How to Spot Hail Damage on Your Roof

Extreme weather of any kind can pose a threat to the health of your roof, but one weather type that can be particularly damaging is hail. After a hailstorm, it is advised that you have your roof professionally inspected, but you should at the very least give it a look over yourself.

But, how do you spot hail damage on your roof and what can you do about it?

What affects the severity of hail damage?

Hailstones can damage any part of the property, but the size of the hailstones and the strength of the wind will determine how severe the damage is. Large hailstones can result in more obvious damage such as broken windows, but smaller hailstones can cause damage that is harder to detect but can still lead to serious problems if they are not treated.

Different roofing materials will be affected in varying ways by hail. For example, gutters, sheet metal roofing and asphalt shingles can become dented and vinyl siding or wood shakes can become cracked. Roofing materials can even be punctured by a large enough hailstone. The age and condition of the roof will also determine how susceptible it is to hail damage.

The seal integrity of the shingles can also become weakened by previous weather damage, meaning the shingles are more likely to become detached in high winds, leaving your roof exposed to potential leaks and also making it more likely that the surrounding shingles will be detached too.

Signs of hail damage

With all roofing materials, look for random damage that has no pattern. Tiles can be cracked, and sheet materials like felt can be torn. Harder materials like clay or concrete can also be cracked or shattered by hail. Cosmetic problems like chipped paint and scratches can also be indications of hail damage.

In the case of asphalt shingles, look for missing granules, which can often be found in the guttering or downspouts. This exposes the asphalt coating to the elements, causing it to age and deteriorate quicker. If the asphalt appears shiny, this may also be a sign of hail damage

In the case of wood shingles, look for splits in the shingles that are brown or orange, splits with sharp corners and edges, or splits that have impact marks or dents, but no deterioration at the edges.

Look in your gutters and downspouts for debris such as granules and pieces of shingles and check the gutters themselves for dents and dings. Even if the dents in the gutters aren’t too severe and don’t need repairing, it may indicate that there has been damage to the roof as well.

Softer parts of the roof, such as ridge caps and plastic roof vents can also be penetrated by larger hailstones.

How to fix roof damage caused by hail

Even damage that seems cosmetic can lead to more serious complications because things like broken shingles, punctures or missing granules create vulnerabilities that reduce your roof’s weatherproofing effectiveness.

Hail damage can turn into leaks or ice dams if they are not addressed, which cause water damage, mould, and rot. This will be far more expensive to fix than the initial hail damage. If you have missing or damaged tiles, these can be individually replaced, but if the damage is extensive, a full roof replacement may be necessary. In the case of smaller damages such as dents and scratches, patch repairs may be possible.Getting your roof professionally inspected is the best way to understand the extent of the hail damage and what needs to be done to fix it. If you need your roof inspecting, please get in touch, and see how we can help.

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