Preparing For a Hailstorm

Hailstorm on the road in a summer day

Hail can be dangerous and can cause extensive damage. This isn’t surprising, considering hailstones fall to earth from about 9,000 metres and, according to Environment Canada, can reach speeds of over 100 km/hour before they hit the ground, or anything on it.

Hail can dent vehicles, leave pockmarks in siding, destroy windows and even roofs, which can lead to water intrusion that can damage ceilings, walls and personal possessions.  While you may not be able to stop a hailstorm from damaging your property, you may be able to reduce the amount of damage a storm will do.

Here’s a list of tips to help prepare for a hailstorm.

Inside Your Home

  • Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan with your family.
  • Consider covering your windows with protective film, which may prevent glass from shattering if windowpanes are broken.
  • Use surge arrestors and suppressors to help protect your electronics from lightning strikes on nearby power lines that may accompany hailstorms.

Outside Your Home

  • Trim and maintain trees and shrubbery in your back and front yards to remove weak branches that could potentially damage your home. Consider hiring a professional to assess the trees around your home.
  • Always keep eavestroughs, downspouts and storm drains clear to allow for proper drainage. During storms, large hailstones can clog drains, which may lead to localized flooding, so it’s important to start out with a clear pathway for water.
  • Get your roof inspected regularly and repair issues as required when the weather is favourable.
  • Hire a professional roofing contractor if your roof needs replacing. Ask your contractor about different types of shingles that are available as some can withstand harsher hail damage than others. Impact-resistant roof coverings could save you trouble and money.
  • Move the barbecue, lawn furniture and outdoor property into sheltered areas when they are not in use.

For Your Vehicle

  • If storms are in the forecast, put cars, boats, RVs and other vehicles into a garage, covered parking lot or other protected area.
  • If covered parking isn’t available, cover vehicles with thick blankets — paying particular attention to the hood, roof and trunk, as they’re often the most susceptible to hail damage.

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.