As the seasons transition from winter to spring, severe weather events can drop hail onto your home and cause long-term problems to your roof. Your insurance company will only approve a claim filed after a storm, so whenever hail strikes your area, it is best to determine if your roof has been damaged in as soon as possible.
What Hail Does to Your Roof
You may think of hail as simply bouncing off your roof and rolling down into the gutters. You may also think that, unless the hail is the size of a softball and puts a hole in your roof, there may be no damage at all. Unfortunately, most hail damage is subtle at first but shows excess damage over time.
When hail hits an asphalt shingle roof, three things happen:
- It breaks or cracks the shingle and exposes it to additional damage.
- It damages the asphalt.
- It loosens the granules that top the shingle for protection.
With the granules gone and the asphalt damaged, the shingles are vulnerable to additional damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The damage might not be obvious after the storm, but your roof will eventually need replacement.
The larger hailstones will do more damage, especially in violent and long-lasting storms. Large high-impact hail can fracture the shingles and dent the protective metal flashing. The damage may not be visible from the ground, but once those shingles are cracked, water can seep through. Then, if your roof starts to leak, you may have missed the insurance claim because you do not connect the leaking with the hailstorm. What you need is a roofing contractor who will inspect the roof hands-on after every hailstorm, especially in those parts of the country prone to regular hailstorms.
Signs of Hail Damage
Hailstorms are local. A storm might be widespread, but the hail fall can be local. Before you call a roofing contractor, you want to be sure if the hail has hit your home.
To begin that process, you should start with a look at your yard and around your neighborhood. If you see fallen tree limbs, dented cars, and damage to siding or garage doors, you may have a roofing problem.
It’s important to understand that the granules loosened by the storm may not wash away until after the storm. Sometimes it takes a rain storm to wash them away. So, if you don’t see any evidence of hail strikes when you first check, you’ll want to check after the next storm because the damaged and deteriorating shingles will shed large amounts of granules which collect in your rain gutters. After a storm, if you find the granules in your gutters or on the ground, it is time to call a trusted roofing contractor to inspect your roof.
Get an Inspection
Once you have done your own visual inspection it’s in your best interest to have the roof inspected by a qualified, local roofing contractor before you call your insurance company. Look for a Malarkey Certified Residential Contractor in your area. The contractor can help you figure out just how bad the damage is and walk you through the insurance claim and replacement process.
Roofing contractors will inspect a roof in the same way as an insurance agent. They check a roof by dividing it into sections and counting the number of strikes per section to determine if the roof requires replacement. Your roofing contractor may also want to be present during the insurance inspection to support your case for roof replacement.
Protect Your Roof
Your roof is a vital part of your home. Hail can seriously compromise a roof allowing water to infiltrate. Leaks can lead to mold, mildew, and other damage that need expensive repairs down the road. Care and attention to your roof will help ensure keep it in great shape for many years to come. So be sure to check your roof after a hailstorm with the help of a qualified, local roofing contractor.