When you live in an area with unpredictable and turbulent weather like Calgary, you are no stranger to crazy storms that cause significant damage. When people typically think about hailstorm damage, they think about broken windows and roof damage. However, you should also think about your exterior siding, inspecting it for any potential repairs, and whether or not your insurance will cover it.
Hailstorms can cause massive damage to your home, and typically siding is covered under your homeowners’ insurance. However, most people jump the gun when they see their roof leaking from the hail damage that they forget to inspect their house for any other exterior damage. Depending on what type of exterior siding you have on your home, it can change what kind of damage you typically will see and when you need to replace your siding.
Different Siding Types
There are many kinds of siding. Aluminum, vinyl, Hardie Board are some of the more common styles. Each has its various advantages and provide different aesthetic looks. We will discuss the most popular siding materials, their typical damage, and how to identify hail damage on common siding types.
Traditionally, stucco is cement mixed with water, sand and lime. Typically newer homes use a synthetic material that resembles stucco. The massive advantage of stucco siding is that you can combine the colour right into the mixture and typically avoid any additional painting. Stucco exterior siding is generally resistant to most weather damage, but serious storms can cause significant damage.
When stucco is damaged during a hail or wind storm, you’ll usually notice that the surface feels soft or has dents in it. Sometimes if the damage is quite significant, there will be small cracks spiderwebbing around the dent. If you notice cracking around the dent, the foam backing is likely damaged behind the stucco. In this case, you would need to remove the stucco altogether in that area and get it replaced by a professional.
Cement Fibre Siding
Fibre cement siding looks similar to stucco, wood or masonry exterior sidings. This type of siding is quite durable and typically has an extended warranty. Cement fibre siding is more resistant to hail damage, but it’s not immune. Hail damage on this type of siding presents itself as little black marks can be signs of damage on the paint. The problem with older houses with this type of siding is that there might be asbestos in the siding. When you have damage and need to replace older cement siding, it’s better to consult a professional for your own safety.
Vinyl siding is made from PVC plastic and is commonly used due to its inexpensive nature. Vinyl siding is known to melt, crack and fade over time. A fresh coat of vinyl paint can help bring it back to life. Usually, vinyl siding is fashioned in a panel style. During the last hailstorm in Calgary, thousands of homes in the northeast were damaged by hail. Many of those homes are cladded in vinyl siding.
Hail damage is easily spotted on vinyl siding, in part because the hail will punch holes in the exterior siding. There can also be cracks of chips that are visible on the siding. While vinyl siding is the cost-effective choice for exterior siding, it’s also possible to pay more for a higher grade and thicker vinyl solution. One example is Hardie Board. If your vinyl siding is thicker, it will likely stand up better to hailstorms than a thinner vinyl would.
Wood Clapboard Siding
Wood sidings are very popular due to their aesthetic value, and even synthetic alternatives that emulate wood clapboard siding cannot replicate the solid wood look. Wood sidings, if maintained properly, will often outlast vinyl and other manufactured wood sidings. Cedar shingle siding, also commonly referred to as cedar shakes, are also a great choice if you like the wood look, but want less maintenance than wood clapboard.
Typically wooden clapboard and shake sidings that suffer from hail damage also present as dents. However, sometimes the wood can split or be punctured. Identifying hail damage on wood siding is easy because the crack should reveal the unoxidized wood underneath, which means the damage will be a different colour than the undamaged siding.
Which Siding Is The Best For Hail Damage?
All the discussed exterior sidings are not impervious to hail, but generally, stucco or concrete based siding resist hail damage the best. Ultimately the decision of which siding you choose for your home is based on style, colour, lifespan and durability. Whether or not your siding will be resistant to hail damage should factor into your decision process, especially when you live in an area that experiences turbulent hailstorms.
No matter which siding you choose for your home, it’s vital that you understand what your homeowner’s insurance covers in terms of exterior siding damage. Typically insurance will cover the replacement of your exterior siding, but if they aren’t able to find a match for the siding, which might lead to having mismatched exterior siding on your home.
Your policy might have a stipulation for matching siding insurance. If so, it allows the insurance company to cover the cost of replacing the damaged siding. Alternatively, they may offer a certain amount towards the replacement so your entire house will match. This might require you to pay out of your pocket to redo your house’s entirety, but this means you’ll have matching exterior siding.
If you’re considering reselling your home in the future, having mismatched exterior siding can bring the value down. Not only that, but it can also be an eyesore that you and other people notice. Your home’s siding serves a functional and aesthetic purpose, so keeping it maintained and looking good will help you well in the long run!
Are you looking to replace your siding? Have hail damage and want an inspection and a quote? Contact our qualified roofing and home exterior team today to come and take a look! We serve the greater Calgary area, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.