Tens of thousands of homes damaged by Friday hail storm
Early estimates are that Friday’s hailstorm left behind damage to 50,000 to 70,000 homes, and that’s “just on the low side,” according to Minnesota-based Legacy Restoration, LLC founder and CEO Scott Mullins.
“So… it could be considerably higher, but we don’t know yet,” Mullins said Monday morning.
The worst of the storm followed a line from Plymouth through south St. Paul, dropping one-to-three-inch hailstones in some spots, according to the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS meteorologists.
Plymouth homeowner Bernice Lock was in the thick of it.
“I was afraid it was going to break my windows because it was just hitting so hard,” she said outside of her home as representatives from Legacy Restoration, LLC inspected her roof on Monday afternoon.
“My whole sidewalk was like a snowdrift.”
“What we’re doing up here is we’re looking for shingles that have been compromised from the hailstones that fell,” said multifamily restoration representative Branden Topel from the roof of Lock’s home as he circled the ‘bruised’ spots with yellow chalk.
“It’s kind of like a soft spot to the fiberglass,” he explained. “And it just makes it kind of like a pothole over time.”
Meanwhile, Austin Metzger, an FAA-certified drone pilot, was checking out the damage from a bird’s eye view to make more efficient work of assessing the whole neighborhood’s roofs, siding and gutters for potential damage.
“So we probably, I would guess, have received three to five hundred calls so far,” Mullins estimated.
“It’s probably the third biggest storm in terms of severity,” Mullins said, speaking to the size of the hailstones and amount of damage in the wake of Friday’s storm in comparison to the rest of his 20 years in the industry.
It left behind a lot of repair work and plenty of not-so-credible businesses hoping to take advantage of that.
“A lot of people assume that a contractor is licensed because they have a truck or whatever,” Mullins warned. “Don’t assume that, make sure the contractor license is current and valid.”
A company should also be accredited through the Better Business Bureau. On the BBB website, you can also check for ratings, the best being an A or A+ rating.
Thirdly, “the contractor should give you a copy of their liability and their work comp insurance, and they should have those copies available, actually, they should have them already immediately for [customers],” Mullins said.
“I think as long as those three boxes are checked, they should have somebody that they can trust.”
For Lock, the recommendation from Legacy Restoration, LLC on Monday was a full replacement.
“It makes me sad because we just got new roofs two years ago,” she said. “And trust me, the premiums we’re paying right now for homeowners [insurance] for these buildings, it went up 25%. That’s because of hailstorms.”
If you suspect your home was damaged, Mullins says the first step is to check your insurance policy. Much like with car insurance, you’ll likely have a deductible to cover and insurance would handle the rest for hail damage, he said.