Learning Center

Recovering from Hail Storm Damage

Stay safe in the hail stormholes from hail in siding

Hail can occur in any strong thunderstorm, which means it is a threat everywhere. When hail hits, it can shred roof coverings and cause water damage to your ceilings, walls, floors, appliances and personal possessions. Knowing which roof coverings resist impact well can save you trouble and money.

Know your limits

  • Most roofing jobs are not for the do-it-yourselfer. Unless you have experience in replacing roof coverings, hire a professional roofing contractor.
  • Before you reroof, check with your local building officials about local building codes.

Understand your roof covering

If you are replacing your old, worn-out roof covering with new asphalt shingles, make sure they have a Class 4 rating under Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) 2218 standard. A Class 4 rating tells you a sample of the products did not crack when hit twice in the same area by a two-inch steel ball.

The UL 2218 standard is a useful method for testing impact resistance, but it isn't perfect and works better for some roof coverings than for others. The UL standard measures whether a product cracks under impact. Some roof coverings, particularly some made of metal, may resist cracking, but can be dented and dimple.

So, while they test well, they may perform poorly in practice. Keep this in mind when using the UL standard to gauge the quality of a roof covering.

Stay safe in the storm

If you are indoors when a storm with large hailstones strikes, stay there. Because large pieces of hail can shatter windows, close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside. Stay away from skylights and doors. If you are outside, move immediately to a place of shelter.

For more information about protecting your home from hail damage, visit the Institute for Business & Home Safety or contact your American Family Insurance agent.



These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. Compliance with these recommendations is not a guarantee that you will be in conformance with any building code, federal, state or local regulation regarding safety or fire. Compliance with these recommendations does not ensure the absolute safety of your occupation, business or residence. It is the property owner’s duty to warn any tenants or occupants of the property of any safety hazards that may exist.

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