How can you tell if your home’s siding has been damaged by a storm in Ohio, and is this damage covered by homeowners insurance?

How can you tell if your home’s siding has been damaged by a storm in Ohio, and is this damage covered by homeowners insurance?

Ohio weather runs the gamut, from thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes in the summer, to snow and ice in the winter. Such weather can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior, especially if you have siding.

Evidence of siding damage
Hail damage is probably the easiest to see on siding. Hail can leave holes in vinyl siding or dents in aluminum siding. Flying debris from a windstorm also can do the same kind of damage. Wind, if it’s strong enough, can also cause entire pieces of aluminum siding to break off.

Other weather events can cause damage to your siding that’s less noticeable. Wind from storms can cause cracks and chips in your vinyl siding.

Wood siding is susceptible to water damage from excessive rain and flooding. If the siding doesn’t have sufficient time to dry out, it can get moldy or start to rot, which can cause big problems for the home.

What insurance covers
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover damage to all kinds of siding if it’s truly clear that it was caused by weather.

If you encounter a storm that clearly does damage to your siding, take pictures to document the damage and note the date and time.

You’ll want to check your policy thoroughly to make sure the damage is covered. Some insurers include exclusions to try to hold down their liability. You also want to make sure the damage is worth filing claim. Some minor cosmetic damage, such as chipped paint on aluminum siding, may not be worth the deductible and potential increase in your monthly premiums.

One big consideration in the event that some of your siding needs to be replaced after a storm is the ability to match color with your existing siding. This is usually not an issue, but it can become a problem if the manufacturer of your existing siding no longer exists.

Many policies have clauses that allow for the replacement of all the home’s siding if one area is damaged. You should check your policy and talk with your agent to see if this is the case in your policy.