Homeowners who have experienced an intense hailstorm understand the damage that hail can cause; even the very small hail pellets, if combined with strong winds, can lead to significant roof damage. And because most hail damage is not easy to spot, it tends to go unnoticed until shingles and other roof components deteriorate over time and lead to major roofing problems further down the road. In this article, we’ll talk about how to spot hail damage, give you tips on how to protect your home against hail damage and provide an action plan on what to do if you have a hail damaged roof.
How to Spot Hail Damage
Any part of a home can be affected by hail, but the roof is where hail damage is most common. It’s not always easy to spot roof hail damage, and even relatively moderate storms the deliver tiny balls of hail ice can mean big trouble for homeowners. There are basic visual checks that can be completed by the homeowner, but for a more in-depth roof inspection, we recommend calling the experts at AmeriPro who know what to look for and how to repair anything that gets discovered while inspecting your roof for hail damage.
- Cracked Tiles, Dented/Split Shingles: Direct hail hits can cause cracks (ranging in size from tiny to very large) in roofing tiles. With shingles, look for dents of any size and splits in the shingle body itself.
- Chimney Cover Damage: Metallic chimney covers are a good place to look for hail indentations because the metal sheeting is very susceptible to dents of all sizes. If you can’t see dents but suspect the chimney cover was hit, rub a piece of chalk sideways across the surface of the cover and any dents will become obvious.
- Damaged Siding: Inspect your siding for splatter marks, dents, cracks, paint chips, or holes which could signify hail damage to your roof.
- Missing or Curled Shingles: Heavy hail damage in a single storm, or over a longer period, can eventually tear shingles completely off or damage them to the point where they begin to curl up like pieces of dried-out leather.
- Damaged Gutter Guards or Vents: Gutter guards often show denting and scratch marks after hail has damaged it. Also look for scratched paint on guards and denting on any vents that protrude from your roof.
- Granules in Gutters or Downspouts: When you find shingle granules in gutters and downspouts, ice pellets are the prime suspects.
- Satellite Dish Damage: Roof-mounted satellite dishes do more than bring 100-plus television channels to your big-screen theater. They act as excellent barometers of hail strikes. Look for dents, paint chipping, loose components, and broken or displaced pieces of the dish.
- Shingles on the Ground: If you find shingles in your yard or even a few that have blown into a neighbor’s yard, your property likely took a destructive blow from the hailstorm.
- Damage to Garage Doors, Lawn Furniture, and Lights: Glass or metal light fixtures in your back or front yard, lawn furniture, and garage doors are ideal places to do some sleuthing for hail damage.
- Chipped Paint, Damaged Mailboxes: It seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes a good way to know if your roof has sustained hail damage is to walk to your mailbox. Metal and wood mail receptacles often carry telltale signs of direct hits from hail pellets.
- Pool Problems: If your pool pump shows signs of damage after a hailstorm or you see chunks of debris floating on the water, that means your roof probably also took a hit from the storm.
- Indoor Signs of Hail Damage: Check for ceiling stains, line-shaped discoloration on walls, puddles of water in basements or garages, water or mold buildup in attics, moist insulation, and any unusual stains near light fixtures and fire-sprinklers. These are all potential signs that hail has damaged your roof enough to destroy its ability to prevent water from penetrating the inside.
How to Protect Your Roof Against Hail Damage
While even the best preparation cannot prevent all hailstorm damage, there are things you can do to increase the chances your property will survive relatively unscathed.
Get Your Roof Inspected by Roofing Experts
- Before storm season, schedule a roof inspection by a reputable roofing contractor such as AmeriPro Roofing. It’s 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 damages—and you decide if you want to move forward or not.
Use Impact-Resistant Roofing Materials
- If you live in a region susceptible to hailstorms and your roof is nearing the end of its lifecycle, mitigate the risk of your roof not being able to withstand another storm season and get a new roof installed using impact-resistant shingle.
- Or, if you already have significant roofing problems that need addressing, rather than carrying out repairs repairing it, consider upgrading to a new roof using impact-resistant materials.
- Impact-resistant shingles such as modified asphalt shingles with their rubber-like characteristics help protect your roof from hazards such as hail and high winds. They will cost more initially, but they pay for themselves in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and could help prevent having to replace your roof prematurely.
- Other impact-resistant shingles made from resin, plastic, aluminum, or copper may offer even more protection but typically come at a higher cost. AmeriPro will provide a free inspection and advise on what type of shingle will be best for your unique situation.
- When evaluating the cost of a new impact-resistant shingled roof, keep in mind that many insurance companies now offer a discount to homeowners who have weather-resistant roofs, which can offset the slightly higher cost of the shingles.
Trim Trees and Shrubs
- Wayward tree limbs and shrubs can damage your roof and provide a convenient way for squirrels and insects to crawl from nearby trees onto your rooftop which can create its own set of problems with animals setting up a makeshift home on your roof, or finding a hole to get through to the inside of your home.
- If you notice any trees or shrubs extending out towards your home or any dead limbs, it’s a good idea to remove them before storm season.
Prepare for the Storm
- Strong winds and hailstorms can blow windows out of their frames and doors off their hinges, sending debris flying into the air potentially causing serious roof damage.
- Before the storm hits, check your doors and windows to ensure they are completely secure—it’s also a good idea if your garage door has any weak points, to reinforce it with metal stiffeners.
Install Storm Shutters
- Storm shutters can help safeguard against damage to glass, providing a strong barrier between the elements and your windows.
- There are several kinds of storm shutters to choose from, with aluminum shutters (the least expensive), roll down and accordion shutters, and Bahama shutters that are more aesthetically pleasing.
- With several options to choose from, it’s advisable to speak with a local installer to help determine the best type for your home and budget.
- If you don’t have time to install shutters before a severe storm hits, you can help prevent a lot of damage by covering your windows with plywood.
- Well-made and properly installed shutters can greatly decrease the possibility of damage from hail, flying debris, and strong winds.
Sign-up for Comprehensive Homeowner’s Insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance policies that include protection against hail damage and severe weather events might be more affordable than you realize, and while having homeowner’s insurance cannot stop your roof from being damaged by hail, it can make things easier should it happen.
- Insurance policies will typically safeguard the structure of your home, your belongings, and even personal liability.
- Based on where you live and the frequency /intensity of hailstorms, you may consider including additional coverage for living expenses should you need temporary housing while your roof repairs get completed.
What To Do If You Need Hail Damaged Roof Repairs?
- If you suspect hail damage following a storm, keeping safety in mind and using the guidelines listed above, you should inspect your roof as soon as possible.
- If you don’t have the right safety gear or experience to carry out a roof inspection, or you think the hail damage repairs could be significant, then contact a professional roofing company like AmeriPro Roofing for a free, no-obligation roof inspection.
- It’s important to know that even a small patch of exposed asphalt begins to deteriorate from UV radiation almost immediately, potentially leading to leaks and costly water damage at a time when it could be too late to file an insurance claim.*
- Whether you carry out the inspection yourself or you use a professional roofing company to inspect your hail damaged roof, the next step is to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company.*
- One of the benefits of working with a professional roofing company like AmeriPro Roofing for your hail damage roof repairs, is you have access to our team of experts who will help you navigate the roof repair claim process.*
- Our team of roofing experts knows exactly what information insurance companies typically need and assist homeowners in getting a full and fair settlement for damages sustained as a result of hail or severe storms.
With 26 offices across the US, completion of over 150,000 successful roofing projects, and earning the status of an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, your roof is in good hands with AmeriPro Roofing. Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection or for hail damage roof repairs at (800) 200-8151.