Protect Your Home and Car from Hail
Learn how to prevent damage caused by heavy hailstorms.
Protecting your possessions is simple, but often depends on planning. Choose the right materials when building, keep tabs on the weather, and park your car somewhere safe—here’s how:
Hail often occurs during a thunderstorm. It forms when strong winds carry raindrops high into the atmosphere, where they freeze into various-size droplets and fall back to earth. The average hailstone is about the size of a pea or marble. But falling at considerable speed, it can damage your home and car. To determine your needed level of protection, recognize the frequency of hailstorms in your area. From there, follow these guidelines to keep your home and car safe.
Protect Your Home
A good roof is your home’s first defense against hail. To evaluate yours, consider the following:
- If you live in a hail-prone area, inspect your shingles for wind or hail damage. Also inspect other areas, such as gutters, downspouts, siding and trim, for hail dings.
- Impact-resistant roofing reduces the number of insurance claims by 40 percent, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety. Slate, metal, modified asphalt and concrete tile are the most impact-resistant roofing materials. Materials rated UL 2218 or FM 4473 Class 3 or 4 have been proven able to withstand hail.
Siding also is vulnerable to hail damage. One popular choice for durability is fiber cement siding. This material is an extremely strong compound made from water, wood pulp, fly ash and portland cement.
Protect Your Car
A hailstorm can severely damage or even total your car. Try these tips to help minimize or prevent damage:
- For the best protection, park in a covered garage or parking ramp.
- If you can’t park in a garage, park near a building, facing the source of the storm. (If the storm comes from the north, park on the south side of a building, with your windshield facing north.) The building offers some protection.
- Hail blankets and inflatable protectors can help prevent damage. These can cost $300 and up, but they may be smart investments if hail is frequent in your area and you don’t have access to a garage.