As a homeowner, you’re probably aware of how much damage hailstorms can do to your property. Even minor hail storms can damage the roof of your home, although it won’t be immediately apparent. But the fact that it won’t be so easily noticed will become detrimental to your roof as the damage will only become worse over time. Unless the damage was addressed early on, you may end up paying for a very costly roof repair.
Summit Roofing & Restoration, Inc., your number one choice for roofing, gives insight on how the level of hailstorm damage on your roof can depend on a few factors. But first, let’s understand how hail storms are formed:
Hail By Definition
Hail is a type of frozen precipitation that can inflict massive damage to roofs, objects, and landscape. It’s formed in freezing temperatures, wherein a hailstone will form around tiny nuclei floating through the air, such as a water droplet or a particle of dust.
As it’s being carried high into the storm clouds by wind, the hailstone will rapidly freeze and grow in size. This picks up more moisture from the rain and water vapor as it’s tossed lower into the atmosphere by the wind, only to get snatched up by storm currents again to get frozen.
The more powerful the storm winds are, the longer the hail will circle back and forth between freezing and non-freezing temperatures while increasing its size. Ultimately, the hailstone will drop to the ground, inflicting damage on roofs and buildings on the ground.
The speed of each falling hailstone is unique depending on its size, so there’s no fixed rate at how fast it falls. However, it’s estimated that a marble-sized hailstone will fall at 32 kilometers per hour while one that’s the size of a cricket ball can fall faster than 160 kilometers per hour. If your roof was hit by the latter, then you’ll definitely need to have a roof replacement contractor to assess the damage.
How Hail Damages Your Roof
- Size, Density, And Shape – Hailstones vary greatly in size, density and shape. Experts believe that hailstones larger than three centimeters wreak the worst damage. Large hailstones accelerated by high winds have also been known to puncture older, weaker roofs. Jagged hailstones with rough edges are more powerful and dangerous on impact.
Roofs with multi-layered shingles are vulnerable to penetration from smaller sized hailstones because these can easily strike the soft support area under the top shingle layer. If you’re wondering if a pea-sized hail can damage your roof, then you need to know that they’re very much capable of causing just enough damage to trigger a roof leak, as well as other problems that can compromise the long-term value and safety of your roof.
- Physical Barriers – This includes tall tree cover, landscaping, or neighboring structures such as fences or adjacent buildings. They help shield your roof from the impact of a hailstorm.
- Roof Age and Condition – The age and condition of your roof will affect how much damage it will take from a hailstorm. A roof that has been neglected in terms of maintenance or has recently sustained other types of roof damage will attract a higher risk of hail damage than a newer, well-maintained roof. It will also get more damaged by hail as it gets weaker with age, so if this is the case with your roof, consider having a roof replacement.
- Wind Damage – The speed, intensity, and direction of the wind during a hailstorm greatly affect the severity of the hail and ultimately your hail roof damage. High winds do the most damage, influencing the velocity and angle of the impact.
Checking for Damage on Your Roof After a Hail Storm
Once the storm passes, make sure to walk around your property and check for any damage resulting from hailstones or wind. You’ll need to be thorough with your hailstone damage roof inspection so you won’t have to worry about any issues later on.
You can also have your hired roof contractor inspect your home’s exteriors, especially your roof. They can spot hail storm damage much more efficiently, and you only need to worry about how the patching and other repair costs. Here’s what they’ll need to check on your roof:
- Gutters – The degree of damage your gutters will sustain often depends on the material they’re made of. Steel gutters are the most likely to survive a hailstorm without damage, while seamless gutters with an aluminum or copper construction will likely show signs of denting or dimpling. Gutters made out of vinyl may have punctures and cracks.
If you had a roofing contractor install a gutter leaf guard or gutter screen, you’ll need to check for tears or deformation in the metal or plastic. If you have an asphalt shingle roof and see granules in your gutters, it’s a clear sign of hail damage to your roofing system.
- Roof Chimneys, Vents, and Skylights – Roof vents are often made of lightweight metal or plastic, so you’ll need to check them for dents, dings and chipped surfaces. If you see dents in a metal vent or cracks in a plastic vent, this could mean that your roof has been hit with heavy hail.
Inspect the metal flashing around the chimney, then your metal chimney covers for dents. Run your chalk sideways over the surface to locate the hail impact points. Don’t forget to check for broken glass if your roof has skylights.
If a thorough roof inspection isn’t conducted, the damage will only become worse and more costly to fix over time. That’s why you’ll need to hire an experienced professional to inspect your roof. If even a few small granules have been knocked off, your shingles may become compromised later on and you’ll have water leaking through, damaging your roof’s inner structure.
If you think that your roof has already been damaged by a recent hailstorm, don’t hesitate to call in a professional to make the repairs. Consider calling our team at Summit Roofing & Restoration, Inc., and you can be confident that your project is in the capable hands of the best roof repair and replacement experts in the area. You can reach us by calling (901) 676-7449 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.