Detecting Roof Hail Damage + How To Fix It
Owner & CEO of Eagle Eye Roofing
Waiting for a hail storm to pass and then assessing the damage outside is one of the more anxiety-inducing moments for a homeowner. Is the car okay? Has the homes siding taken a beating? And what about the roof? Has it sustained enough damage where Ill need to call a roofer to repair it?
Texas is no stranger to hail storms, so we thought it would be a good idea to help out homeowners by talking through how to detect roof hail damage, as well as what the process for fixing hail damage looks like.
Lets get started.
What Hail Damage Looks Like
Hail can be very damaging to siding, gutters, windows, and more. Especially on the roof, look for indications that the hail damaged the material beneath your shingles.
If you have composition shingles or asphalt shingles, there could be missing granules, or your shingles could have missing shards. They could also be turned up at odd angles, or they might be buckling or curling.
Those of you who have metal roofs, youre less likely to see significant damage from a hail storm. Metal roofs are extremely durable. However, youll still want to check your ridge cap and trimming to ensure that high winds didnt manipulate the integrity of the material.
Detecting Hail Damage On A Roof
Its important to first note that several different factors play into the severity of the damage your roof sustains from hail. For example, the larger the hail, the more likely it is to damage your roof . The wind speed and direction also plays a role, as well as how old your roof is and the types of materials its made of.
With that said, here are some specific types of damage you should be looking for when inspecting your roof:
Cracks in Shingles
If the hail is bad enough, it will cause cracks in your shingles. This can eventually lead to the shingles tearing off, exposing your roof, and leaving it vulnerable to weather.
Weakened Seal Strips
Another type of damage that can leave your roof susceptible to further issues from the elements, weakened weather strips can eventually lead to shingles becoming dislodged completely. This can be hard to detect, which is why we recommend calling in a roofing professional after a hail storm to take a look.
Granules are the tiny pieces that cover the top of a shingle and feel like sandpaper. The purpose of granules is to protect the asphalt parts of shingles from the elements. So, when they fall off, it can increase the aging process of your shingles. Look for these little pieces in your gutters or downspouts.
Hail storms can also shatter the surface of the shingles, which can then cause the shingle to break away, exposing the fiberglass mat underneath it.
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Can You Tell If Your Roof Has Hail Damage Without Getting On Your Roof
While a roofing contractor can spot hail damage on your roof, I dont recommend getting up there to look for yourself. Theres no reason to risk your safety to check for the damage mentioned above if you dont have experience walking on roofs.
Especially when your insurance company sends someone out to check it. But I completely understand wanting to do your due diligence before filing an insurance claim.
Luckily there are ways to look for collateral hail damage while walking around your property. Below is a list of things to check for visible hail damage from the safety of the ground:
- Dings or strikes to your garage door
- Holes in your window screens
- Dings to any painted wood or shutters
- Splatter marks or dings to your electric meter, AC unit, or grill
- Dents to your mailbox and other soft metals on your property
- Dents on the top of your car and the cars hood
If you find any of the above, it doesnt mean your roof has extensive hail damage. Its just meant to give you an idea if you should contact your insurance company and file a claim for possible roof damage.
For an easier way to walk around your property and check for these signs, get this free Storm Damage Checklist.
What Does Hail Damage Look Like On A Roof
By: Author Ryan M.
Hail is a type of weather that occurs when strong updrafts in the atmosphere cause patches of ice to form.
These patches can grow into large balls, and they usually fall out of the sky during thunderstorms.
Hail damage looks like small dents on your roof or worse causing broken shingles.
A hail storm can do a lot of damage to your property. Its important that you know what it looks like so when the next big one comes, youll be ready!
If you are wondering what hail damage looks like then this blog post will discuss how it can affect your homes exterior and give some tips for preventing it!
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Quick Things That Point To Roof Hail Damage
Dented Gutters & Downspouts
Look for dents and dings on gutters and downspouts. If a hailstorm has struck your area, hail stone impacts will often show up in small dents and dimples in metal gutters and downspouts.
A dented or cracked mailbox may indicate a recent hail storm came through the area. Look for cracks or holes in plastic mailboxes or dents in metal mailboxes.
Hail Splatter Marks on Driveway
Hailstone impacts may remove dirt, grime, algae from driveway surfaces, indicating size and direction of hail fall. Look for splatter marks on your driveway that are lighter than surrounding areas on driveways or sidewalks.
Check your homes siding for splatter marks, dents, cracks, paint chips or holes. In heavy hail storms, this damage will be obvious. But smaller hailstones can also cause damage that may point to hail damage on your roof.PRO TIP: Soak aluminum siding with water from a hose before photographing to make damage more apparent.
Check windowsills and casing for small cracks, dents and dings. Check caulking for tears or signs of impact. Also check window glass for small cracks.
Torn Window/Door Screens
Hail sometimes causes tears or holes in metal and fiberglass window screen mesh.
Broken or Cracked Glass
Look for any impact marks, cracked or broken glass on doors and windows.
Door Dents or Paint Damage
Inspect metal doors for dings or dents, or look for chipped paint or stain on wood doors.
How To Spot Roof Or Exterior Damage From Hail
Severe roof damage, such as shingles getting ripped off your roof or tree branches down may seem obvious to spot. However, minor damage can be difficult to detect through an untrained eye. Get a roof inspection from a trained professional to assess the hail damage on your roof or follow our helpful tips on how to know if your roof or exterior has hail damage.
The first place to look for damage caused by hail is your gutters. High-impact hail that causes roof damage will most likely dent your gutters or downspouts. This is the easiest place to see and evaluate when looking for potential roof damage. If there are dents and dings on your gutters and downspouts, youre likely to have problems on the roof.
Gutters will also fill up and clog due to granules that shingles can shed when hail hits them. Clogged and overflowing gutters will indicate that hail has damaged your roof.
The second place we suggest looking is your siding, and the third place is your deck. Both of these areas will experience damage from a bad hailstorm and are easy indicators for potential shingle damage. Any hail damage on our siding or deck means you should get a roof inspection.
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Why Minor Hail Damage Can Affect The Long
It takes a strong impact to knock the granules or other surface materials off a shingle, they are extremely sturdy.
You might ask, what does hail damage look like on a roof?
If even a few granules are knocked off the rooftop, that means the integrity of the shingles might be compromised, which means a water leak might develop over time.
You may think that whats the big deal if a few granules come loose?? Theres not a hole in the roof!
Again, you may be surprised at the sheer amount of force it takes knock the surface materials off of a shingle.
And larger hailstones fall at the rate of one hundred miles or more hour now thats a serious impact!
When missing or impaired surface materials are found, then the integrity of the shingles has been compromised, and a water leak can develop over time as water pools in the weak spots during rainstorms and other weather events even if everything seems fine at the moment.
In the longer term, curled shingles may be indicative of hail damage, along with algae and moss growth where water may be leaking in or pooling in the cracks caused by hailstones.
Even the smallest hail impact on a shingle can lead to a roof leak or other significant future problems that compromise the long-term value and safety of your roof, especially if you experience another storm or significant weather event before having the roof inspected and repaired if need be.
Hail Damage To Roof Vents And Shingles
Once you’re up on the roof, there’s going to be a few things to look for. Vents, chimneys, sky lights, other features and shingles are on our inspection list.
Hail damage often accompanies wind damage to roofing systems, so you’ll want to look for both.
Check out all the roof vents and features to look for any damage. Look for dents, dings, chipped surfaces, etc.
For the harder to see impact areas like the chimney covers , run your chalk sideways over the surface and it will uncover the hail impact points. For the softer metal vents, the damage will be much more obvious.
The last, but most important thing to check is the shingles. Hail damage to roof shingles are what buys the roof. You’ll never get a solid insurance claim without shingle damage.
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How To Identify A Hail Damaged Roof
As soon as possible after a storm, one of the first things to do is to examine the perimeter of your home to look for any signs of hail damage. Things to be on the lookout for are new marks, dents or dings on things like:
- Garage Door
If you see any damage to any of the above, your next course of action should be to check your roof.
Its important to note, however, that we do not recommend getting up on your roof yourself to assess any damage. Its highly recommended that you instead consult a roofing professional who can properly assess any damage themselves and even recommend to you any possible solutions to prevent further damage to the roof or even the interior of your home.
Once its been determined that you might have hail damage to your roof, there are several things to look out for, including:
- Damaged Shingles and/or Roofing Materials, including:
- Bruised Shingles or Dark Spots on the Shingles
- Loss of Granules in Roofing Asphalt
An easy method to determine if your roof has bruises, dents or dings is to simply rub a piece of sidewalk chalk over the suspected area. The problem areas will be immediately noticeable using this method.
More often than not, if you do see these signs, its likely that other areas of the roof are damaged as well and will need closer inspection by a roofing professional.
How To Check For Hail Damage Safely
Hail damage is usually revealed after a hailstorm has occurred, but you can check for hail damages before they happen.
If you are wondering what hail damage looks like then this blog post will discuss how it can affect your homes exterior and give some tips for preventing it!
- If the damaged area of siding or roofing is small, you can usually spot it by looking at the shingles or other exterior siding.
- If there are visible cracks in your shingles surface, this means they have been damaged and need to be replaced right away before water gets into them!
- If a larger area of roof has been affected but not completely destroyed from hail, you can usually spot it by looking at the shingles from a distance.
- If there are visible dents in them, this means they have been damaged and need to be replaced right away before water gets into them!
- Large hail damage is often accompanied with broken or loose shingle nails which will cause more of your siding or roofing to come loose.
- This will require a more extensive repair process that includes taking off the broken shingles, replacing them with new ones and repairing all damages from hails on your roofs exterior siding!
In some cases hail damage can go unnoticed if it is minor enough where you dont see any dents or breaks in the surface of your shingles.
This is why its important to check for them before they get worse, especially if you are in an area that gets frequent hailstorms!
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Metal Roof Hail Damage
Shingles can be tricky when it comes to spotting hail damage, but they’re not the only type of roof out there. You have others like wooden shake, clay, slate and metal roofing.
Wood shingles will split right down the middle after being struck by hail. Clay & slate roofing will have cracks and/or gouges, and metal roofing will have impact dents like we saw on the gutters at the beginning.
Metal roofing is one of the easiest to spot for hail damage.
Here are some examples of hail damage on a metal roof.
Finding Evidence Of Roofing Hail Damage Inside Your Home
Not everything related to hail damage is on the outside there are a variety of things that you may notice inside your home that might not appear to be related at first.
If you notice things like new water stains on the ceiling or interior walls, discolored walls, water stains in or around light fixtures, water stains in closets, mold or mildew on the walls, water seepage in the attic, wet insulation, or similar issues, then you need to check out the roof as well.
This goes doubly important if you begin to notice these things soon after a major hailstorm or heavy storm.
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Colossal Mistakes Homeowners Make With Insurance Claims
The average Texas homeowner pays $3,429 in annual home insurance premiums, but only makes a claim once every 9 years. Thats $30,861 in premiums over that span!
As a policy holder you have a contract with your insurance company. When you experience legitimate damage to your property, it is your contractual right as a policy holder to make a claim and get paid in full for your loss. After all, that’s what you have insurance for in the first place.
But all too often, mistakes are made by homeowners in the process of making a claim – mistakes that unnecessarily cost them thousands of dollars.
We hope this guide will help you avoid the 6 most common mistakes we see homeowners make during an insurance claim.
Mistake #1 – Not Filing a Valid Claim
Most people have insurance policies to protect themselves should something go wrong, then when something does, theyre afraid to use it!
That sounds crazy at first. You have insurance. Something went wrong. Why not use it?
The fear is that by making a claim, rates will go up or you will be cancelled. That is possible if you make a high-risk claim or if you have too many claims for incidents that are within your control , but not for naturally occurring incidents like a roof insurance claim. For more info, check out our blog What Causes Insurance Premiums to go Up?
The downloadable guide is FREE and contains “Insider Secrets” not found on the website…
What Happens When You Ignore Your Damaged Roof
Many homeowners may think that just because the hail didnt bust a hole through their roof, or they didnt lose any shingles, that the damage is minor, and you can take your time to repair it. This is not the case. The longer you put off repairing any hail damage on your roof, the more susceptible you become to leaks and other damage. The second your shingles are damaged is the second it loses its integrity to protect your home against the elements.
Ignoring your damaged roof can lead to:
- Mold and mildew growth underneath your shingles and protective mat underneath.
- Water leaks into your attic and upper floor of your home.
- The next time a storm comes through, loose or cracked shingles can end up furthering the damage to your roof.
- Loss of granules can clog your gutters, making them less efficient.
- Waiting might affect your chances of getting insurance to cover repairs.
- If your shingles have a warranty, waiting could mean that warranty running out.
When it comes to hail damage on your roof, we always suggest homeowners take fast action and start an insurance claim. We asked 7 roofing and exterior experts what they think homeowners should do and look out for when it comes to hail damage on their roof. Heres what they had to say:
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Quick Recap: Estimating A Hail Damage Repair Cost
Like after what you have read for so long, here is a quick recap of the entire procedure in short:
- Bring your car home or in a shaded area. However, your garage should be the best place.
- Next, shine some PDR lights on it.
- With a bright color mark each dent and other car damages caused by the hailstorm.
- Count each damage and put in that information, and calculate.
- Take pictures of the model and VIN.
This is how you can estimate your cost.