When a hail storm blows in it’s easy to feel and hear what’s going on outside but seeing hail damage isn’t always as obvious.

Hail damage can shorten your roof’s lifespan and cause damage that will lead to needing a complete replacement. Even a small amount of hail damage can have long-lasting effects.

While the nature of hail damage to the roof will vary based on the type of roof material, we will take a moment to identify signs of hail damage on your roof and what to do to keep hail damage at a minimum.

1. Dents in Shingles

This can be difficult to detect from the ground, but if you can see any obvious dents in your shingles, there’s likely a deeper problem.

Hail damage on asphalt shingles is not just a cosmetic problem. Have a professional inspect the damage to ensure the damage does not get worse in the future.

Hailstorms can result in cracked or dented shingles, which can lead to leaky roofs.

2. Dented Gutters

Because your gutters are a thinner metal, they are a good place to spot possible damage.

Always check the gutter first for dents or cracks after a storm. You don’t need to get on the roof, just take a glance and see if you notice any obvious signs of impact.

Hail that causes dents to your gutters will most likely cause damage to your roof as well.

3. Granule Loss

Granules are the little bits of asphalt that coat your shingles. Prolonged exposure to hail is a major cause of granule loss.

If this occurs, you’ll notice dark sand in your gutters and downspouts. If you notice an accumulation of granules, you might have suffered shingle damage.

Granules in your gutters can cause backup and leaks. These granules could be a result of hail.

4. Water Spots

Severe hail damage can puncture your roof and cause a leak. If you notice water spots in your attic after a hailstorm, it’s a sign that your roof’s integrity has been compromised.

Other signs of hail damage to look out for while on the ground:

If you are a homeowner, climbing on your roof for inspection can be dangerous.

There is no need to attempt climbing your roof for inspection when most roofing contractors offer free roof inspection. Only look at the areas that do not require you to climb on the roof.

There are a few obvious places to start looking. If these areas are damaged, then it’s time to call for an inspection to look for further damage on the roof.

Check for dings, strikes, holes, dents, or splatter marks to any of the following:

  • Window screens
  • Garage door
  • Painted wood or shutters
  • Electric meter
  • AC unit
  • Grill
  • Mailbox
  • Car
  • Other soft metals on your property

Factors That Determine the Impact of Hail on Your Roof

There’s a big difference between a hailstorm that passes through without consequence and a larger storm that can demolish your roof in minutes. Some of the elements of storm damage are out of our control but there are a few factors that can determine the overall damage.

Wind Direction – There is increased impact energy when hailstones are propelled by the wind when compared to free-falling hail. The roof slope facing the direction of the oncoming hail suffers more severe damage with strong winds.

The direction the wind blows the hail towards your roof can heavily determine the severity of impact.

Construction Quality – Poor workmanship can lead to worse damage during hailstorms. It’s always important to use a reputable contractor who is experienced in roof work in your area and understands the weather patterns.

Type of Roof Material – The type and condition of your roof material can determine the extent of damage done by hail. Some roof materials (like metal roofs) are more resistant to impact than others (like asphalt shingles).

Size and Density – The size of hail may range from the size of a pea to the size of a softball. Hail may also have smooth or rough edges. The impact on your roof will vary based on the physical features of the hail.

Hail can range from the size of a quarter, all the way to the size of a tennis ball. The size of the hail will determine the severity of the impact.

How To Minimize Roof Damage Caused By Hail

No roof is completely immune to the impact of hail. Because your roof is exposed to the elements, there’s no way to protect it all year long. However, the following are effective ways to mitigate the damage your roof may sustain.

  •  Install impact-resistant roofing materials – This is especially important if you live in a hail-prone area. Impact-resistant materials may cost more upfront, but they will save you more money in the future.
  •  Schedule Professional Inspection – Regular and timely inspections are vital to mitigating hail damage. One strong hailstorm can completely obliterate a roof that is already in poor condition. Always inspect your roof after a hailstorm so you can spot the damage early and take action immediately.

What To Do When You Suspect Hail Damage on Your Roof

When you wake up in the morning after a strong hailstorm and your mailbox or car are dented, you know there’s likely hail damage on the roof.

Follow these simple steps to mitigate the damage, get the repairs necessary, and protect your home and family.

1. Find a Trusted Contractor

Your first call should be to a trusted contractor in your area. You may want to call two or three to have separate professionals who will get on your roof, assess the degree of impact caused by the hail, and make a list of the storm damage that occurred. After inspection, your contractor may offer to guide you on the insurance claim process. This can be very helpful in making sure the insurance claim is processed smoothly.

2. Call Your Insurance Company

It’s important not to start or schedule any roof repairs until after you’ve contacted your insurance company. If you jump the gun, you may risk footing the bill yourself. The insurance company must approve the hail damage claim first. They will send an insurance adjuster who will meet with your chosen roofing contractor and agree to the extent of the damage together. Make sure the contractor is present when the insurance adjustor arrives. This is because some insurers may want to downplay the extent of damage to save costs.

4. Follow the Insurance Claim Process

With both the insurance adjuster and the contractor on board, the insurance claim process is relatively easy. There are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted along the way.

  • Always do your due diligence, read everything before signing, and be sure you are working with people you can trust.
  • Only approve repairs after the claim has been approved by the insurance company.
  • It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to sometimes make mistakes. Don’t take no for an answer if you’re not getting the coverage you believe you are entitled to. You can even ask for a second inspection by a different adjuster.

Hail Damage Is More Than Meets the Eye

In 2021, hail and high winds accounted for about 40 percent of all insurance claims for damaged roofs. This equates to billions of dollars spent each year protecting American homes.

Some signs of hail damage are obvious like a broken window or a dented car but others are more subtle. If you suspect that your roof was damaged by hail, we recommend calling a professional to inspect your roof. This no-obligation call provides you peace of mind knowing that an expert has evaluated your roof’s surface for any signs of damage.

Always use a contractor with experience in your area and make any repairs quickly. Any delay or neglect will come at a significant cost in the future.

For your free inspection, give us a call today!