Roof Hail Damage: How Hail Can Seriously Harm Your Roof

roof hail damage

“A storm’s a’brewin’!”

“It’s raining cats and dogs”

“Whoa! Look at that lightning!”

Then, things get real when the dinging sound of hail emerges. Your stomach drops as you look outside the window to observe the size of each piece as it ricochets off the hood of your car.

While you’re safely observing your car taking a beating, your roof also takes the blows. Roofs protect the integrity of your home and your family.

As Texans, we are even more at risk as one of most hail-prone states in the U.S. Hail damage during a storm in June 2018 cost Dallas, Tarran and Denton counties over one billion dollars in insured losses including commercial and residential properties. A whopping 20,000 structures were reported as damaged during the storm.

If a storm recently occurred in your area it’s a good idea to check your roof to catch problems early.

How can hail seriously harm a roof? How do you spot roof damage?

Read on to learn how hail damage occurs and how to spot roof damage.

Roof Hail Damage: How it Happens and How to Spot It

How it Happens:

The amount of damage hail causes to a roof is based on many factors. The first factor is the size of the hail. On average, a hail stone 1″ in diameter or larger can do damage to asphalt shingles. Hail 2″ or larger affects all types of roofing materials.

The stone’s shape, hardness, the angle of impact, and velocity also determines the amount of damage resulting from a hail storm.

Shingles aren’t the only roofing component at risk for hail damage. Vents, chimneys, skylights, and gutters also are at risk. Even small, slushy-like hail can stain shingles and other roofing appliances. However, this type of damage is considered to be cosmetic and may or may not be covered by insurance.

Functional hail damage is damage that can affect the longevity and integrity of a roof. This type of damage is covered by insurance.

Construction quality, roof slope, and differing roofing materials also play a role in the effects of hail damage. The quality and type of roofing materials and the age of those materials cause variations in the amount of damage that occurs.

Asphalt shingles become more brittle as they age as the asphalt hardens. Upon the impact of hail, older shingles are less resistant to the impact of hail. Material deficiencies and poor ventilation also makes shingle brittle and curl at the edges providing less support.

In Texas, there is a roof material classification in place to determine how impact resistant a material is to steel balls intended to mimic hail. These ratings are a scale from one to four where Class 1 is the least resistance and Class 4 is the most resistant.

Roofing Material Durability in Relation to Hail Size

Three Tab Organic asphalt shingles provide the lowest amount of durability. These shingles can be damaged by hail as small as 1″ in diameter.

Three tab fiber glass shingles, cedar shingles, fiber-cement tiles, and flat concrete tiles all can withstand no more than 1 and 1/4 inch hail stone before the potential for damage increases.

The potential damage of heavy cedar shakes and 30 year laminated shingles increases with stones 1 and 1/2 inch in diameter.

Built up gravel roofing and S-shaped concrete tiles are the most durable roofing material able to withstand up to 2″ stones before damage is present.

Roofs with more than one layer of shingles are even more susceptible to damage because the underlying shingle is less effective at shielding a roof than roof decking.

Always make safety a priority when checking for roof damage. Soft-soled or roofing shoes are a necessity when considering getting on a roof. Ladders should be in working order as well.

Bring chalk to mark possible hail damage. Having someone else there for the inspection can also increase safety.

How to Spot Roof Damage

1. Loss of Shingle Granules

Roof granules are usually multicolored and provide the texture of your shingles. Functional damage to shingles occurs when the protective mineral granules missing. The loss of the granules exposes the asphalt to the light which then quickens the deterioration of shingles.

The deterioration of shingles can then expose other components of the roof to further damage.

Look for dark patterns on the shingles. Some spots may be, but smaller spots will be tougher to see. Examine the gutters to see if granules collected in them.

2. Impact Hail Mark

An impact hail mark is a distinct puncture/fracture to the shingle. These marks reflect the size of the hail, the rate of impact, and the angle of impact.

Look for distinct marks on shingles. These will be circular and potentially discolored due to exposure of the elements, dirt, fungus or potential oxidation for metal roofs. Cracking and splitting may also be present as a result of hail stone impact.

Feel for bruises or slight indenting to the shingles. Bruises are less noticeable and feel like a bruised apple and are sunken in.

3. Hail Dents

Hail dents are most noticeable on metal roofs, roof coverings, and gutters. Check roof vents and roof metal fascia if present for dents, dings, and chips.

If there is damage to metal surfaces it is likely that other components of your roof are damaged, too.

4. Inspect the Ridge

The roof’s ridges are the peaks in the roof where two slanted sides meet. Roof ridges take the brunt of the damage due to their higher elevation and impact angle.

A flat roof is even more susceptible to damage because hail hits it directly across.

Look for damage to shingles on the ridge in the form of granule loss or hail impact marks. If there is damage to the ridge, then it’s likely that other damage is present on the roof slant.

Considering Contacting a Professional to Assess Roof Hail Damage on Your Roof?

Hiring a professional frees up your Sunday afternoons and leaves you feeling more confident about the accuracy of the inspection.

Texan to Texan, we would be more than happy to help! Contact us today to get your free quote!

Also, Check out our blog for more answering to your roofing questions!

1 thought on “Roof Hail Damage: How Hail Can Seriously Harm Your Roof”

  1. Lillian quinteroe

    These roofs can withstand high winds and heavy storm. You need to apply Epdm waterproofing as caution. It will save your roof from replacement. read more

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