Last Monday afternoon, (July 23rd, 2012), Ottawa got hit with a pretty big storm. We were at our office in Navan when the winds started to pick up. At first I thought it was a regular midsummer thunderstorm but soon realized it had the potential to cause a great deal of damage to properties. Although it didn`t last very long, the damages left behind ended up being quite significant. Hail, wind and rain pummeled parts of our City. It looks like the area that was hit the hardest was around St-Laurent and Montreal Road. People reported hail bigger then golf balls in that area. A drive around the neighborhood confirms a great deal of damage to roofs, siding, eaves troughs, vehicles, fences, gazebos, etc…

From a roofing standpoint, hail can cause shingles to age prematurely. The reason is simple. When the hail hits the shingles directly, it causes chunks of the small stones to break off the shingles leaving the mat of the shingle (made of tar) exposed directly to the sun. The purpose of the stones is to give the shingle its color but more importantly, to guard against the sun`s damaging rays. The resulting effect is that your shingles` life expectancy will be greatly diminished. Although not as visible as on older roofs, newer shingles can also sustain extensive damages. Furthermore, the hail often dents the vents and metal valleys on a roof which can, over the course of several years, cause it to corrode, rust and crack open. If this happens, you inevitably end up with water in the house and a potentially costly repair on your hands. If you have the older plastic vents on your roof, this week’s hail definitely was big enough to make holes directly through them.   For the record, we did see several cases like these near Montfort hospital.

If you are unsure whether or not your roof sustained damages, I recommend you have it checked. Don’t go up on the roof yourself as it can be dangerous, but rather contact someone who is experienced and equipped to do a safe and proper inspection. A visual inspection from the ground is not enough as many things can be missed.

You can also contact your home insurance company ( or automobile for those big dents on your car) if you suspect the damages warrant a claim. Either way, document the date of the hail storm for future reference with your insurance.

Don’t hesitate to contact Rancourt Roofing should you need assistance or simply have questions.