Hail Damage

It’s often difficult to determine whether or not a shingle roof needs to be replaced after a hail storm because damage is not readily evident.   The amount of damage a hail storm can do depends on a number of factors:

  • the type of roof
  • the slope of your roof
  • the angle the hail hits
  • the size of the hail
  • the strength of the wind
  • a single storm, or multiple

An inspection is needed to determine the extent and type of damage. You can do it yourself, or call an Absolute Roofing professional to do it for you. Recognizing the difference between hail damage and normal wear on a roof can be difficult for the non-professional. Recognizing which is responsible can make the difference in your insurance covering the repair or replacement or you having to pay for it yourself.

Type of Roof

Whether your roof is asphalt, clay or concrete tiles; metal or synthetic roofing or cedar shingles will affect the extent of damage caused by an average or severe hail storm.

Asphalt tile roofing may show some damage immediately, but the main risk for asphalt roofs is related to the granules that cover the tiles. When these tiles are knocked off, the underlying asphalt will appear differently soon after the storm (before exposure to the sun bleaches out the difference).   So an inspection right after the storm will make it easier to assess the damage. While a quick inspection is best, damage may not occur for 4 to 6 months. The sun on the newly exposed areas will damage the tile if not treated.

Concrete tiles are pretty resilient and can go through some pretty hefty hail storms and survive. Some tiles may need to be replaced, and if so, should be replaced quickly to avoid damage to the underlayment and interior of the building.

Metal roofing may show hail damage more readily, but in many cases its waterproofing ability won’t be affected by a storm.

Synthetic roofing comes in many types, and the hail ratings for different types vary. …..

Cedar shingles are not very hail resistant and can split and crack as a result of even a single hail strike.

Slope of the roof and the Angle of Impact

A direct impact of hail on shingle is more damaging than that of a glancing blow. A steeply sloped roof will do better if the hail is coming down fairly straight, but if the wind is blowing the hail at more of an angle, there is more likelihood of damage to a steeply sloped roof.

Auxiliary areas

Damage to metal fixtures such as gutters and flue vents will show hail damage more readily, though is generally does not hinder functionality.

Condensing fins on air conditioning systems can be affected by a driving hail storm. Damage of this type can adversely affect the performance and reliability of the system.

Siding, whether it is vinyl, shingle or ….. can show pock-marks, shredding, and chipped paint as a result of a driving hail storm.

What should you do?

Inspection of the roof, siding and auxiliary areas should be performed as soon after the storm as is safely possible. Making a note of damage, and documenting the date and time of the storm, then notifying your insurance company can protect you against damage that doesn’t show immediately.

There are many factors to consider:

  • New asphalt shingle tiles are more resilient to hail impact than older shingles.
  • Warmer shingles are more resistant than cold ones
  • Shingles with a structurally sound substrate are more resistant

A single hailstorm may not cause obvious damage, but it can reduce the full life of your roof

  • scouring granules off an asphalt roof,
  • dislodging areas of granules,
  • exposing underlayment,
  • removing material at the edges,
  • causing splits in shingles and more

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