SAN ANTONIO – It has been more than five months since massive hail storms struck San Antonio and surrounding areas. Still, the impact of one of the costliest hail storms in U.S. history remains visible across the city.
"It's the single worst event we've ever seen,” said Brad Beldon, CEO of Beldon Roofing. “It's touched more people than any other storm."
It is a bold statement from a company that has called San Antonio home for more than 70 years.
"It’s been virtually impossible to handle the amount of calls we have received,” Beldon explained.
It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands of homes, commercial buildings and cars were damaged in the storm. The roofing industry, not surprisingly, was bombarded with calls.
Beldon said crews have been working seven days a week and around the clock. Demand has also driven up costs industry-wide.
"The pricing at the dumps, the pricing of materials, the pricing of labor; everything has gone up as a result of the storm,” Beldon said.
As a consequence, roofers may find it difficult to get materials on time. Rainy days have also slowed work down. In addition, finding a reputable roofer is essential, all of which can push back the completion of a roof.
Beldon said it is important to remain patient. It may take until next year for contractors to repair a roof, a wait that can be advantageous.
"In reality, most of the roofs weren’t damaged to the point where they are leaking, so it gives you the opportunity to extend the life [of your roof], because your warranty doesn’t start until you put the roof on,” Beldon explained.
For those homes that were seriously damaged, which mainly consisted of clay tile and slate roofs, that emergency work was done in the first six months. For everyone else, it has been a matter of an adjuster determining if a new roof is needed.
"What matters is the composition of the hail, the angle the hail came down and the speed in which it came down and how many pieces came down,” Beldon said.
In the case of April’s hailstorms, few were left unscathed. Experts warn those whose plan to replace their roof to be careful when selecting a contractor. Many will come from across the country to cash in. People can check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the roofer is licensed.