The occasional hail storm can be fun when you’re safe and warm inside your home. You make hot chocolate, turn up the TV, and feel thankful for the roof over your head. But unfortunately, even your roof isn’t immune to hail damage.
Hail damage can range from mild to severe. The level of destruction depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the hail and the state of your roof. If ignored, serious hail damage can lead to a leaking roof and other problems.
In this post, I’ll explain how to identify the most common signs of hail damage and what to do about it.
So what does hail damage look like on a roof?
To determine if you have hail damage, you will want to examine a few different areas of your roof. Shingles usually show the damage most clearly, but you also want to check other places, such as metal vents and the ridge cap (the very top).
Source: State Farm
What does hail damage look like on roof shingles?
On traditional asphalt shingles, the main thing to look for is bruising, or dark spots, where the granules (the rough top part of the shingle) are missing. Very heavy hail might even leave visible cracks in the shingle.
Other characteristics of hail damage might include:
- Damage with no distinct pattern
- Roof felt exposed by missing granules
- Asphalt or mat that appears shiny, which usually means the hail damage is new
- Hail hits that are soft to the touch, like the bruise on an apple
If you have wood shingles, look for these signs:
- Orange or brown splits in the wood
- Splits with sharp edges
- Impact marks that lie along a split
Is it really hail damage?
Many things can damage shingles, including other inclement weather, normal aging, and exposure to a lot of sunlight over time. Undamaged shingles can also get “rash blisters.” Many people mistake these blisters for hail damage, but they are actually the result of quirks in the manufacturing process.
If you see cracking, granule loss, or misshapen shingles but no distinctive dark “bruises,” it’s possible the damage came from something other than hail.
If you’re still not sure, try checking other areas of the the roof. Hail can leave dents in some metals, so you might want to examine any metal vents or valleys on your roof. If you have a metal covering over your roof, the damage will likely be even more obvious. Also look closely at the ridge cap, where hail damage is sometimes more evident.
What should I do?
If you’ve found evidence of hail damage, what should you do about it? Unfortunately, even after thoroughly examining your roof, it can be difficult to tell how serious the damage is and if hail is really the culprit.
A professional will be able to tell you how badly your roof is damaged and what your options are for repairing it. Acting quickly could mean the difference between a simple repair and an entire roof replacement.
Metal roof photo: State Farm