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How to tell if your roof has hail damage

If a hail storm has come through your neighborhood, you might be wondering if your roof has hail damage. Even if the hail stones weren’t very big, they can still cause damage to your roof, flashing, vents, etc. If your roof has been damaged by hail to the point that it needs attention, you should repair or replace your roof before more costly damage occurs.

This article pertains to asphalt shingle roofs. In this article, we’ll go over;

  • what a hail damaged roof looks like
  • how hail damages a roof
  • what size of hail can cause damage to your roof
  • which parts of your roof are vulnerable to hail
  • how, and how soon, should you deal with your roof once it has hail damage

What does roof hail damage look like?

Here is what an asphalt shingle roof with hail damage looks like:

asphalt shingle roof with hail damage asphalt shingle roof with hail damage

How does hail damage an asphalt shingle roof?

Hail damage occurs when the hail stone hits the asphalt shingle and bounces off. This causes granules to fall off, which exposes the fiberglass mat underneath. As a result, your roof is now vulnerable to water leaks. This type of damage is noticeable immediately. There will be, however, more damage that you can’t see.

Can your roof be repaired or should it be replaced?

That depends. Most of the time, here in Colorado, hail comes straight down. Rarely does wind accompany a hail storm, here. If there are strong winds, hail can come down at an angle. In this case, one side of your roof could get more damage than the other and you might only have to replace that one side of your roof. Have your entire roof inspected, however.

Also, a hail storm never drops one, large stone onto a roof. It’s always several stones. Furthermore, because there’s always hidden damage, most often the entire roof needs replacing.

How soon should you have your roof fixed?

Right away! If hail damage has been found, the longer you wait to repair or replace your roof, the more damage will occur and the more it will cost to fix it.

What size of hail can damage a roof?

If you get dime-sized hail, you might want to check out your roof, flashing, etc. to see if there’s damage. Try to avoid walking on your roof, as this will only loosen the granules and shorten the lifespan of your roof. You should be able to see damage from standing on a ladder that leaning against your gutter or fascia board. Anything smaller than dime-sized usually doesn’t cause much damage.

If you get quarter-sized hail or larger, there’s a better change you have damage and you should have your roof inspected by a professional roofing company right away. If you have new impact-resistant shingles, that chance goes down slightly, but you should still have your roof inspected.

Vulnerable parts of your roof

Your roof

Obviously your roof is the most exposed part of your house, when it comes to hail. Is it necessarily the most vulnerable? That depends on which roofing product you have, which features it has, which manufacturer made it, if it’s installed correctly, etc.

Let’s use Owens Corning’s roofing shingles, as an example. They offer a wide variety of shingles. If you like in an area that gets hail storms, and in install Owens Corning’s least expensive shingles, that aren’t impact-resistant, I would say your roof is vulnerable. By ‘vulnerable’ I mean weak and susceptible to harm given the threat of hail.

If your Colorado home has their Duration Storm shingles, which are impact-resistant, I would say your roof is not vulnerable for several years, given the usual hail storms Colorado gets.

Thin metal

Thin metal parts, such as flashing and vents, are vulnerable to hail because often they’re made from galvanized steel or aluminum.

Summary

If you see quarter-sized hail, or larger, in your yard, call a professional roofing company right away to get on their schedule for an inspection. Most roofing companies offer free inspections. When a hail storm does come through a neighborhood, folks flood roofing companies with phone calls and emails, so do be patient with them. If the roofing company confirms a hail storm damaged roof, report this to your insurance company right away. You’ll be glad you did 🙂

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