Having a roof that's hail storm ready is like having a body that's ready for a boxing match - the more prepared you are, the fewer scars you'll have when you emerge from the fight.
If your roof isn't in tip-top shape, it won't hold-up as well as it could have had you been prepared.
Before hail storm season, you should ask yourself if your roof is hail storm ready. In order to answer this question, you should look at your roof, or have it inspected by a roofing professional, to determine its current condition. If it's found to have problems, get them fixed right away to prevent further damage and more costly repairs.
1. Before and after photos
If it's been a while since you've looked at your roof, it might be nice to have before and after hail storm photos so you know how much damage the hail storm caused. Even if the hail storm didn't produce large stones or cause any damage to your roof, you might appreciate documenting how your roof is aging and wearing.
2. Check your roof for existing damage
a. missing granules
If you notice a lot of granules on the ground, this is a sure sign of worn out asphalt shingles. Replace them right away. You should get your roof replaced before the next rain to prevent further damage to your roof and house.
Falling debris, such as from tree branches, can puncture your roof and create leaks. Here in Colorado, strong winds can pick-up other objects, such as patio furniture, and deposit them onto your roof, puncturing it. You should check for holes in your roof before the next storm, to prevent further damage to your roof and house.
c. water damage
If your roof has past water damage, and you didn't get around to fixing it, get it fixed before the next rain or hail storm. Putting-off repairs will only create further damage to your roof and cost more to fix.
d. damaged shingles
If you notice loose or damaged shingles, secure the loose shingles, and repair or replace the damaged ones right away. A rain or hail storm will only loosen or damage these shingles more, costing you more money later.
3. Check roof age
Check the age of your roof. If you know it's approaching the end of its life, get it inspected by a professional roofing company. A professional roofer will be able to tell you if your roof has 10 or 5 years left in it, or if it's time for a reroof.
4. Overhanging Trees
Check overhanging trees for either dead branches that could fall onto your roof, and/or branches that are too close to your roof that might rub on it in the wind and cause damage. Trim those branches, or have them trimmed, so they don't create a problem for you later.
5. Is your roof insured?
Most homeowner insurance policies cover roofs from hail damage, minus your deductible. Contact your insurance provider to make sure you're covered. If it isn't, add it to your homeowner insurance policy.
Note that most insurance companies won't help with damage resulting from lack of roof maintenance, or general wear and age.
Also ask your insurance provider if there are any limitations of coverage for your roof. Some homeowner insurance policies exclude hail from being covered. This means a hail storm damaged roof don't be covered and you will be responsible to pay for 100% of the roof repairs or replacement.
A roof that is hail storm ready is one that is damage-free, doesn't leak, isn't missing most of its granules, isn't old, isn't in danger of trees rubbing on it, and is insured. If you don't know the current condition of your roof, have a look at it or get it inspected right away. Repairs done now will save you money and headache later.