The roof of an Allstate insured home with hail & windstorm damage

Preventing Windstorm and Hail Damage to Your Home

In some areas of the country, wind gusts over 50 mph aren't uncommon. Add in the possibility of hailstones up to 1.5" in diameter and you need to be sure your house or rental property can withstand a pounding in the form of hail storms or windstorms.

Whether you're building a new house or doing periodic maintenance, upfront planning is key to your home's ability to dig in its heels against hail damage and windstorms. In particular, your roof, windows, and doors need to withstand the toughest weather that Mother Nature unleashes where you live.

Tools to Minimize Wind & Hail Damage

  • Roofs—Strength from the Inside-Out

  • During a windstorm, a primary goal is routing the wind's force from the roof down the walls, then to the ground. If your sheathing and gables aren't up to the challenge, your roof might end up in the neighbor's yard.

    Sheathing is the wood, plywood, or wafer board nailed to the rafters or trusses of the roof. You can think of it as the part of your house your shingles rest upon. Some sheathing fails simply because nails haven't been properly affixed to rafters—during installation, the contractor may simply miss hitting the truss with the nail or may inadvertently use nails that are too short to "anchor" the sheathing.

    • You can get a good idea of how your sheathing's holding up by trekking up to the attic for a thorough visual inspection.
    • If your attic's prone to condensation, be sure to check for sheathing that's delaminating (plywood) or swollen (wafer board). Ask your contractor about secondary moisture barriers that can limit the delaminating and swelling that affect roof sheathing.
    • Take advantage of your contractor's expertise—find out what sheathing material offers the best wind protection in your area. Paying more now make may sense when weighed against the possible costs of windstorm damage later.

    Gables are the side walls of the roof. If your gables aren't properly braced, strong winds can cause them to collapse. The most common method of bracing entails placing 2x4" wood pieces in an X pattern from the top center of the end gable to the bottom of the brace of the fourth truss and from the bottom center of the end gable to the peak of the roof.

    Sheathing's an important component of a wind-resistant roof, but during hail storms, it's your home's shingles that may end up damaged. Impact-resistant asphalt shingles are a popular option against hail damage claims, owing to their ability to weather a hailstorm unharmed. Studies show that impact-resistant shingles can remain undamaged through 1.5" diameter hail, even though metal vents exposed to the same hail sustain large dents.

  • Windows and Doors—Precautions Help Keep Rain and Wind Out

  • Windows and doors can often be the most direct route for high winds to enter your house, causing severe damage to your walls and roof—and potentially ruining your family's personal possessions.

    One of the most effective ways to protect windows—and keep you and your family safe from breaking and flying glass—is installing wind shutters (sometimes called hurricane shutters), protective coverings specifically designed to completely cover window and door glass openings during high winds. While some homeowners build their own wind shutters (typically using 5/8"-thick exterior grade plywood), information about custom-built options is widely available online.

    Another option is purchasing pressure or impact rated windows. Besides protecting your home's interior from water and wind damage, they also increase its overall structural stability, reducing the risk of destructive structural failure from hurricane winds.

    For doors in high-wind areas, at least one double door should be secured with heavy-duty bolts both at the top of the frame and at the floor. Be aware, though, that the bolts included with most doors aren't strong enough to withstand high winds. Check with a hardware store for heavier-duty bolts. The door's manufacturer may also sell a reinforcing bolt kit specifically made for your door. The manufacturer may also make pressure- or impact-rated doors that are designed to offer increased wind protection.

    Doors installed to open outwards reduce the chance of the door blowing open in high wind. Inward rushing wind can cause pressure changes in your house, changes that can actually cause wall and roof structural failures.

Quality Insurance—Smart Shelter in Any Storm

Allstate homeowners insurance and renters insurance help protect your property and belongings, even against catastrophes. Get an easy no-obligation homeowners insurance quote, find an agent near you, or call us at 1-866-621-6900 to see how Allstate can help you save on property insurance.

Allstate Landlord Property Insurance protects your rental property with coverage designed to fit the specific needs of landlords. For more information or expert guidance, call us at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828), or find an agent near you to see how Allstate Landlord Property Insurance can help.

Catastrophes can take their toll on cars, too. So take Allstate auto insurance for a spin. From auto insurance discounts on everything from safe driving to multiple policies, Allstate auto insurance gives you great protection at a great price.

Savings will vary. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company, Allstate New Jersey Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate County Mutual, and Northbrook Indemnity Company. © 2011 Allstate Insurance Company. Northbrook, IL.
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