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How to Identify Roof Damage Caused by Hail


Last year, hail and high-speed winds  accounted for roughly40% of insurance claims. 

Hail Damage can affect alot of things on your property including your car, siding, garden and of course, your roof takes the brunt of it.

 Some hail damage is obvious such as a broken window or dented siding. It’s the harder to notice damage from hail that can take a trained professional to identify.

What Effect Does Hail Have on A Roof?

The effects of roof damage can vary with a range of factors such as: hail size, wind speed, wind direction, roof material, age of your roof. These all effect the possibility of roof damage that occurs during a hail storm. Hail damage can lead to roof leaks and a multitude of other issues.

Roof Hail Damage can be cosmetic (effects just appearance) or functional (effects roofs performance. In some cases damage can be more severe than it appears. Things like broken  or chipped edges, punctures and loose or missing granules can cause serious problems despite appearing cosmetic in nature.


Types Of Roof Hail Damage

Granule loss

  • Granules are the sandpaper-like part of the shingle. When a shingle loses granules, its asphalt coating is exposed to the elements, and this leads to accelerated aging. Take a look in your gutters and downspouts after a hailstorm to see if any granules have come off your shingles.

Cracks in the shingles

  • Hard hail impacts or high winds can grip the shingles and cause cracks. This can lead to exposure and tears, leaving your roof with bare spots. Cracked shingles cannot effectively protect your roof from the weather.

Exposed fiberglass mat

  • Hail impact on a roof can shatter the shingles’ surfacing, causing it to break away from the fiberglass mat underneath.

Fractured fiberglass mat

  • Fractured fiberglass can be slightly harder to detect and usually requires a trained eye. Fractured fiberglass mats can result in tears and cracks from a point of hail impact.

Weakened self-seal strip

  • High winds and hail can weaken the seal integrity of your shingles. A weakened seal is what causes a shingle to blow off and can leave your roof exposed to the elements. Once a shingle is damaged, its integrity has been permanently compromised. This can lead to leaks, and it can cause other shingles around it to tear.

Once you know about these common forms of hail roof damage, you can start to look for signs of damage on your property after a hailstorm.

How do you know if your roof or exterior has hail damage?

Severe roof damage, like blown off shingles or debris from trees on your roof are obvious, but minor damage may be difficult to detect with an untrained eye. You really need to have your roof inspected by a professional. 

Your gutters are the first place to look for damage caused by hail. Hail large enough to cause roof damage will most likely dent your gutters and/or downspouts. If there are dents and dings on your gutters and downspouts, you most likely have problems with your roof.

Gutters will also fill up and clog due to granules coming loose and falling in the gutters. Clogged and overflowing gutters indicate that hail may have damaged your roof.

The second place we suggest looking is your siding. Dents and dings in your siding, the same as gutters, will indicate that the hail was of sufficient size to impact your roof.

The third place is your deck. Dents and abrasions on your deck will indicate that hail was sufficient to possibly cause damage to your roof as well.

If you notice any of these signs, call the professionals at RCI Roofing  to get your roof inspected today.

What size hail can cause damage to a roof?

Hail smaller than 1 inch can cause damage to your roof. The size of the hail can be the first indication of possible damage. There is no guaranteed method for predicting storm damage, however being familiar with the various sizes of hail and how they affect your roof will help you make better decisions regarding your home's maintenance and you will have a better understanding if you need to involve professionals.

¾” Hail

The smallest hail typically measured, ¾” hail can cause damage depending on wind speeds. Hail this size typically damages vinyl siding, window screens, metal fascia and paint on a deck. It also commonly dislodges granules from asphalt shingles and can cause damage to gutters and downspouts. Because of its smaller size, property owners often fail to identify the damages associated with hail under one inch.

1” Hail

Hail measuring 1” or more can cause bruising to shingle underlayment and significant damage to siding, gutters and fascia. Wind speeds will play a factor in the severity of damage

1¼” Hail

Hail of this size is much more significant.  Even without wind, it will cause damage to cars, homes, gardens and outdoor furniture. Simply because of the size, density and weight of this hail, it can impact your roof significantly.

1½” Hail

This size of hail causes significant damage to property. Depending on the amount of hail, the length of time it falls and the accompanying wind speeds, damage to your property could be severe.

1¾ - 2” Hail

Hail can penetrate softer parts of a roof, such as ridge caps or plastic roof vents. Combined with wind, this size of hail can severely damage siding, break windows and damage most types of fixtures.

2” Hail

Any hail this size or larger will cause significant and probably severe property damage. The question with this size hails is not “if” you have property damage, but “how much” damage. We highly suggest calling a roofing contractor with insurance experience immediately after you are impacted by this type of storm.

What does roof damage from hail look like?

If a storm brings hail that is over one inch in diameter, the hail damage to your roof will probably be obvious. When hail is combined with high wind speeds, roof damage can be even more severe. It’s likely that you will be able to see signs of damage such as cracked or broken windows, damaged siding or dented gutters. Smaller hail can cause unseen damage to your roof, so make sure you contact a qualified Rooing Contractor to inspect your roof after a hailstorm regardless of size.

If your roof is in need of replacement, you are in good hands with the professionals at RCI Roofing.

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Let us know a little bit about your project and one of our professional builders will reach out to discuss specifics with you. 

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