Sizzling summer heat and extreme weather events go hand in hand. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes often cause hailstones to form. Strong storm updrafts turn rainwater to ice balls despite blazing hot temperatures. Solid, frozen hail pellets fall from the sky and pelt everything in their path. The roof atop your home’s structure, unsurprisingly, bears the brunt of hail attacks. Lumpy chunks of icy hail can be anywhere from 0.5 to 6 inches. If hail grows larger than a walnut, your roofing system will suffer serious damage. Getting your roof inspected immediately after the storm blows through is essential. Contact a licensed, experienced roofer to perform a hail damage assessment. Here are six signs of roofing hail damage you can’t ignore.
1. Dented Roof Shingles
Large hailstones are notorious for putting round-shaped dents in cars and trucks. Unfortunately, hail can do the same to your roof. Aluminum, copper, steel, and tin roofs are the most at risk. Metal roofing systems aren’t the only ones affected though. Hail bigger than a half dollar can dent asphalt shingles and clay or concrete tiles too. Even wood shakes aren’t immune to hail splits and fissures. Survey the surface of your roof for noticeable dimples. Search for circular marks that make your roof look stamped. Use your eagle eye to spot and photograph hail craters. Never ignore roofing dents; they can let rainwater leak in and flood your attic or upper level.
2. Globs of Shingle Granules
Healthy asphalt roof shingles are coated in fine, textured granules. These tiny particles protect your roofing system from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays. Shedding some granules is normal for asphalt shingles. The problem arises when the granular loss happens on a large scale. Severe hailstorms can strip asphalt roof shingles of their generous granule coverage. Without the granular layer of protection, asphalt shingles will age quickly and break down. Check your gutters and downspouts for big globs of shingle granules. Inspect shingles for unevenness where granules were ripped off. Mass granular loss can’t be ignored; call a roofer for repair work.
3. Missing Roof Shingles
Hailstorms don’t only rain down mammoth ice masses. Severe summer weather can spawn tornadoes and straight-line winds. Roofs have a tough time withstanding gusts over 100 miles per hour. Older, deteriorated roof shingles could blow off with half that wind speed. Missing shingles obviously threaten your roof’s health. Gaps between shingles make the chances of roof water damage skyrocket. Tour your yard looking for fallen shingles. Use binoculars to spot shingles that are absent or dangling by a thread. Don’t attempt to reattach a damaged shingle by yourself on a ladder. Recruit a reputable roofing professional to replace missing shingles.
4. Curling Shingle Corners
Bare spots aren’t necessarily caused by entirely missing shingles. Hail damage can also make roof shingles start cracking and curling at the edges. It’s never good when roof shingles start resembling curly fries. Shingles bend and coil when severe wind during hailstorms whips under the surface. The adhesive strip surrounding roof shingles probably peeled off. Perhaps your past roofer didn’t snugly install shingles with enough nails. Whatever the case, curled shingles pose a roofing danger. Warped shingles aren’t able to fully block water from penetrating your home. Liquid could seep inside, rotting wood roof decks and nurturing mold growth. Don’t hesitate about requesting a professional roofing opinion for shriveled shingles.
5. Dinged Metal Flashing
Flashing is the ultra-thin material used to surround vital roof components. Roof flashing is designed to waterproof around soffits, vents, chimneys, and skylights. Flashing is visible in these places for your perusal. In roof valleys, flashing should be underneath shingles for reinforcement. Sighting flashing in the valleys is a telltale sign of missing shingles. Since flashing is made from metals like aluminum and copper, it’s often indented by hail. After hailstorms, scrutinize flashing for flaws that will enable moisture seepage. Flashing should be smooth and even without tears or cracks. Flashing holes must be remedied by a roofer before they leak and rust.
6. Deformed Gutters
Hailstorm strikes won’t only endanger the well-being of your roof surface. The brute impact of large hail can deform your gutters. Hail damage to steel gutters is rather rare, but other gutter materials are less resistant. When Mother Earth hurls ice balls, gutters can become dented and misshapen. Punctured gutters will spring a leak and leave water racing down to your foundation. Gutters clogged with hailstones and storm debris can make water pool on your rooftop. Leaf gutter guards will likely take a beating and break or chip. Gouges and holes in gutters will compromise your entire roofing system. Gutters that have sustained hail damage may even sag and scratch siding. Seek out a top-notch roofer who’s experienced with gutters for help.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that hailstorms damage over 10.7 million U.S. homes yearly. In 2019 alone, 5,396 notable hailstorms caused about $8 billion worth of destruction. Fortunately, home insurance policies generally cover the costs of hail roofing damage. Right after the storm rages, file an insurance claim. Supply your insurer with an extensive description of your roof’s condition. Collect evidence, including photos or videos, of your damaged roofing parts. Keep detailed hail damage records in case you need to challenge a denial. Knowing these six signs of roofing hail damage and acting fast will increase your chance of insurance claim acceptance.