7 Tips to Identify Hail Damage to Shingles

hail damage to shingles

From 2013 to 2015, nearly 400,000 hail loss claims were made in Texas. Did you know that those cool little balls of ice could cause such a problem?

If you’ve experienced a hail storm in your area lately, you may want to check your roof. Though it can look harmless, hail damage to shingles can be serious for your home.

Damaged shingles lead to leaky roofs, which nobody wants to experience. If your shingles are letting water in, you’re in for all sorts of problems, including mold.

So how do you spot hail damage to shingles? Luckily, it isn’t hard, and you can do it yourself.

Would you like to learn how to locate hail damage to your roof? Keep reading for seven tips that will help you identify hail damage to shingles.

What to Do When You Find Damage

Before we get to the list, let’s consider what you’ll need to do if you find damage on your roof. That way you’ll already be prepared.

If your shingles are damaged, you have a couple options. First, you can just leave it. Second, you can get the damage repaired.

Obviously, you’ll want to go with option two. If you do find damage, determine if it is just cosmetic or if it’s a functional problem. You may need a professional to do this.

Mark all damage with chalk so it’s easy to see. If you have enough damage, try making an insurance claim. Check with your home owner’s insurance provider for how to do this.

An insurance adjuster will be sent to your home. Make sure he or she is accompanied by a professional contractor. Insurance companies will try to not cover replacing your roof, so having a professional there will help keep them straight.

Alright, now that you know what to do, on to the list!

1. Look at Surroundings

If you’ve been hit with a hail storm, your shingles aren’t the only part of your roof that may show damage. Look at other roof components too. You won’t find shingle damage doing this, but you may find indications that there could be shingle damage.

Metal elements such as gutters, downspouts, vents, and chimney covers will show damage better than shingles. Start looking in these easier spots. if you find damage, you may want to look at your shingles.

2. Examine the Ridge

If you think there may be damage to your shingles, start by looking at the ridge. This is the very topmost part of your roof where the two slanted sides meet. If you have a flat roof, you’re more likely to find damage all over.

The ridge of your roof is the place most likely to show hail damage. Since the ridge is at the top, hail hits it at a perpendicular angle instead of on a slant. Perpendicular hits cause the most damage, so you’re most likely to spot problems on the ridge.

Inspect the shingles on the ridge for damage. If there’s damage there, you may have damage elsewhere too.

Once you’ve established if there’s damage on the ridge, look over the rest of your shingles.

3. Seek Out Shingles with Displaced Granules

As hail hits your shingles, the granules on the outside may get knocked off. You may find spots where many granules are missing. But these spots can also be very small.

These can be difficult to find, so you’ll have to look carefully. Look for obvious issues first. These will be spots where the “hole” is darker because the granules and the layer underneath aren’t the same color.

Shingles missing many granules will be easier to spot. But a shingle missing only a few granules can be just as big of a problem.

4. Look for Granules in Gutters

Would you like to know if your searching is warranted before you get to it? Look at your rain gutters. If granules have been displaced, they may have gathered there.

If you see a lot of granules, that’s a sign you may have some pretty bad damage. In this case, you’ll need to call a professional.

5. Keep An Eye Out for Splitting and Cracking

As you’re inspecting your roof, you may find splitting or cracking. As hail hits, it may leave a circular crack in a shingle.

If you have wooden shingles, be on the lookout for splitting. These shingles can split right down the middle when hail hits.

6. Feel for Bruises

Missing granules aren’t the only indication of hail damage to shingles. Some damage may not be visible.

Carefully get down on your hands and knees and feel the shingles for bruises. These are dents in the shingles that you can’t see.

If you come across a dimpled spot, press on it to see if it gives at all. If it does, deterioration has probably set in.

7. Call a Professional

Sometimes it’s just easier to call a professional to inspect your roof. If you suspect you may have damage to your shingles, give one a call. They’ll be able to tell you if you have any damage.

Professionals also know the difference between cosmetic damage and functional damage. Only damage that impairs the roof’s purpose can be covered by insurance.

If they do find damage, a professional will be able to repair it for you. Save yourself the time and hassle by asking an expert!

Hail Damage to Shingles: Not the End of the World

While hail damage to shingles isn’t the worst thing you could find on your roof, it can lead to serious problems. Leaking and/or damage to the lower layers of your roof could be next. So act fast!

Don’t wait when you think you may have shingle damage. Take some safety precautions and inspect your roof yourself, or call on a professional. The sooner your tackle any existing damage, the better off you’ll be.

Do you think your roof may be damaged? Contact us today to schedule a free roof inspection.