In the midst of a massive rainstorm, hailstones can start dropping suddenly and without warning. Though there is no easy way to tell if an impending storm will create hail, there are a few things you can do to prevent extensive commercial property damage.

First off, you’ll want to take precautions to protect yourself and your employees. Your roof’s vulnerability to hail damage depends on several factors. The size of the hailstones, the length and severity of the storm, the intensity of the wind, the material your roof is made of and its age, will all play a role in preventing severe damage.

The Commercial Roof

The newer your roof is, the less likely it is to sustain severe damage since modern roofing materials are made to be much more durable. However, even if your roof is new, under extreme conditions, it can still be damaged. Though your roof may look pristine after the storm has passed, there may be unobservable damage that’s best to have checked out by a professional.

Make That Phone Call

If you suspect you may have even minimal hail damage, contact a professional as soon as possible to have your roof inspected. The damage left behind by hail may not be visibly apparent unless you are trained to know what to look for. There may be small cracks and holes which, over time, can lead to leaks inside the building. If you wait too long to take care of the problem and then file for insurance, your claim may be denied.

Survey Surrounding Area

Even though you may not be able to assess the condition of a commercial roof yourself, you may be able to see signs in the surrounding area. Debris may be present; an indication you should have your roof evaluated for hail damage by a qualified professional. Surrounding neighborhood may have vehicles dented or signs of damage to landscaping or trees. Check the building siding for signals that heavy hail was in the area and may have compromised rooftops, including your own.

Document What You See

As you assess the area for signs of hail, take photos and videos of what you see. If possible, photograph remaining hailstones alongside a ruler or object to show the scale. Your documentation will be helpful when filing an insurance claim as well as be a useful reference for the inspector.

A heavy hailstorm can cause substantial damage. Since there is little you can do to control Mother Nature, it pays to be prepared. Your roof is important, but your most important priority is your safety and the safety of your employees. It’s good to have a storm plan and to seek professional guidance once the weather has cleared. If your commercial property roof is showing its age, consider having it replaced. Roofing products are continuously improving, and you have many options when it comes to selecting durable materials proven to be reliable for longer periods of time.