re hit with hail, make note of the color. If it’s clear, it’s essentially solid ice which poses a much bigger threat than cloudy pieces of hail. The density of a clear piece of hail can pack a big punch.
Cloudy or white hail is full of air molecules and is therefore less dense. These pieces of hail break easily and cause much less damage upon impact.
Aside from color, it’s also important to also consider the size of the hail you received. If the hail was pea-size you can rest assured that your property is safe, regardless of the level of clarity. However, a marble-size piece of clear hail can actually pose a bigger threat than a golf ball size piece of cloudy hail.
As you assess damage after a hail storm, be sure and take note of the color and size of the hail.
Reporting Denver Hail Damage
If you suspect that recent hail activity has damaged your property, it’s important to talk to a roofing professional before contacting your insurance provider. An experience professional can help you determine if your damage is extensive enough to warrant a claim. At Elite Roofing we’re proud to offer free, no-obligation roof inspections. Together we can help you determine your best course of action. Let’s get started today!
If you’re exploring your options for a low slope commercial roofing product, EPDM is a great solution to consider. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a synthetic rubber used to create a watertight roofing membrane. One of the most durable commercial roofing products on the market today, property owners can expect to get upwards of 30 years of use out of an EPDM system.
A commercial roof is considered low slope if it has a slope less than or equal to 3:12, or 14 degrees. Low slopes require special, water impermeable roofing applications. The durability of an EPDM membrane make it an ideal solution for low slope commercial roofs.
At Elite Roofing we’re proud to work exclusively with VersiGard® EPDM membranes. Having been in the industry for more than 50 years, Verigard has earned a reputation as the leader in the space. In fact, they offer an unprecedented 30-year warranty on their EPDM commercial roofing systems. This is precisely why we are proud to offer VersiGard solutions to our customers.
Not only do these systems come with a 30-year warranty, they can easily be repaired. Commercial property owners are often able to further extend the life of an EPDM with a low-cost repair. Forget replacing your low-slope commercial roof again in 15 or 20 years, invest in a roofing system that will last upwards of 30.
If you’re wondering if EPDM is in fact the right choice for your low slope roof, in most cases it’s safe to assume that it is. However, it is always a good idea to consult a roofing professional. At Elite Roofing we are proud to offer free, no-obligation roofing inspections. Allow one of our highly experienced commercial roofing specialists to inspect your roof and help you determine if EPDM is in fact the right solution for your needs.
Contact us today to schedule your complimentary roof inspection and learn about all the commercial roofing applications we offer. In the meantime, we also encourage you to learn more about the benefits of EPDM:
The 2017 Colorado storm season has proven to be yet another for the record books. In fact, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the storm that tore through Denver on May 8, was Denver’s most expensive catastrophe in history. The group estimated that insurers responded to more than 150,000 auto claims and 50,000 homeowner claims totaling at an estimated $1.4 billion in damage.
At Elite Roofing, we have helped thousands of homeowners repair hail damage caused by this and other severe storms. We often hear from homeowners who are concerned that hail has compromised the integrity of their roof. While this may very well be the case, it’s important to consult an expert before involving your insurance company.
Once you have reached out to your insurance provider to inquire about hail damage, the claims process is already in motion. Even if your insurer does end up reimbursing you for repairs, your claim will be a part of your record with your insurance provider moving forward. This is why it’s a good idea to have a professional inspection completed before contacting your insurance provider.
The information provided by your roof inspector will serve you well should you choose to go through with a hail damage claim. You will have a better understanding of the extent of the damage to your roof as you interface with your insurer and negotiate the terms of your claim. You may also find that your damage is not extensive enough to warrant contacting your insurer, saving you from making an unnecessary claim.
Depending on the type of roof you currently have, you will need to look for different signs of hail damage. Regardless of your roofing material, you may also notice signs of hail damage to other parts of your property. Look for dents or damage to your AC unit, roof vents, sky lights, window screens, gutters and downspouts. If you notice signs of hail damage, chances are your roof also sustained damage.
The most common type of residential roofing material, asphalt roofs will show the following signs of hail damage:
Metal roofs are designed to hold up to severe weather, they can however sustain damage from strong hail storms. The good news is, hail damage is very easy to identify on metal roofs. A professional will simply look for dents and help you determine if the damage is extensive enough to make a claim.
Though traditional shake is no longer commonly used, these beautiful cedar roofs can still be found in many areas. If your shake roof was recently hit by hail, look for the following signs:
Yet another durable material designed to stand up to Mother Nature, tile roofs can also sustain damage in severe hail storms. Watch for these signs of hail damage:
If you suspect that you have sustained damage from this summer’s storms, we encourage you to contact us right away. If left for too long, you run the risk that your insurance provider will not cover the damage. Allow one of our skilled inspectors to help you determine if you should consider filing a claim. At Elite Roofing, we are proud to offer free, no-obligation roofing inspections. Book yours today. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
Roof hail damage can cause serious problems. Once the integrity of a roof is compromised, the entire building structure is at risk for multitude of issue including water damage and high susceptibility to wind damage. If you suspect that your roof may have been compromise by recent hail storm activity, now is the time to investigate.
What Does Roof Hail Damage Look Like?
Depending on the type of roofing you have, roof hail damage can manifest itself in different ways.
Hail Damage to Wood Shingles
Hail Damage to Asphalt Shingles
While you can often identify roof hail damage from a ladder or area of high elevation, we encourage you to be cautious. Climbing on your roof to survey the damage can be dangerous. At Elite Roofing we instead recommend contacting a roofing specialist.
Has Your Roof Been Compromised?
If you see any signs of damage to your roof, from displaced singles to divots in your roofing material, chances are your roof is in need of repair or replacement. In many cases your homeowner’s policy will help to cover most if not all of the damage. Do not risk further damage to your home in the next big storm. Request a free roof inspection.
Schedule Your Free Roof Inspection Today!
At Elite Roofing we are the premiere hail damage experts in the area. We have helped thousands of homeowners repair and/or replace their roofs after sustaining serious hail damage. Allow us to walk you through every step of the process. Contact us today and schedule your free, no obligation roof inspection!
Would you like to learn more about how to care for and protect your roof from severe weather? Be sure and follow our blog! As your go-to roofing experts, we are here to educate and inform!
This storm season is already packing a big punch! Our teams in Colorado and Texas are hard at work helping property owners repair damaged roofs and begin the process of filing hail damage insurance claims. With more than 15 years of experience in the residential and commercial roofing industry, we have helped thousands of property owners through this process. If your roof has recently sustained hail damage, now is the time to act. Have questions? We have answers!
Check out this guide to hail damage insurance claims and rest easy. By taking a few simple steps, you can protect your property and walk through the insurance claims process like a pro.
After the Storm
Note the time and date that the storm hit your property. Immediately after the storm, make sure it is safe to go outdoors. Listen to your local news to ensure thestorm threat has passed and make sure you do not see signs of downed trees or power lines. One you have determined that it is safe to step outside, you will need to survey the damage. Take pictures with a digital camera or cell phone, ensuring that you accurately document the extent of the destruction.
Only venture onto your roof if you feel it is safe. You should be able to check for damage and take photos from a ladder, without the need to get onto your roof. If you suspect that your roof has sustained damage, it is best to call a professional for further inspection.
Schedule Your Roofing Inspection
Before reaching out to your insurance provider, contact a reputable roofing company in your area and request an inspection. An experienced professional will be able to tell you just how much damage your roof sustained and advise you as to whether you should file an insurance claim.
Make sure you are home during your inspection to ask questions. If the roofing contractor suggests repairs or replacement, they should be able to explain their reasoning and show you physical signs of damage. Do not make any decisions at this time, if you are asked to sign anything, do not! You will need to first contact your insurance company.
Filing Hail Damage Insurance Claims
If you decide that you would like to move forward with filing a hail damage insurance claim, you will need to have information readily available when you contact your carrier.
Be Prepared to Provide
Once your hail damage insurance claim has been filed, you will be given a claim number and assigned a claims examiner as well as an adjuster. The adjuster will set an appointment to visit your home and assess the damage. If you would like to work with the roofing contractor you have already contacted, it is a good idea to arrange for the contractor and your adjustor look at the damage together. Once the inspection is complete, your adjustor will complete a report and deliver their findings to your examiner. The examiner will then review the findings and get back to you will the final results of your claim.
Schedule Your Free Roof Inspection Today!
At Elite Roofing we are prepared to work with you through every step of the hail damage insurance claim process, from the initial inspection to interfacing with the insurance company on your behalf. We will make the entire process as simple and stress-free as possible. If you suspect that your roof has sustained damage in recent storm activity, contact us today to schedule your free inspection!
If you would like to learn more about the care and protection of your roof, be sure and follow our blog. As your premiere Denver roofing contractors, we are here to educate and inform! While you’re here, don’t miss these recent posts:
*NOTE: ELITE ROOFING IS NOT A PUBLIC ADJUSTER AND DOES NOT ACT AS ONE WHEN WORKING ON OUR CLIENTS’ BEHALF.*