Hailstorm Damage Checklist

Hailstorm damage is part of spring in Indianapolis.  As a homeowner, the morning after a severe hailstorm there is probably a lot going through your mind. What got dinged up? How bad did it get damaged? What should I do next? Because of the seriousness and potentially devastating qualities of a hailstorm, these are important questions to ask and, most importantly, to get answered.

What makes hailstorms so dangerous is both the immediate and future repercussions they bring about. The sheer speed and force at which hail falls, coupled with the strong winds that usually accompany them, can cause serious harm to your roof by damaging or knocking off shingles from your home. 

That is just the immediate impact. If the hailstorm damage isn’t taken care of in a timely fashion, future hail, thunder, rain, or wind storms can be magnified because of the damaged integrity of your roof due to missing or damaged shingles. Even more shingles can be damaged or removed, or even worse the previously exposed areas become at extreme risk of damage to your actual roof or creating leaks into your attic.

This is why following a hailstorm it is important to make a proper assessment of any damage to your home so you can reach out to the right people and act quickly. Here is our checklist of essential tasks to do and what damage to keep on the lookout for following any hailstorm.

Check around your home

The first thing you should do is to have a look around your home to see if you can identify any damage caused by hail. This is a good place to start because oftentimes the condition of your yard and surrounding area can be a good indication of the condition of your home. For instance, if your car was parked outside make this the first place you look. If there is any hail damage to your car, chances are pretty high you will be facing damage elsewhere to your roof or other exteriors.

Other hail damage indicators to keep an eye out for are fallen tree branches or twigs, shredded plants or flowers, dings or dents in your mailbox, and chips or scratches to any porch or wooden patio your home has. All of these are signs that the hail fell with a significant enough impact to potentially do similar damage to your home. Also, if at this time you notice any loose shingles scattered around your yard with all the twigs and branches, you can safely know at this point your roof has been damaged.

Check your siding, gutters, and windows

After you have evaluated the condition of your yard, before you pull out your ladder and consider heading up to the roof, start by a safer evaluation of your home by looking at other areas that may have been harmed by hail, mainly your siding, gutters, and windows. Damages to these areas may be subtle, but just like hail damage to your roof they can be serious problems if not addressed. They are also a good indication of what you may find once your roof is eventually inspected.

Hail impacting your siding can result in minor dents, cracks, or some paint chipping if you have fiber cement board siding. Similarly, look for dents in your gutters as well as any drooping caused by them becoming dislodged by the repeated impact. Window damage is probably the least subtle of the three in determining the extent of damage, and if your windows got damaged during the storm, you probably already know about it! However, check any exterior windows for any cracks.

Carefully check your roof for hailstorm damage

Now that you have had a chance to survey the scene around your home, it’s time for the moment of truth and evaluating the hail damage done to your roof. While we recommend having your roof inspected by an expert, if you choose to go up on your roof at any point it is important that you exercise the utmost caution and care when doing so to avoid injuring yourself. 

There are a handful of hail damage signs to keep an eye out for once your roof is being inspected. Damaged shingles can be identified by darkened areas that have been dented, splitting or cracks along these areas, an excessive amount of give when you push on a damaged area, as well as any areas where shingles are missing and the roof itself has become exposed. 

Call in help

Damage of all kinds to your roof is important to take care of. However, when it comes to roofing damage there is a difference between “cosmetic damage” and “functional damage”. As you may imagine, cosmetic damage doesn’t look pretty, but it may not actually be a threat to the condition of your roof. Functional damage isn’t just ungly, it is dangerous too. 

It isn’t always easy for someone without a background knowledge in roofing to know the difference between the two or how to identify exactly what the extent of your roofing damage is. Whether you don’t want to or can’t get on the roof yourself to inspect the damages, you aren’t sure how bad the damages are, or you don’t know what to do next, call Lathrop Contracting.

Lathrop Contracting specializes in storm damage repair for roofing, gutters, siding, and windows. Our evaluation can determine the extent of damage to your home and recommend the best solution, whether it is taking care of some minor repairs or a complete replacement. If you think your insurance should cover some of the cost of repair, we are also more than happy to work with your insurance company to provide the information you need to get your claim approved. Call (317) 783-6929 today.

[sc_fs_faq sc_id=”fs_faqq8tqynamb” html=”true” headline=”h2″ img=”” question=”What should I do after a hailstorm?” img_alt=”” css_class=”” ]After a hailstorm it is important to evaluate damage to your house and property by looking at you roof, gutters, siding, and windows before calling a roofing repair contractor.[/sc_fs_faq]

Indianapolis Siding Contractor

5 Signs You Need New Siding

With spring finally having arrived and the weather improving, you’re probably now a little more inclined to step outside and take a closer look at your home. Unfortunately, like many homeowners after a long winter, you may not exactly love what you see!

The winter can leave your siding looking a little dingy, dirty, and in need of a good thorough cleaning. But oftentimes, your home’s siding may need more than just a power washing. 

Depending on the condition of your siding, the best solution may in fact be replacing small to large sections with brand new siding. When it comes to siding, both age and the conditions that your home has faced play important factors. 

Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding, two of the most common siding choices for homeowners, have a lifespan of 20 to 40 years if properly maintained and cared for. But, that lifespan can be significantly shorted based on damage and wear it can face over this lifespan.

However, sometimes it may not be overtly obvious that your siding needs to be replaced. Not being able to identify when siding needs to be replaced can have negative effects on your home not just from an aesthetic standpoint, but from a standpoint of condition and value as well.

If you aren’t sure if your siding is ready to be replaced, keep an eye out for any of these five definitive signs.

Significant Damage

If heavy hail and wind has left your siding with an abundance of chips, cracks, or gaps in between sections, siding replacement services need to be on your mind. This kind of damage doesn’t just make your home look less attractive, it exposes the wood underneath to damage of all kinds. Gaps and cracks act as major avenues for moisture to enter and threaten the structural integrity of your home.  

Energy Bill Spikes

Even if your siding does not show immediate signs of damage, there may still be unseen issues that necessitate siding replacement. Siding plays a major role in maintaining your home’s insulation, keeping cool air in and hot air out during the summer months and visa versa in the winter and helping to regulate your energy bills. If you find your energy bills begin to spike during the hotter and colder months, it may be a result of siding gaps allowing air to escape and may be remedies by reinforcing insulation and new siding. You can test this by checking around your home for drafty spots near walls, windows, and electrical outlets.

Frequent Maintenance

In order to keep your siding looking beautiful and in good shape, some amount of regular maintenance is required – though depending on the siding your home uses (link to vinyl vs cement blog) it could be more or less. However, if you find yourself spending more and more time on siding maintenance it’s time to start thinking about replacing. Fiber cement siding in particular requires the occasional patching of sealing and a fresh coat of paint. But frequent sealing repairs may mean your boards are warping which will put the wood underneath at risk. 

You’re Moving

While putting your home on the market is far from a condition that can cause damage to your home, any homeowner who is looking into moving in the near future should seriously consider investing in new siding. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing siding is one of the single most rewarding home remodeling investments you can put into your home, increasing home value by almost 77%. Even if your siding isn’t in major disrepair, any wear and tear may be worth taking care of for the sake of a higher recoup when your house sells.

Mold or Rot

Mold or rot forming on your home or siding is one of the worst case scenarios and the biggest sign that your siding is well beyond the point of repairing. Mold and rot weakens the integrity and strength of your siding, making it less able to protect your home from moisture and damage, and makes it more vulnerable to chipping, cracking, or falling off. Unfortunately, mold and rot on our siding likely means it has already started to form on the sood structure of your home as well. If you see mold or rot on your siding, call a contractor to inspect your home as soon as possible.

Time for new siding? Call the pros at Lathrop Contracting. We have years of experience serving Indianapolis homeowners and installing vinyl siding and cement board siding. Schedule service online or call (317) 783-6929 today.

durable vinyl siding surrounding a home

Vinyl Siding vs Cement Board: What’s the Difference

durable vinyl siding surrounding a home

The type of siding you choose for your home is a very important decision. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding which kind of siding is best. You want something that is going to look great from the curb, but also has the strength and durability to stand up to the extremes of Indiana summers and winters.

Oh yeah, and it would be great if you didn’t have to break the bank when you do ultimately make a decision!

For homeowners looking to update their home’s siding, repair damaged siding, or are choosing siding for their new home, two of the most popular and common siding options are vinyl siding and fiber cement siding, also known as cement board siding.

But with both being popular options, what is the difference between the two? This little rundown should help you determine which kind of siding is right for your home or project.

What is the Difference?

At face value, the differences between the two are the materials they are made from. Vinyl siding is made primarily from PVC, the rigid plastic material used in piping applications, and comes in multiple cuts and styles. This durable and sturdy material makes it an ideal siding material for standing up to the elements, and has been the most popular exterior choice since 1992.

Cement board siding, on the other hand, is made from a combination of wood pulp and cement formed into longer boards or shingles. Cement board is a slightly more environmentally sound product using more sustainable materials.

Decorative Qualities

The range of varieties of styles and textures that vinyl siding comes in gives it a slight edge in the aesthetic category. Vinyl has the ability to mimic real wood or stone, so it can match both modern and historic styles and come in color ranges that will surely match whatever look you are trying to achieve.

Cement board does come available in multiple styles of boards and shingles, but fewer finish and textures styles, so those looking for a certain look may not quite be able to match it with cement board. Cement board often comes unpainted or stained, giving you a little more freedom to customize in that respect.


Though both siding choices are durable in their own way, vinyl siding also gets an edge in overall strength, primarily because of the way they are each installed. Vinyl siding is attached to your home with minimal use of nails and locked into place together instead. Not only does this make it extremely secure, but it also allows the siding to expand and contract as the temperature changes throughout the year. This keeps your siding from cracking and chipping because of the temperature.

Cement board siding is instead installed with the use of caulk and or nails, which while securely attaching it to your home more rigid and incapable of expanding and contracting, as well as cracking during installation if not done by a skilled hand. The fiber content of cement board also makes it less moisture resistant than vinyl siding and can result in absorbing and warping due to moisture.

Upkeep and Maintenance Needs

Regular maintenance is where vinyl really shines as an easy to maintain home siding choice. After installed, vinyl requires extremely minimal upkeep besides periodic washing with a hose or power washer to keep it clean and looking nice.

Cement board requires a bit more work and care. While the boards and shingles are strong, the caulk used to install it needs to be kept an eye on to make any necessary repairs to cracks and deterioration over time. Also, since most cement board is painted, over time and exposure to sun, wind, rain, and snow you will likely need to have your home’s paint job touched up.


Vinyl’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is also the most affordable siding option for homeowners as well. Its affordability is due to a combination of low installation cost for labor and a low material cost to manufacture it. As a hidden benefit, vinyl siding is also efficient at helping save money over time too! Vinyl siding is installed with a layer of insulation that can help keep your heating and cooling bills at bay.

While cement board siding is a quality choice for home siding and Lathrop Contracting is skilled in installing James Hardie Board cement siding, the strengths of vinyl siding make it the common choice. Vinyl siding is ideal for Indianapolis homes because of its long lifespan and extreme resilience against high temperatures, heavy winds, and moisture – all things that are very important for Indianapolis homeowners.

If your home is ready for some changes with new siding, make the siding experts at Lathrop Contracting your first call. Fill out our form for a free estimate or call us today at (317) 783-6929 and we will schedule an appointment to evaluate your Indianapolis siding project.


[sc_fs_faq sc_id=”fs_faqxu0f8frjm” html=”true” headline=”h2″ img=”” question=”What is the most common kind of siding?” img_alt=”” css_class=”” ]Vinyl siding is the most common type of siding chosen by homeowners due to how inexpensive it is to purchase and install, its durability, and how easy it is to care for and maintain.[/sc_fs_faq]