The Consequences of Hail Damage for Your Roof

Avoiding disaster – Strategies to mitigate hail damage for your roof

Did you know that hailstorms can cause more than just damage to your vehicles? After a hailstorm, you might be relieved to find only minor damage to your property, like a few dents and downed branches. However, even small hail damage can lead to costly repairs. Hail can damage your roof and other personal property, but the extent of damage can vary.

Hail damage to a roof isn’t always easy to see from the ground, which is why it’s surprising that it’s the leading cause of home insurance claims for roof replacements in the United States. Even a small piece of hail can significantly affect roofing materials and their lifespan.

This guide explains how hail damage affects your roof, how to spot it, and offers expert advice from a licensed roofing contractor on fixing hail damage. Keep reading to learn more!

What is Hail Damage?

  • Hail damage is a pretty common thing during thunderstorms. It happens when chunks of ice, called hailstones, fall to the ground. These hailstones can be as small as tiny pellets or as big as a baseball.

Depending on how big and how hard they fall, they can cause quite a bit of damage to things like cars, buildings, and crops. In really bad storms, they can even break windows or dent roofs! So, it’s important to be careful during hailstorms to avoid getting hurt or having your property damaged.

  • Before you notice damage on your roof, you might spot these common signs of hail damage around your home:

Dented Gutters

Inspect your gutters and downspouts for dents or dimples, which can indicate hail impact. If your gutters are dented, it’s likely that the hail has also damaged your roofing shingles.

Damaged Siding

  • Check the siding of your home for signs of hail damage, such as dents, cracks, paint chips, or holes. Hailstones can leave noticeable marks on siding materials.

Torn Window or Door Screens

Even small hailstones can cause damage to window and door screens. Look for tears or holes in the mesh of your screens, which can be caused by hail impact.

Damaged Plants or Flowers

  • After a hailstorm, inspect your flower beds and bushes for damage. Hailstones can strip leaves or damage blooms, indicating the force of the hail impact.

Roofing Company Yard Signs

If you notice other roofing companies working in your neighborhood after a recent hailstorm, it’s a sign that many houses in your area were impacted. This indicates the likelihood of hail damage to your roof as well.

Common Signs of Hail Damage on A Roof

  • As we mentioned before, spotting hail damage can be tricky if you’re not sure what to look for. When a roofing company examines your roof, they look for signs of hail damage on your roof and gutter system. They also assess the exposed areas to gauge the extent of the damage.

Hail Marks on Shingles

Hailstones hitting your shingles can leave marks like displaced granules, dents, or holes on the surface.

Dented Roof Vents

  • Roof vents are typically made of lightweight metal, which can get dented by even small hailstones. To spot these dents, rub a piece of chalk on the surface to make them more visible.

Missing Shingles

Check your roof for any missing shingles or shingle tabs that the storm might have blown off.

Paint-Chipped Satellite Dish

  • Look for chipped paint, spatter marks, or damage on your satellite dish caused by hail.

Gutter Guard Deformities

Check for tears or deformities in metal or plastic gutter guards and screens. You might also find shingle granules collecting in your gutters, indicating possible roof damage.

How Hail Damage Progresses on the Roof

Right After the Storm

  • Shingles hit by hailstones may show dents, and granules from the shingles might clog gutters. This exposes the asphalt layer underneath and weakens the bond between the asphalt and the remaining granules.

A Few Weeks Later

Daily sunlight weakens the asphalt layer on exposed shingles, making them brittle. Temperature changes cause the shingles to expand and contract, further damaging them.

Months Later

  • With winter approaching, damaged shingles may crack in the cold, creating tiny holes for water to leak into the roof. Shingles with missing granules may curl, making them easier to tear off in strong winds.

Years Later

If you ignore the need for repair, the continued granule loss makes shingles less effective at keeping out water. This can lead to leaks in attics, storage areas, or utility closets, causing electrical issues and inventory damage. If not fixed promptly, the surrounding wood could rot or develop mold, requiring costly repairs and closures.

How To Prevent Hail Damage on the Roof

  • Repairing hail damage promptly is important, but it’s even better to prevent such damage in the future. You can take several actions to strengthen your building against hailstorms, including:

Choose The Appropriate Building Materials

There are various types of shingles and roof coverings available, some of which are better at resisting or absorbing hail impact. While more durable materials may appear costlier in the beginning, they can ultimately reduce insurance expenses and save money over time.

Pick The Appropriate Weather Barriers

  • Since hailstones are driven by wind, placing structures around your building strategically can create natural barriers. Trees, fences, adjacent buildings, and high walls can all act as breakers to safeguard your roof.

Regular Inspections

hail damage for your roofRegular inspections are vital. After a storm, insurers may deny claims by alleging that the roof was already in poor condition. Regular inspections every few years can provide evidence that your roof and its components are in good shape before any storm occurs.

Depending on the extent of the damage, repairing a hail-damaged roof can range from fixing a single shingle to replacing the entire roof. This variability in repair options is why we recommend having your roof inspected by a professional after a major hailstorm. An experienced roofer can assess the damage quickly and accurately.

If you need an expert to inspect your roof, contact Dupont Roofing. Our experts will help you decide the best way to proceed. Call us today at (202)840-8698 or fill out our website form to schedule a free consultation!

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