Does Your Roof Have Hail Damage?

An example of how a homeowner can document hail damage to negotiate a roof replacement


Hail damage can very costly if you don’t deal with it right away. When a storm produces hail, it can do more than make you run for cover.  Hail can damage anything that it hits – including your roof.  Whether it is relatively small hail (pebble size) or large, softball-sized hail, when it falls from the sky, can damage all roofing material but particularly shingle roofing.  If your roof is damaged by hail, you may not know it until you have a much larger problem such as a leak or water damage.

How Does Hail Form?

Well, according to NOAA:

Hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried upward by thunderstorm updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freeze. Hailstones then grow by colliding with liquid water drops that freeze onto the hailstone’s surface. If the water freezes instantaneously when colliding with the hailstone, cloudy ice will form as air bubbles will be trapped in the newly formed ice. However, if the water freezes slowly, the air bubbles can escape and the new ice will be clear. The hail falls when the thunderstorm’s updraft can no longer support the weight of the hailstone, which can occur if the stone becomes large enough or the updraft weakens.

The more fierce the storm, the larger the hailstones can be. The larger the hailstones, the more potential hail damage to your roof.

Identifying Hail Damage

If you experience a hail storm it is wise to look for signs of damage to your roof and call a professional for roof repair as soon as possible.  One of the first signs of hail damage to your roof is roof shingles or tiles on the ground around your home.  Whether there are full shingles and tiles or just fragments, it is a sign that some damage has occurred.  And, what you see may not be all the damage.  It may be much worse but out of sight, which is why it is important to have a professional roof inspection.

Hail & Your Shingle Roof

Signs of hail damage to your shingle roofing also include pitted-looking spots, cracks in asphalt roof shingles, or just the appearance of shingle granules either on the ground around your home or in your gutters or downspouts.  While nobody wants their roof to need repairs after hail, the cost of delaying repair could be far more than simply having a roofer inspect for damage.

 Damage to Metal Roofing

While hail damage on metal roofing is less common, it is possible and should not be ruled out, particularly if you have a lot of hail or very large hail.  If you see any visible damage to your roof or find any evidence of potential roof damage, it is important to contact a roofer immediately.  Some damage is minor and only needs a simple repair (or sometimes no repair at all!), and other damage could leave your roof – and your home – vulnerable to water damage.  Sometimes all that is needed is shingle or tile replacement in a few select locations.

What type of repair, and the extent of the repair will depend on multiple factors besides the damage including the type of roof, age, the pitch of the roof, and more.  If your roof is already in disrepair, old and damaged, it may be a better investment to replace the roof rather than repair it which may only serve as a temporary bandage of the problem.

For help assessing hail damage to your roof after a storm, contact the roofing professionals at Hahn Roofing to inspect your roof for damage and make any necessary repairs.