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Calls continue to pour in at Shake Guys after a hail storm affected northern Illinois’s cedar roofs on August 2nd, 2015. Wind driven 1.5” to 2.5” wide hail was recorded in Arlington Heights, Inverness, Lake Forest, Libertyville, St. Charles and other communities. This article is here to serve as an answers page to the three biggest questions on the minds of residents in Chicagoland:

Each of the questions above are keeping us busy here at Shake Guys! We know that all Chicagoland roofing companies are busy after the storm but few of us deal solely with cedar shake roofing and that this material is affected differently by storms like this. If you need a specialist, a roofer who knows cedar shake inside out, then do your roof a favor and call us today to schedule a FREE roof exam and comprehensive consultation. 847.278.2272

From 50+ MPH gusts to 2″ hail, the Chicagoland area took a beating:

Hail Storm Affects Illinois Cedar Roofing August 2nd 2015

Take a look at how this hail storm affected some cedar roofs in Illinois:

The August storm damage looks like this in Arlington Heights, St. Charles, Lake Forest, Libertyville, and Inverness, Illinois.

Will hail hurt my cedar shake roof?

The quick answer is YES – hail does damage cedar roofing. However, there are only a few instances where hail damage goes beyond denting which is essentially benign. Roofs that are older (15+ years) or have not received preservation treatment are susceptible to damage by larger hail (1.5” on up) that can compromise a roofing system. Wind speed plays in along with hail size to create fractures, splits, ground shake butts, and shingle knock offs. High winds play into this as well but it’s the hail that lets it in. Once the felt, nails/fasteners, and sub shingles are exposed the possibility of water damage goes up.

The August 2nd hail storm had the right conditions to affect the Northwest, West, and Southwest facing roof slopes of older cedar roofs. The wind speeds and hail size have all proven affective at doing their worst. That’s why we advise anyone with a cedar roof, even one as young at 12 years old, who feels they got hit hard to get a free roof inspection by a HAAG certified storm damage technician.

Will my insurance pay for hail damage repairs to my cedar roof?

In most cases of actual widespread hail damage, in the form of splits, fractures and missing shakes, an insurance provider will likely pay for repairs. Unfortunately, some insurers are out to make it difficult to prove your damage is fresh enough or even covered by the policy. Most homeowners need help navigating the insurance claim process. It’s important to seek the help of a roofing company that offers storm damage services with some sort of advocacy dealing with your insurer.

Note: Smaller roofing crews won’t have the skill to help pass a claim and many roofers who claim to “always” get claims passed are full of themselves!

Will I need to repair or replace my cedar roofing system due to the storm damage?

For smaller cosmetic fixes many homeowners tend to pay out of pocket for repairs like patches/spot-replacements and nail-downs. Insurance may cover this but avoiding an insurance claim is usually preferred for the small stuff.

Mid-level hail damage tends to land in the middle of repairs and replacements. Many homeowners will pay out of pocket or just get a smaller claim passed for doing the small fixes plus something more substantial like replacing the ridge caps.

Listening to your roofer’s advice on replacement is always a good idea when they know the roofing system is compromised and needs it. Roofs over 25 years old with severe damage just need to be replaced – it’s that simple. It does get hard for homeowners of younger roofs to accept the often frightening thought of a full replacement. Oftentimes damage is more severe on a roof that was improperly installed or poor quality cedar was used. Combine those two factors and a roof might not survive its first major hail storm.

In conclusion, it’s always best to get your cedar roof looked at after a large storm. Find a storm damage cedar roofing expert like Shake Guys and put your mind at ease.

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