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How To Tell Roof Damage From Hail

Broken Or Exposed Asphalt/fiberglass Mat

Roof Hail Damage How to tell if you have hail damage on you roof and property

Some hail may strike your roof hard enough that it breaks through the granules to the material underneath. If the fiberglass mat or other underlying material is punctured or exposed to the weather, further deterioration and leaks are soon to follow. While this type of damage may cause obvious discoloration, sometimes a cracked fiberglass mat will require a more experienced professional to identify it.

First What Is Hail And How Does It Form

Hail is a type of precipitation that occurs when air updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops into the upper level clouds where temperatures are below freezing. A small particle of ice forms around some type of nucleus. It could be a tiny ice crystal, spec of dust, frozen raindrop or something else.

The frozen ice particle then drops within the cloud back below freezing temperatures, where it picks up more moisture from rain drops and water vapor. Eventually it gets caught in another updraft and freezes again.

The stronger the updrafts, the longer a hailstone circulates up and down growing larger and larger until gravity no longer allows it to remain lofted.

At that point, the hail falls toward the ground, where it can inflict damage on people or property.

Impact Of Hail Damage

There are two categories of hail damage: cosmetic and functional. Cosmetic damage doesnt affect a roofs ability to function properly. Functional damage is more serious and impacts a roofs integrity and longevity. Your roofing contractor will be able to determine whether the damage to your roof is functional or cosmetic so you can relay the correct information to your insurance company.

Even if the damage seems minor, like missing granules across your roof, it can turn into a larger problem later. Missing granules can leave areas of your roof exposed to the elementslike harmful UV rays that can fade and deteriorate your roof over time and lead to water leaks. If not dealt with soon enough, even small amounts of moisture that make their way under shingles can encourage mold or rot and bring your roof problems inside your home.

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What Do I Do If I Think I Have Hail Damage

If youre a homeowner and think you may have hail damage, the first thing you should do is for a free roof inspection.

If the inspector thinks you may have damage, your next step would be to file an insurance claim with your homeowners insurance company. Your insurance adjuster will put together an Xactimate estimate.

A lot of people ask: Will insurance pay for a new roof? This depends on your policy and who you have on your team. A trained professional can determine whether the damage is functional or cosmetic in nature. A public adjuster can help you negotiate a fair deal with the adjuster.

Homeowners: Its very important that you have your contractor come out and inspect the roof with your insurance adjuster. You have to remember the insurance company is looking for reasons NOT to replace your roof. Thats why its important to make sure your contractor inspects the roof with the adjuster.

How Hail Damages Your Roof

Detecting Signs of Roof Hail Damage

The severity of roof hail damage typically depends on the size of the hail, wind speed, and the material of your roof. With enough force, hail impact can shatter roofing materials like clay or concrete. Lets look at a few common ways hail can damage your roof and how each one of them may affect your home.

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Functional And Cosmetic Damage

Generally speaking, there are two types of damage to consider: Functional damage affects a roof’s structural integrity, and cosmetic damage harms a home’s visual appeal.

Cosmetic damage may only be a small chip or dent here and there, but functional damage to shingle roofs can include tears, fractures, punctures or the loss of granules from the surface of asphalt shingles. When granules are lost, the underlying asphalt becomes susceptible to long-term weathering from the sun’s UV rays. This may lead to blisters and cracks, as well as water leakage.

How To Tell If You Have Hail Damage From The Safety Of The Ground

I dont recommend for anyone who doesnt know how to walk on a roof safely to check for the damage mentioned above. Theres no reason to put yourself in danger when your insurance company sends someone out to check it.

But I understand wanting to do your due diligence before filing an insurance claim. Below is a list of things to check for visible hail damage from the safety of the ground:

  • Downspouts
  • 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

This list doesnt mean your roof has extensive hail damage. It just gives you an idea if you should contact your insurance company and file a claim.

For an easier way to walk around your property and check for these signs, get your free Storm Damage Checklist.

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The Insurance Process Is Muddy And Confusing

Both the roofing industry and the insurance industry dont have the best reputation. The unfortunate truth is that there are a lot of roofing and insurance companies who don’t necessarily have your best interest in mind.

Thats why we like to say the insurance process can be muddy and confusing. Some companies use this to their advantage and scam homeowners who are desperate to get their roof problem taken care of.

Thats not to say that all roofing or insurance companies are out to take advantage of you. All Im trying to do is let you know that there are people on both sides who unfortunately try to take advantage of people in a stressful situation.

Understanding this from the beginning helps you be aware to ensure something like this doesnt happen to you.

Question: Insurance Company Says Shingle Defect Gaf Says Hail Damage

How to identify hail damage on your roof

We’ve been told by that this is the result of manufacturer defect. We filed a warranty claim with GAF and they claim their lab results indicate that the shingles are still up the MFG spec and this is hail damage.

They will not cover this under warranty. I’ve been told by 3 separate people that they’ve never seen shingles this bad before and that this is a serious defect.

It was brought to my attention by an adjuster that even if this was a defect the hail damage is a subsequent loss and should still be covered under the ensuing loss clause in our policy. – J.F. 8/12/14

Reply: inconclusive photographs of roof shingle granule loss: sorting out hail damage from shingle defect, possible role of shingle blistering

I looked at your photos with interest, though there was not enough information for me to have a confident opinion.

I saw what looked like fragile edges to the bald areas where granules were lost that could indeed suggest recent hail damage and granule loss.

But I also saw weathering of the exposed shingle substrate black asphalt-filled surface that would have suggested old granule loss. Then I re-read in your note that the hail storm occurred last April.

If your photos of April believed-hail-damage were taken in August, about 4 months later, possibly the whitish weathering I saw occurred on the exposed shingle substrate during that interval.

Meaning of “Shingles are Within Specification”

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Can You Prevent Roof Hail Damage

If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, or hail is forecasted in your area, then anything on the exterior of your home and property left outdoors may be at risk for hail damage, such as vehicles, patio furniture, and landscaping.

Since you cant pull your roof into the garage when theres a storm, you may want to install roofing materials that are designed to withstand greater levels of impact, such as Class 4, impact-resistant shingles, which may help to prevent or reduce the amount of damage from hail or other debris.

Additionally, installing Class 4 shingles on your home mayqualify you for a homeowners insurance discount. Contact your insurance agentto learn more.

While you may not be able to prevent all hail related roofdamage, you can help to minimize the amount of damage and the consequences ofthat damage in your home. In addition to installing Class 4, impact-resistantroofing shingles, early detection and action are key.

What To Look For Outside

If having WeatherCheck isnât enough, these are the signs you can use to help you determine the extent of hail damage.

If you see any roofing shingles on the ground then itâs a definite sign you sustained damage.

Some other obvious signs are broken tree limbs, dents on cars left outside or seeing roofing contractor yard signs in your neighborhood. If theyâre working on homes, then it could be possible that yours needs work as well.

A more subtle sign would be dents, cracks, or holes in the following:

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Introduction Of Hail Damage To Asphalt Shingles

As humans came into this world, at first, they started living in caves made from Rocks. The primary intention for living in caves was to protect themselves from adverse environmental conditions such as rain, storm, wind, etc and also, to protect themselves from the attacks of wild animals.

Although caves fulfilled their primary intention, humans with their developing brains, soon realized the need for more.

They eventually grew aesthetic and architectural sense, and also the need for permanent belongings. As caves were not able to fulfill that, humans started thinking of building their own homes rather than living in caves.

So, they started gathering materials and started building homes using their concept. With progressing time, the homes they have built soon started facing various challenges.

As the primary material for construction was Wood, many a time, then the fire broke out in their house , while in some other times, the wood easily decayed due to presence in moisture, which as well as indirectly responsible for the growth of insects.

Thus, facing such challenges, the construction materials evolved as well. With the time of evolutions of construction, the concept of asphalt shingles is coming. There has a controversy arises that how asphalt shingles are damaged by hail and actually what hail damage looks like.

How To Assess Roof Damage Following A Hailstorm

How to Detect Roof Hail Damage

Even though hail can be a rare experience in some regions, homeowners need to know how to assess hail damage to shingles and other roofing materials. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 4,600 major hailstorms occurred throughout the U.S. in 2018. Hail can range from the size of a marble to a tennis ball to record-breaking lumps of ice as big as softballs.

Even if it’s on the small side, hail can cause significant damage to shingles and other types of residential roofing. Here’s how to identify and treat this kind of weather damage.

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Hail Damage: Granule Loss Study

In the asphalt roof shingles, how many granules are removed on the affected area thats affect the water-shedding ability or the service life of shingles, this process named by the author is a granule loss study on asphalt shingles?

With a wire brush, the quantities of removing granules are varying from new glass-fiber and three-tab mat shingles. After that for ten years, for the weather conditions in Texas and Dallas, the asphalt shingles are exposed naturally.

Approximately, 5, 15, 45, 70 % of granules are removed from the total amount of granules of the asphalt shingles. An upside-down shingle was installed when by the weather the asphaltic mat was exposed.

On the south-facing over wood conventionally the asphalt shingles were installed on a 4:12 pitch. AtAfterhe the study at intervals of ten years period the shingles were examined as well.

The exposed asphalt, in one year, had oxidized grey but on the surface of the shingles has no visible evidence of crack or erosion. The shingles to shed water after five years have oxidized of the exposed shingles area but the functions of the shingles did not affect.

Without granules shingles, surface erosion was visible on the shingles and the other hand had become glass fiber had become exposed. Without granules, after 10 years in the shingles, no significant change was noted. Due to erosion, the life longevity is a decrease of the asphalt shingles.

How To Spot Hail Damage: Roof Inspection Guide

Identifying hail destruction in your surroundings is pretty straightforward and obvious. However, roof damage can be harder to spot and not always the most visible, since it may not be seen from just looking at the roof from the ground up.

Dont wait until your roof deterioration becomes obvious and you see water damage inside the home to get a roof repair. Its important to keep your roof in the best condition to avoid structural decay.

Identifying three major signs of hail damage:

  • Look for missing pieces of asphalt on the shingles you can identify this when you see patches of the black substrate, where the granules have been compromised and parts of the shingle are no longer textured
  • Check for bruised shingles- subtle dents caused by hail may not be visible to the eye, but you can find the damage by running your hand over the shingle for small divots and pressing on the dent to see if it has any give. If you find a soft spot, thats an indication of hail damage.
  • Inspect your roof attachments-since damage to shingles is harder to see, sometimes you can determine the severity of damage by examining the metal accessories on your roof. Check dents in metal vents and cracks in skylight windows.
  • If youre still unsure of hail damage after self-inspection, dont hesitate to book a roofing inspection. Better to be safe and proactive to prevent more costly damage.

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    Hail Damage Indicators On Your Roof

    Gutter Leaf Guard Deformation

    Look for tears or deformation in metal or plastic leaf guards and screens on gutters.

    Granules in Gutters

    Hail damage on your roof will cause granules to break loose at the site of each hail stone impact. If you notice shingle granules in your gutters, you may have hail damage on your roof.

    Dented Roof Vents

    Roof vents are often made of lightweight metal. Dents in the metal or cracks in plastic vents often means your roof was hit with heavy hail.

    Dented Metal Flashing/Roof Fascia

    Inspect metal flashing around chimney or vents & fascia for dents or dings. These are relatively easy to spot.

    Paint Chipped Satellite Dish

    Look for chipped paint, spatter marks or damaged satellite dish components.

    Broken/Cracked Skylights

    Check for cracked or broken glass if your roof has skylights.

    Dented Chimney Covers

    Look for dents and dings on metal chimney covers. Be careful, these are difficult to access.PRO TIP: Turn your chalk sideways and rub on metal surfaces to reveal any hard-to-see dents/dings.

    Missing Shingles

    Check the roof for any missing shingles or shingle tabs that may have blown off.

    Wind Damaged/Loose Shingles

    Look for any shingles that are easily pulled up or flapping from the wind from storm damage.

    Hail Hits on Shingles

    Hail hits on shingles may show subtle spots of granule displacement, bruises in shingle surface, or holes. If you see any dark spots on uniform shingle surfaces or dimpled areas, you most likely have hail damage.

    How To Tell If Your Roof Has Hail Damage

    How to inspect your roof for hail damage | Pro Exteriors

    You might think its easy to tell if your asphalt shingle roof needs a repair after a nasty hail storm. But, considering that architectural shingles are now common, with the added depth that gives them their unique character, spotting signs of hail damage isnt as easy as it used to be.

    Unless you know what to look for to determine if your roof has hail damage.

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    Get Your Roof Inspected By Roofing Experts

    • Before storm season, schedule a roof inspection by a reputable roofing contractor such as AmeriPro Roofing. Its easier and less costly to make small preventive repairs than it is to deal with major roof damage or roof leaks after a severe hailstorm has hit.
    • Inspecting a roof can be dangerous. We do not advise you to get on your roof unless you have proper safety gear and relevant roofing or construction experience. There are many risks involved with climbing up on your roof and attempting repairs and preventative maintenance on your own.
    • A professional roof inspection with AmeriPro is FREE with no obligation to move forward with the work. Our licensed roofing technicians will provide a detailed cost estimate to repair your roof damagesand you decide if you want to move forward or not.

    Question: Phoenix Hail Storm

    There was a hail storm in Phoenix, AZ, in October 2010. I was out of the country at the time. I have returned in April 2012. I am in the process of determining if there were hail damage on my roof currently.

    The insurance inspector claim there was no hail damage on the roof except on the AC condenser and some of the window screen. The inspector claimed the damages seen on the roof were mainly due to weather and acid from the bird dropping. Is is possible for me to send some photos to you to obtain your opinion? Thank you in advance for your time and help in this matter. – PSF Chan 5/24/12


    Bird droppings are not likely to produce a shingle scouring / granule loss pattern that would in the slightest be mistaken for hail damage. Even if we buy the “acid damage” claim the birds would have to poop uniformly over an entire roof and the effect would have to be granule loss without remnants of guano.

    I’d like to see some sharp photos both of the whole roof, all slopes, and of the slope where the damage seems apparent to you, and sharp close ups of the shingle damage area details. Use the CONTACT US link found on any website page.

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