Strong winds, flying debris, and wind-driven hail do the most damage to the exterior of your home. Many types of exterior damage can be identified if you know what to look for. Here is a quick overview of the most common types of exterior damage.

Siding Damage: While durable, low maintenance and attractive, vinyl siding can be seriously damaged during a storm. The three most common types of damage sustained by vinyl siding are:

Cracking: Splits or cracks that run parallel to the siding, often in half-circles, most often found mid-way between the valley and ridges of the panel.

Chipping: A chip is a small piece of siding that has been broken off – typically in the shape of a half-circle at the bottom of a siding panel ridge, where the siding has no inward flexibility to absorb a direct hit. Can best be seen when looking up, from underneath a panel section.

Breaking and Holes: In severe storm damage situations siding can break or holes can be punched into the siding by large hailstones and flying debris. If your siding is broken or has holes in it, then it is no longer protecting your home from the elements and will need to be inspected by a reputable contractor as soon as possible.

If you have aluminum siding, the most common signs of storm damage are dings and dents in the siding. In a severe storm, it is common for pieces of aluminum siding to be ripped off entirely. If your home has been hit by a hailstorm and there doesn’t appear to be damage at first glance, you’ll want to inspect your aluminum siding closely when the sun is low in the sky either in the early morning, or late evening, which will make the damage easier to see.

Paint Damage: The most common signs of storm damage to exterior paint are chips, cracks and discoloration. Chipping is caused by wind driven hailstones or flying debris that causes paint to chip, crack, discolor, or peel away, sometimes in large sections. After a severe storm or hailstorm, you may notice small black marks on your paint.

Stucco Damage: While stucco is typically resistant to light and moderate weather, severe storms such as large hail, flying debris and tornado-speed winds can cause serious damage to stucco. The most common form of damage is holes punched into the stucco. Some holes are large and easy to recognize, while others may be smaller and require closer inspection to be detected. Stucco damage is a serious problem that comprises the exterior of your home.

Remember, if the stucco on your home has sustained storm damage, there is an excellent chance that other parts of your home, including the roof are seriously damaged as well. If you have holes in your stucco caused by hail, wind or a tornado, you will want to contact a reputable insurance restoration contractor right away, for a full property inspection.

Brick Damage: Many owners of brick homes overlook damage to their home until it is too late to file an insurance claim. While brick stands up well to most storm damage, the trim, window casings, gutters, metal flashing, vents and roof are highly susceptible to costly damage. Since storm damage is covered under most insurance policies, if you have a brick home, make sure you get a full property damage inspection from a reputable contractor as soon as possible.