You Need It
But man it Sure can be a pain to replace it.
Or does it...
Sometimes the signs of roof damage from hail can go unnoticed. Make sure your roof is secure by checking for the hidden signs of roof damage.
Do you know how to recognize the hidden signs of roof damage from hail?
If not, let's remedy that right away by highlighting the basic things to look for when inspecting your roof after a hailstorm.
It's Not All About the Size of the Hailstones
Hailstorms can be nasty little events that can occur at any time of the year but are most likely to appear during thunderstorm season.
Hail storms are frequently featured on TV weather forecasts because of the negative economic impact they can have on homeowners and businesses. The larger the hail, the more TV coverage the storm receives.
Don't be fooled by the size of the hail, though. Even small hailstones can damage a roof.
Hail is labeled severe when the stones reach only an inch in diameter.
A study of hail damage showed that the majority of roofing materials are damaged from hail with a diameter of only 1.25 inches. That's less than the size of a golf ball.
The same study found that all its tested materials were damaged when struck with hail two inches in diameter. That's smaller than a tennis ball.
Why Your Roof is Vulnerable to Hail Damage
You should especially be concerned if your roof is old or already compromised by previous storms.
If you have a shallow pitched roof, you could see more hail damage than your neighbor does who has a steep roof. A roof with a steep pitch usually sees damage only on the side of the roof facing the wind that's driving the hail. In contrast, a low pitched roof exposes both sides to the wind and hail.
A steep roof also limits the hailstone from striking the roof multiple times on the ricochet. Typically, the slope results in the hailstone striking once and then bouncing harmlessly off the roof.
Of course, the damage to a roof also depends on the number of hailstones and the speed at which they impact the roof.
What is Hail Damage?
Roofing material made of wood or vinyl will typically crack under the onslaught of heavy hail. The hail can also leave behind an unmistakable dent.
Slate tiles and clay tiles will also crack.
Aluminum roofs won't crack, but they'll dent. If you've ever seen hail damage on the roof of a car, you have an idea of what hail can do to the metal roof of a house.
Asphalt shingles and composite shingles can also dent. They will also lose their protective outer layer of grain where the hail struck. The underneath layer of smooth felt will show through.
Hail can even do damage to concrete roofs.
The damage to a concrete roof will be obvious from the craters left behind by the impact of the hail.
Preparing to Inspect Your Roof
Before you climb onto your roof, inspect your roof from the ground.
Walk carefully around your house to get a general overview of where the hail damage would most likely be spotted. It will be difficult to see much detail from the ground so if you have a pair of binoculars in the back of the closet, this would be a good time to put them to use.
Now that you know the particular areas of the roof where you should direct most of your attention you're ready to get a closer look.
Make sure that you have an appropriate ladder that's safe. As an added precaution, don't climb until you have another adult holding your ladder steady and looking out for your safety.
Don't overlook your shoes. Slippery sole shoes are no match for a sloped roof. Wear regulation roofing shoes or at least a shoe with a similar traction grip.
You want to take pictures of the damage you find. Any camera that will take pictures with good resolution will do. Don't risk throwing your center of gravity offline by wrestling with an oversized camera while walking along a roof.
When you find hail damage mark the area with chalk. Different inspectors use different markings to indicate where something needs to be addressed. The main thing is to mark the area clearly.
Spotting Signs of Roof Damage From Hail
If you're not sure whether or not your roof has sustained hail damage, there are some clues to look for on your roof. Check vulnerable roof structures such as vents, skylights, and chimney covers. If you see chips and dents in these structures, it's an indication that hail was falling hard enough to damage your roofing material.
It could be that the hail was small in size, leaving only tiny dents in your roofing material. Look closely. Those tiny dents can lead to a leaky roof in the not-too-distant future.
It's important that you not be in a hurry. Don't try to perform your hail damage inspection if you only have a few minutes. If you've never inspected a roof for hail damage, it will take more than a few minutes for you to adjust your eyes to the task. This may be especially challenging if your roof uses asphalt or composite shingles.
You have to train yourself to look for bare spots among the pebbly surface. The good news is that once you get the hang of it, it will seem as if the bare spots suddenly decided to make themselves noticeable.
Don't rely on a claims adjuster to find as many damaged areas as you find. It's in your best interest to find as many compromised areas as possible while it's in his company's best interest that he finds none. The insurance company doesn't have to pay if it determines that the damage is only cosmetic and doesn't affect the safety of the structure.
Your careful attention to detail could force a reluctant adjuster to admit that the company owes you a new roof.
Your Next Step
Grand Prairie Roofing knows the long-term nightmare that a hail-damaged roof can become. We understand that you want a strong, solid, and dependable roof protecting your family. That's why you should contact us immediately when you feel that your roof has been damaged by hail.
Don't let the claims adjuster inspect your roof alone. A trained professional from Grand Prairie Roofing should be there to make sure that the adjuster doesn't miss a single area of your roof that has been dented or cracked from hailstones.
Are you ready to take care of that roof damage from hail? We are. Contact us today.