Roof Hail Damage: How to Spot It and What It Looks Like

It's good to learn how to spot hail damage on all sorts of roofs, ranging from regular asphalt shingles to sturdier metal ones. It keeps your home looking good and lets you address issues quickly.

If you put off fixing these signs, the repair costs can skyrocket - who really wants to deal with that?

Let's start figuring this out now!

Hail Damage on Asphalt Shingles

Hail really messes up different parts of the roof, which shows how much damage it can do. Understanding these differences is helpful when picking the right repair method. Remember - hail hits all sorts of sections on the roof. Metal roofs usually handle hail better than asphalt shingles but can still get damaged. Hail can leave visible dents on metal surfaces - these might mess up the paint seal. If you don't fix these dents quickly, the exposed metal might start rusting. If the seal breaks, it's wise to act fast to avoid long-term issues.

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Slate roofs are very strong but not immune to large hailstones - a direct hit can crack or shatter the slate tiles. You should fix this damage quickly to stop water from getting in (the unique look of the cracks, which come from usual wear, makes damage to the slate more visible).

Rubber roofing (which is less common but very tough) works well with hail. Usually, rubber roofs bounce back to their original shape unless the hail is extremely large. This durability makes rubber a great option for areas usually hit by storms.

But it's really important to keep an eye on any small surface cracks that could turn into bigger problems later. Each roofing material reacts differently to hail - each needs specific approaches for inspection and repair. It's important to talk about the specific needs - unique to each material and its environment - to keep a roof in top condition and extend its job life. Based on my experience, that's why getting advice from experienced pros when dealing with roof repair complexities is really important.

Honestly, paying attention to these details can prevent a lot of trouble later!

Hail Effects on Metal Roofs

I checked my own roof after an especially nasty hailstorm and found some small dents. People usually choose metal roofs because they are tough and supposed to last a long time - usually, we ignore these dents.

At first glance, these dents seem minor - But they can lead to more important problems than you might think. The damage can hurt the protective finish and expose the metal underneath. If you don't catch and fix these places early on, they can start to rust pretty fast. I have seen how these minor damages can remove the granular coatings and really shorten the roof's lifespan.

Metal Roof-3

Always make it a habit to check your roof for any signs of exposed metal or sealant issues - it's important to fix those quickly to stop moisture from getting in and hurting the structure underneath. I've picked up another useful tip: listen closely during a hailstorm. Metal roofs make a specific sound when hit by hail - changes in that sound can point to you which areas might have been hit the hardest. This lets you know where to give extra attention after the storm.

During my inspections (where I spend a lot of time looking at the seams and edges), I've found these to be important areas. Hail can open or even bend them - a damaged seam can really hurt the roof's job to keep out water. From my experience, sticking to a regular schedule for pro inspections can be very helpful. Minor damages that might go unnoticed by someone who isn't trained can be seen by the experts, and this will make sure that your roof stays in good shape. Having a certified expert take a look always helps me relax.

Chips and Fractures on Clay or Concrete Tiles

I started looking at clay or concrete tile roofs for hail damage. Although they appeared tough, they weren't very fragile. After a big storm, I quickly realized that even small hailstones - which you might usually ignore - can cause serious damage to those tiles. If the storm continues or the roof is already a bit damaged, these little stones can be really harmful. Managing clay tiles is difficult - they can start to chip, crack, or even spell. This means the tile job starts breaking down, which can lead to more problems if not addressed early. At first, these small cracks are hard to see and might not be noticeable until they worsen and cause the tile to fail.

Clay Tile Roofing

In my work, I usually stress how important it is to carefully check your roof after each hailstorm. If you're not comfortable climbing or heights make you uneasy, looking with binoculars from the ground might be sufficient. But for a closer look, wearing the right safety gear is really important. You'll be surprised by the damage you might find: loose or missing tiles (to give you an example, which are invisible from the ground). Loose tiles pose a big safety risk and can also damage your home's structure.

I've also found that even hailstones no bigger than 1-1/4 inches can damage your tiles. A few factors change the extent of the damage: the storm's timing, wind speeds, and your house's position relative to other buildings or natural wind blockers. It's important to always check for damage after any big hailstorm. If you're not sure about the severity of the damage, calling an expert might be your best choice. They can find out if the damage is minor or if you might need a bigger answer, like a new roof. Handling these issues early can prevent a lot of trouble and save money - it also lets your roof last longer, which is something everyone wants.

Look at Wood Shingles for Hail Damage

The splits caused by hail have sharp edges and a new lighter color, showing they're recent. You also need to check for any bruises or dents on the shingles during the inspection - these can be difficult to spot as they might blend into the wood's natural pattern or appear near the splits we just talked about. Even though they are small, these dents are important because they show where the hail hit the hardest.

Damaged Wood Shingles

In my job, I also look for any new splits caused by the latest storm. These splits appear clean and sharp, pointing out that they are fresh and worrying. Small hail might not seem like a big deal, but it can gradually damage your roof, affecting both its appearance and strength. It's a good idea to check your roof occasionally. You might notice some problems for yourself, but it's usually better to have an expert take a look at it. Hiring an expert might feel like an annoying or unnecessary cost, but it really helps. An expert can give you a full report of the damage and help you choose if easy repairs are enough or if it is wiser to replace the whole roof to prevent future costs. Also, getting an expert opinion can ease your worries about the decisions you need to make to protect your home (let's be honest, experts catch those small details that you or I might forget, which can be important).

Safety and Inspection Tips

I always make sure it's safe before I climb up to check a roof for hail damage - I get all my gear ready before I start climbing. Once I'm on the roof, I find it interesting to notice the different parts and how they show damage. For example, metal roofs might have small dents, but asphalt shingles usually show bigger, clearer marks. This difference makes you pay close attention to the details.

I always carry a roofing gauge with me to measure those dents. This tool is helpful in finding out if the damage is just on the surface or something more serious. If I find a bunch of loose granules in the gutters, it's usually a bad sign. It usually means the roof took a big hit and might not last as long as you'd hoped.

While I'm up there, I check parts like the gutters and downspouts (and any outdoor air conditioning units). If these parts are damaged or look out of place, it likely points to the roof being in a similar condition. Checking these parts helps me get a complete picture of what the storm might have done.

Roof Inspection and Maintenance

I also take pictures of the damage, which helps when showing the insurance company what happened. I use chalk to make the damaged areas stand out more in the photos, which is really helpful.

Even though I'm pretty good at finding obvious signs of hail damage, sometimes there are subtle signs that might need another look - I think it's a good idea to work with an expert to check everything after any big storm. Working with an expert will make sure your roof stays in top shape long after the storm has passed.

From my experience, it's smart to be complete and maybe even a bit cautious. I usually recommend having an expert look at it as it brings peace of mind. After all, taking care of your home really means working together with some extra help.

What Type of Roof Holds Up The Best to Hail Overall?

Hail damage to roofs usually starts with easy issues like granule loss, bruised shingles, and small cracks - it can become a really tough problem. It's important to know the parts your roof is made of (understanding their resistance to hail can be helpful). In areas open to hail, I usually recommend impact-resistant shingles: thicker and tougher, designed to stand up to hailstones. Although they cost more at first, their longer lifespan usually offsets the higher cost.

Let's talk about metal roofing as well. It withstands hail better than traditional asphalt shingles but isn't completely immune to damage. Driven by strong winds, large hailstones might dent it - but the overall strength of metal roofs usually makes them a solid choice for durability and style.

Well-Maintained and Protected Roofs

Moving on to tile or slate (these parts are usually resistant to sudden changes in hail), they have a drawback: they can be brittle. When hit by large, fast-moving hailstones, tiles might crack or break - though they usually handle regular wear and tear well.

Lastly, wood shake roofs are slightly more susceptible to hail because of their softer material. The good news is that if only certain pieces are damaged, you can just replace those, which will definitely be practical.

Whenever I talk about picking roofing parts for hail protection, I stress that no answer is completely foolproof. Unexpected severe hailstorms can happen - conducting regular roof inspections and keeping your roof in top condition are important. This strategy helps you manage hail damage better and might also save you some money on repairs.

Protect The Roof Over Your Head

Hail damage can really mess with your day if you don't take early action, can't it? Prevention is better than a cure.

Hiring an expert to check everything can work very well, just like you trust a good mechanic when your car starts making weird noises. Bringing in an expert is important - whether it's for dealing with insurance claims or deciding if you need a quick fix or a new roof.

Weather-Protected Roofs

At Colony Roofers, our job is to make sure you're covered. We've built a strong reputation in Georgia, Florida, and now Texas. We are ready to handle it if it's a minor repair or something bigger. Picking a free inspection from us could very well be your best bet, especially when it comes to protecting your home against harsh weather - it's always smart to stay on the safe side.

Are you thinking about getting in touch with us? Keeping your roof in top shape is a really smart way to cut down on your stress. We are all ready to make sure the roof over your head is solid (and secure)! Contact us for a free roof inspection!