What You Need to Know About Hail Storms, Damage, and Your HOA
Mother Nature is unpredictable when it comes to damaging storms. What may look like just a threatening cloud may produce damaging hail. Protecting your HOA from damage and reviewing your insurance policies is important no matter where you live. When a hail storm strikes, you'll be better prepared when it comes to dealing with the aftermath.
What is a Hail Storm?
Hail is described as a type of frozen participation that forms during a strong or severe thunderstorm. Fast currents of air move upward (called updrafts) and downward (downdrafts). Inside the updrafts, water vapor and rain are pushed into a vertical cloud called a cumulonimbus or thunderhead cloud. Below freezing temperatures, along with the air currents, form the icy hailstones and a strong downdraft sends the hail to the ground.
The National Weather Service states that in order for a thunderstorm to produce dime-sized hail, the storm must have an updraft of at least 37 mph. For golf ball-sized hail, the updraft speeds average 56 mph.
A hail storm can occur during any time of year. States that experience hail storms include Colorado, Texas, the Carolinas, Kansas, and Illinois. South Dakota is home to the largest hailstone ever recorded. The stone measured eight inches and was discovered during a July 2010 storm.
Hail not only causes property damage but can also inflict bodily injury. A person caught outdoors during a hail storm is subject to small chunks of ice striking them at speeds of anywhere from 30 to 100 mph. Serious injury to the head, neck, back, and arms is possible. Farmers in the field or anyone running or playing outdoor sports is at risk of bodily injury from hail during a storm.
It is important to note that hail is different from sleet. They are both forms of frozen participation but they occur at different times of the year. Hail is more common during warmer months, such as summer and fall, and sleet forms during the colder months of winter.
According to Weather Underground, hail storms produce over $1 billion in property and crop damage every year. Hail can greatly damage the exterior of a building, especially the siding and roof. Landscaping and other outdoor equipment or fixtures are also easily damaged by hail. Responsibility for repairing the damage depends upon whether the association is a condo or an HOA.
Condo associations should review their insurance policy regarding their coverage. If hail damage isn't specifically mentioned, the association should ask for clarification so members understand any out-of-pocket costs.
Homeowners associations should remind homeowners to review their own insurance policies and the association covenants regarding the approved types of building materials. Some association requirements may not match insurance policy coverage, resulting in out-of-pocket expenses for members.
No matter what type of association you have, an easy-to-contact, on-site property manager is a must. This person can help guide members through a scary storm event.
Investing in professional community management provides association boards with peace-of-mind. At RealManage, we strive to match our best possible team member for the association and its needs.
Association management is often complex and challenging. Unexpected events, like that of a hailstorm, can send a community into panic and disarray. With a proactive approach, a professional property manager can prepare members with helpful information and tips for weather events, including how to stay safe during a storm. They can also review and confirm the board's understanding of insurance coverage.
To learn more about RealManage and our services, contact us. Let our experience go to work for you and your association today.