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What to Know About Metal Roofs and Hail in Montana

Metal roofs and hail go together better than you might think. Metal roofs can handle Montana hail, even better than most other roofing types. Even in extreme weather situations, any damage to a metal roof will take the form of small dents but not puncture, tear, or break the roof.

Hail damage to a roof is usually not caused by the hail itself but the water that seeps through a roof after it's damaged by hail. If there's a crack in your roof, water can flow through it and cause severe damage to a building or home's interior and trigger long term problems such as mold and rot.

All roofing types, including shingles, tiles, and shakes, can be damaged by hail, but metal roofs are incredibly resistant to damage. If it occurs, any damage to a metal roof will likely be small cosmetic dents and not puncture the metal, cause structural problems, or compromise its integrity.

Factors That May Affect the Possibility of Hail Damage

Montana is known for its high winds and hail storms. When a storm does hit, certain factors determine how damage to a metal roof is deflected or weathered.

Strength of the Storm

The strength of the storm will determine the size of the hail that forms. Storms typically produce hail that is less than two inches in diameter. Metal roofs are tested in technical development to handle this volume of impact. Consider a metal roof with ribs or striations to deflect hail blows if you live in an area of Montana where more extreme hail is expected.

Metal Roof Styles

Similar to the way hail damage appears on an uncovered car, most of the dents occur where the surface is almost flat. On a metal roof, the steeper the slope, the less force hail can exert directly to the roof, and the less likely it will dent.

Structural Support

If your metal roof has sturdy support limiting how much the metal can flex, dents are less likely to form. If there is structural support, but the roof is open underneath, the metal can be pushed by the hail and may dent more easily.

Other factors that can determine the amount of hail damage a roof receives include the panels' structure, the metal's thickness, and the finish. Most damages will typically be cosmetic damages, like dents or scratches. Your insurance may provide coverage for cosmetic metal roof repair.

Insurance Claims for Hail Damage and Metal Roof Repair

Insurance companies often favor homes with metal roofs, offering reduced rates because they provide better protection against hail than more common roof types. If your roof has received hail damage or you want to prepare for if and when it does, review your insurance policy to know what it covers.

There are differences in all insurance plans, but most will include sections covering wind and hail damage. There are some policies that will only cover structural failure and not cosmetic damage. Other plans may offer a cash value if you need to replace your roof that decreases over time. Read the fine print of your plan so you know if you're covered when damage occurs or if you need to make changes to your insurance coverage.

Hail Damage Insurance Waiver

It's possible you were asked if you wanted to sign a waiver for wind and hail damage. By not signing the waiver, your insurance policy should protect your metal roof cosmetically and structurally. If you waive these potential damages, you could save on your premium, but you will lose your metal roof's guaranteed protection.

Your decision depends on a few factors:

  • Structure - Does your metal roof have a steep slope and is it made of a thick and ribbed metal? If so, you wouldn't need to worry about dents except in extreme situations, and signing the waiver may save some money.

  • Location - Hail is common in Montana and if you want your metal roof to continue looking like new despite the threat of hail in your area, consider not signing the waiver.

  • Value - If your metal roof is large and expensive, it's worth paying to protect it. Not signing the waiver will protect your investment and maintain your home's curb appeal and value.

How to file an insurance claim for your metal roof with hail damage:

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as you notice the damage.

  • Consult Montana's trusted roofing experts to meet with you and the insurance adjuster to evaluate the damage. America's Choice Inc can provide valuable insight into estimating repair costs and follow through to ensure any repairs or potential replacement match the original in strength and appearance.

At America's Choice, storm repair and consultations are something we handle daily. If a hail storm has hit your Montana home, you have found the right company. As experts in navigating the insurance claim process, our roofing company can work with you and your insurance provider to get you what you are rightfully due and get your roof repaired and back to pre-storm condition. We take pride in taking your roofing project from the first contact, through the insurance process, and to the completion of your roof with the best roofing products and services on the market.