How to tell if your roof has been damaged by hail?

Pile of hail drops that has just fallen. Close up. . High quality photo

About Roof Hail Damage

Spring has come and gone here in New Orleans, and now the blistering summer sun is beating down every day, temperatures over 100 degrees. While it may seem not necessary right now, with dry, drought weather, it is a good time to check your home for roof hail damage. Why now?  

Because when winter comes, those signs of hail damage on rooftops will become expensive problems, causing severe damage to your home. Can hail damage your roof? Absolutely! So, how can you tell your roof is hail damaged? Roof hail damage can have different results after a hailstorm, depending on the type of roofing material.

What are signs of hail damage on a roof?

There are different effects of different roofing materials and knowing how to identify them correctly is important. The following are indications of roof hail damage with different materials: 

of the damage to properly identify whether or not you have roof damage from hail.

Asphalt or Composition Shingled Roof Hail Damage

  • Random, undiscernible patterns of damage.
  • Hailstone hits are bruised-like, black in color.
  • Loss of asphalt granules on the shingles.
  • Exposed roof felt.
  • Shiny appearance on shingles.
  • Soft to the touch spots on shingles. 

Wood Shingles Roof Hail Damage

  • Random, undiscernible patterns of damage.
  • Brown/orange-colored splits in the shingles.
  • A split with sharp corners and edges on shingles.
  • A split shingle with little to no edges deteriorating. 
  • Dents or impact marks along the splits.

There is damage that may appear to be roof hail damage that an experienced roofing contractor or insurance adjuster can deem to be caused by other issues. Over time, after several rounds of inclement weather and constant UV sun rays will turn shingles brittle, causing them to age.  

Without other coinciding roof hail damage indicators that we listed above will be declared as normal wear and tear. This can result in roof-hail damage insurance claims being denied.

hail damage on clay roof

Can hail cause you to need a roof replacement?

Yes, even if the hail damage is apparent to the naked eye, roof hail damage could still exist. Anytime your home has been in the midst of a hailstorm, a professional roofing contractor inspection should be done, or call your homeowner’s home insurance and file a claim. 

They will send an insurance adjuster out to inspect the roof. Hail damage can be found by doing a close roof inspection. Even the most minor issues, like granules missing, or a few dents on a couple of shingles, could compromise the integrity of the roofing shingles.

How bad does a hail storm have to be to cause damage? 

There are typically a variety of hailstone sizes in a hailstorm, each size can cause different levels of damage. From the smallest, ¼ inch diameter (pea size) up to 4-1/2-inch diameter (grapefruit size), can leave behind roof hail damage. 

In most cases, it takes ½ inch or larger to cause significant damage. A roof hail damage can result in needing a completely new roof when hailstones reach the size of a ping-pong ball (1-1/2-inch diameter) to golf ball size (1-3/4-inch diameter). However, the smallest size, pea-size, can cause roof hail damage if the roof is aged or in poor condition, depending on the angle and velocity it hit the roof.

What does hail damage do to shingles?

The roof hail damage can knock granules off the shingles, and break and crack shingles. A hailstorm will leave dents and dings that appear as bruised marks. These may not always seem to be an issue, but the damage can cause the shingles to come loose from the decking, exposing the roof to the elements, and causing roof leaks into the attic.

When do you need to have your roof repaired after hail?

If you live in Georgia, or other states that are known for severe hailstorms, you should have your roof inspected after each storm. In most cases, a new roof will be needed every 10 years, in some cases, sooner. The quality of the roofing material will determine this timeframe, with low-quality roofing averaging 7 years and a high-quality asphalt shingle roof averaging 10 years. 

Does insurance cover hail damaged roofs?

The most basic homeowner’s insurance policy will provide coverage for damage by extreme weather events. This includes roof hail damage, falling limbs, strong winds, tornados, etc. Where the coverage for roof hail damage may be denied is if the insurance adjuster deems the roof was old and should have been replaced prior to the hailstorm, often referred to as homeowner neglect. 

In Closing 

It is recommended to review your homeowner’s insurance policy every 6 months, the make any difference in coverage if needed for your best interest. Keep your maintenance up with cleaning gutters, make small repairs as needed, and keep trees trimmed back from the roof, keeping limbs cleared off the roof.  These are things that insurance adjusters are looking for when inspecting a claim for roof hail damage.

For help with roof hail damage in New Orleans, LA. Call (877) 406-7663 with ECO Commercial today.