Did you just experience a hailstorm? It may be time to check up on your roof: Hail can damage a rooftop in a number of ways, and many are difficult to detect. Because hail damage is closely connected to homeowners insurance, it’s important to find a qualified professional to inspect your roof if you suspect problems. Here are the common ways that hailstones can hurt your rooftop – even if you don’t realize it.
Dented Flashing and Caps
Homeowners are often surprised to learn that the metal parts of their rooftop are the most vulnerable to hailstones. Aluminum, steel, and similar products tend to prove brittle in the face of hailstorms. They dent easily, and many people have woken up to find pockmarks across their flashing, caps, and uncoated metal rooftops. Coatings can help protect against this damage, but there’s not much you can do after it happens other than replace and prepare for next time.
Common hailstorms won’t usually damage your shingles…at least, not in a way you can see with a casual look. When hit by hail, the shingle can often avoid direct damage, but the impact can still damage the substrate below. This leads to small “soft spots” in shingles which are difficult to detect but indicate damage below the surface. These damaged shingles cannot protect against leaks as well and should be replaced.
Hail damage is very dependent on hail size, speed, and direction. More abrasive, hard-hitting hailstones – even if they are very small – can strike off granules on shingles, giving them a bald appearance. This is often more common on one side of the house than the others. Bald shingles have poor defense against other weather and should be replaced.
When hailstones grow particularly large, they can create divots and pits in a variety of roofing materials, including panels, tiles, and shingles. These small notches can cause roofing materials to wear down faster, leak more easily, and crack open over time. This is one case where you will be very grateful for roof insurance – as long as your claim is approved. Get a professional to help you out when it comes to inspections and roof replacement!
Splintering and Cracks
Especially hard-hitting and large hailstones can go one step further and outright crack your roof tiles or even shingles. They can also splinter wood materials. Hail like this is fairly rare, but associated with the very worst storms (and can leave rooftops a wreck). Prepare for significant repairs if this happens.