How can Hail Damage Your Roof?

After a heavy storm, it’s normal to be concerned about hail damage on your roof. After all, a cracked shingle doesn’t only affect the roof; it can also cause water damage to your home.

If you suspect hail damage, it’s important to assess your roof so you can get started on any needed repairs as soon as possible. Try to identify the location and extent of the damage as you make your assessment. Here are some tips on what to look for.

How do I identify hail damage?

Even hail as small as three-quarters of an inch can damage your roof, though you may not be able to see the damage with your naked eye. Hail of one inch or larger causes the most bruising to your shingles. At two inches, it can cause severe damage. However, even a few granules of damage on a shingle may lead to a water leak, mold growth, or even damage to your home’s structural integrity.

What does hail damage look like?

Not all hail damage looks alike. Different types of shingles react differently to a hail strike. For example, asphalt or composition shingles will show a random damage pattern with black marks where the hail hit. The hits may be soft to the touch. You may see exposed roof felt due to a loss of granules. The asphalt may also appear shiny.

Wood shingles also show random damage and may display a split in the shingle that is brown and has sharp edges, with little to no deterioration. Additionally, the split may have impact marks or dents.

Not all damage to shingles is hail damage. Wear and tear from weather and sunlight can make shingles brittle, blistered, cracked, or flaked — as can poor installation or scuffing from wind and debris.

How do I inspect my roof?

Remember, climbing on your roof can be dangerous. Use scaffolding to help you walk safely across and wear sturdy shoes or boots with soft soles. If your roof isn’t easy to access, an experienced professional can help you stay safe and accurately assess any hail damage you might have.

If you do decide to inspect your roof, be sure to look at your gutters, downspouts, window frames, exposed metal, and painted surfaces. These may also show dents, dings, and chips from hail impact.

Based on these guidelines, if you suspect hail damage after your initial review, your next course of action is to call a professional roof inspector, such as a roofing company or a general contractor. These experienced professionals can gauge the severity of the damage and inform you which repairs are needed.

What kind of repairs do I need? 

If a professional determines repairs are needed, it may not be for the entire roof. You can choose to replace individual shingles or fix one area, especially if you have a relatively new roof with only minor roof damage. New shingles can replace old, damaged shingles. If only a few shingles are damaged, these can be removed and replaced as well. If the damage is even more significant, you may choose to partially reroof your home.

Will insurance cover the repairs?

Contact your insurance company. Companies generally cover repairs related to weather damage, which is considered an “act of god” because it is naturally occurring and beyond an owner’s control.

How do I get my roof fixed?

After having your roof inspected professionally, and determining that hail damage has occurred and is covered under your insurance policy, you must file an insurance claim and hire a company to perform the repairs.

Hailstorm damage can range from minor to severe, but all damage from hail should be addressed quickly, ideally by an experienced professional. The friendly and knowledgeable team at Jack C. Wilson Roofing can assess the damage, perform shingle roof maintenance, or even replace your entire roof, ensuring your home’s structural integrity for years to come.

You should not rely on a roofing contractor as to what should or shouldn’t be covered by your insurance company, this is prohibited by law. Only a certified insurance adjustor can determine what the insurance company should be responsible for. Many roofers have created a business structure solely based on insurance claims thus increasing the motivation to file an insurance claim whether it is legitimate or fraudulent. Make sure you deal with a roofing company that does business the honest way.