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What Does Hail Damage Look Like?

Tips For Home & Business Owners After A Hail Storm

After a hailstorm passes through your area, the first thing that probably jumps into your head is your car. You shouldn't just worry about your car—but your roof as well. In fact, most homeowners are unaware of hail damage to their roofs. Hail can cause extensive damage to roofing and more. However, the extent of hail damage can vary and is dependent on multiple factors.

  • Hail size and density: The bigger and more dense the hail, the more destruction to your property. The size of hailstones are measured by comparing it to known objects, with the smallest being pea size at ¼ inch diameter and in extraordinary circumstances, grapefruit size at 4 ½ inches. Hail is considered severe at quarter size (1 inch) and beyond.

  • Wind speed and direction: Higher wind speeds can increase the damage that hail inflicts, along with the direction of the wind.

  • Roofing materials: Most roofs are made from asphalt. While durable and versatile, asphalt is more susceptible to hail damage. Hail can also create dents in aluminum siding. Older roofs and/or roofs that are in poor condition are also vulnerable to hail damage.

What Hail Damage to Your Roof Looks Like

How hail damage presents itself in shingles varies depending on the material of the shingles. To avoid potential hail damage from escalating to irreversible damage and leaky roofs, it is essential to know what hail damage looks like. Regardless of the type of shingles, random damage that doesn’t follow an discernable pattern is often an indicator of hail damage.

For asphalt and composition shingles, be sure to look out for the following:

  • “Bruising,” or black spots on shingles

  • Missing surface granules

  • Spots that are soft to the touch

  • Asphalt that seems to glisten and shine

For wooden shingles:

  • Brown/orange cracks in the shingle

  • Splits in the shingle with sharp edges and corners

  • Splits in shingles with little to no erosion near the edges

  • Dents and/or marks alongside the splits

Although hail is a frequent culprit to inflicting damage to roofs, it can be misidentified. Over time, exposure to sunlight and weather causes wear and tear to shingles on rooftops. Older shingles are prone to cracking and granule loss.

How to Check for Potential Hail Damage

It may be difficult to deduce hail damage to your roof from the ground, but you can still figure out if there is any damage by looking for the most prominent signs.

  1. First, check for dents in gutters, gutter screens, and downspouts. If these are damaged, there is a high likelihood that your roof has taken even more of a beating.

  2. Second, check for damage to window sills and sidings. Same thing for the gutters and downspouts: if there is damage to these, you can bet there is damage on your roof as well.

  3. Finally, check any other outdoor objects, such as air conditioners, patio furniture, etc. If you see any new dings or dents, this is most likely caused by hail damage.

Getting on the Roof

Once you’ve identified hail damage to other parts of your property, it’s time to pull out the ladder and get onto the roof. Don’t know where to start? Be sure to check chimneys, shingles, vents, and gutters.

When checking roof vents, keep your eyes open for chipped/eroded surfaces, dents, and dings. Damage is more obvious on vents made from softer materials.

Most importantly, check your shingles for damage. Damage to shingles can be either obvious or incredibly hard to determine. Missing surface granules are a key indicator of hail damage.

If you ignore shingle damage, it can lead to more serious consequences over time, such as roof leaks. Damaged shingles also provide enough evidence to create an insurance claim, so be sure to mark every damaged shingle and/or take pictures.

So I Have Hail Damage… Now What?

Once you’ve determined that you may have hail damage, you need to schedule an inspection. Give us a call to schedule a time for one of our experienced technicians to examine your roof. If there is damage, we can help you get started with the process of filing your insurance claim.

Depending on your insurance policy, your insurance may or may not pay for a new roof. Of course, this depends on the nature of the damage inflicted to your roof. If the damage is significant and impacts the functionality of your roof, a public adjust can assist you in giving you a fair deal.


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