hail damaged shingles with chalk circle

Uh oh! A hail storm just came through your city, and you woke to the sound of hail pelting your roof—what do you do now? Here’s how you can check for hail damage on your roof and determine the right next steps to take.

What Does Hail Damage Look Like on Roofs?

First, it’s essential to know that hail doesn’t need to be the size of a baseball or golf ball to cause significant damage to your home. Hail that large is relatively uncommon. Even small coin-sized hail can make an impact on your roof, and you’ll want to check for damage right away. But what does it look like?

  • Missing granules
  • Black dots or “bruises.”
  • Dents or holes
  • Missing shingles or spaces between shingles
  • Tears on the shingle corners

What Factors Affect Hail Damage?

  • Size and Density: As noted above, hailstones can be a variety of sizes and shapes- all of which can do significant damage to your roof and your home. Depending on the atmospheric conditions when the hailstones were forming, they can also be quite dense. The bigger and denser the hailstone is, the more damage it can do to your roof and your property.
  • Wind: Like many other storms, wind damage is always a variable that can damage your property. Depending on the direction, speed and intensity of the wind, the severity of the hail damage could be affected.
  • Obstructions: Most of the time, we think of obstructions as negatives, but when it comes to hail storms, they are a welcomed sight. Obstructions such as neighborhood structures, tree cover, landscaping, adjacent homes and other natural barriers can provide relief from hail damage. However, the brunt of that damage will still affect those obstructions potentially leading to other costly repairs.
  • Roof Material and Age: Depending on the type of roof you have and its age, the damage from hail can be quite different. For instance, hail can cause “dings” in gutters, asphalt shingles and aluminum siding, but it can crack vinyl siding or wood shakes. Larger hailstones can be dense enough and strong enough to completely tear a hole in your roof. If your roof is older and/or hasn’t been maintained, it could be prone to more extensive damage.

What Types of Damage Can Hail Cause?

Your roof and your car parked outside will probably be the most susceptible points of impact in a hail storm. But you may not always see obvious damage right away. Smaller dime-sized hailstones may damage your flowers and landscaping, while larger hail like golf-ball or tennis ball-sized can break windows, make large dents, and create holes in your siding.

It’s important to know some of the most common types of damage that your roof may have in the event of a hail storm. That way, you can notice pretty quickly if you have damage and get it repaired right away.

Loss of Granules

Asphalt shingle roofs have a layer of granules on each shingle’s surface that protects it from UV rays, wind, and other elements. They’re the first barrier to the shingle, and when those get damaged, they exposed the tar or fiberglass mat underneath, which protects your home from leaks. Hail that impacts your shingles can easily break away these granules, and even a little exposure can, over time, leave your roof susceptible to leaks. Loss of granules may require getting up on the roof, which we recommend being done by a professional. They can see pretty quickly which shingles have lost this barrier.

Cracked or Exposed Fiberglass Mat

If the fiberglass mat beneath these granules gets damaged, that even more so leaves your roof open to leaks because moisture can get behind the shingle and infiltrate your home. These leaks can cause mold and mildew growth plus water damage in your attic and insulation. Here is an article on how to check for Cracks or exposed fiberglass mats.

Damage to the Seal Strip

Hail damage can break the sealing strips between every shingle. Once these strips are damaged, it essentially makes the shingles null as that seal is critical to keeping out water leaks and moisture. Plus, any strong winds can lift your shingles if they aren’t sealed correctly.

Cracked or Dented Shingles

Finally, large hail can do some serious damage to your shingles themselves by cracking or even denting them. Dents are pretty apparent when checking your roof for damage. The dents don’t even have to penetrate through the shingle—that small bit of damage can cause granule loss or even crack the barrier underneath.

Inspecting Your Roof After a Hail Storm

Make sure that you have roofing boots, a ladder in good condition, a camera for spotting damage, chalk to mark problem areas and a friend to help stabilize your ladder.

If you are interested in the ins and outs of roof inspection, take a look at the I.O.U. method. If it is too dangerous or you are simply not comfortable, Secured Roofing and Restoration provides emergency services for storm damage.

Hail damage is actually covered by insurance more than many other types of storm damage.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

A report out of Colorado Springs has identified that hail damage can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. Though we are in Florida, this damage can happen to any home in any location. Hail damage can damage your roof vents which prevents carbon monoxide gases from escaping.

While a typical home isn’t constantly filling with carbon monoxide, over time it can build up and cause you to be sick or even die. Fire departments suggest that having a carbon monoxide detector is essential to any home, but particularly in locations that are prone to hail storms.

Next Steps if You Find Hail Damage to Your Roof

If you discover you have any amount of storm damage, there are a few things you must do right away. If your damaged roof is terrible and you believe you will have immediate leaks, a local contractor will often come to provide emergency service. They can come and cover your roof with a tarp to prevent any leaks in the period before getting it repaired.

Check Your Insurance Policy

First things first, check your insurance policy and find your hail coverage details. This will help you know before you call a contractor or your insurance company to file a claim. You don’t want an insurance adjustor to throw you for a loop, so it’s good to know it yourself as well.

Get an Inspection

It’s smart to get both an inspection by your local roofing contractor as well as the homeowner’s insurance provider. The two inspections can be compared, and your roofing contractor can determine how much money will cover your damage repairs.

Cover Any Potential Leaks

Whether you call an emergency service to cover your roof or you manage to tarp your attic yourself from the inside, it’s critical to contain any potential leaks, so you aren’t faced with further damage beyond your roof repairs.

File an Insurance Claim

File an insurance claim with your homeowner’s policy. This can be done earlier in the process or after you’ve done your research. Either way, the faster you get your claim processed, the faster you can get repairs done. And especially in catastrophic weather events, insurance providers can be struck with numbers of claims and take longer than expected.

Secured Roofing and Restoration is here to help with your hail damage roof repairs.  Not only do we offer 24-hour emergency services, but we will work with you and your insurance company to ensure your claim gets processed and we can get your roof repaired as soon as possible. Plus, we offer FREE repair estimates! Just fill out our estimate form to get started!

When to Call a Professional

Don’t be a hero. Getting up on your roof is dangerous and could lead to injury, especially if you aren’t prepared or qualified. Call an experienced, local roofing contractor.

Hail damage is actually covered more than many other types of storm damage, so it would be a good idea to contact your insurance claim adjuster as well.

If you contact Secured Roofing and Restoration, we will take care of the entire process for you. From working with your claims adjuster to putting the finishing touches on your roof, we can get your home back to its original condition. You can check the quality of our work on our Facebook page.

Celebrate Your Home

Get in Touch