If you live in an area where hail and similar forms of severe weather are common, you may be concerned that your home will suffer from hail damage. Although you should do your best to protect your vehicles, garden, and windows from possible hail damage, many people forget that their roof can be vulnerable to hail unless it is properly prepared beforehand.
Although other forms of weather may subject your roof to high winds or extreme temperatures, a severe hailstorm can simultaneously expose your roof to freezing temperatures, high winds, and physical battery – the perfect combination to cause long-term (and sometimes totally irreparable) damage to your shingles.
Here we aim to inform you about roof hail damage and suggest solutions if you live in a hail-prone region!
What is Hail Damage?
Hail damage is inflicted upon your roof during a harsh hailstorm, with the small pieces of ice landing on your roof’s shingles at high speeds, causing physical damage to random parts of your roof and weakening its defenses over time. Due to the random and dispersed nature of hail damage, it can sometimes necessitate an entire roof replacement or very costly repairs, as the damage can be spread over a very wide area.
Hailstones which are quarter-sized or larger can cause bruising and fracturing to your shingles, degranulating their coating and exposing the underlying fiberglass (or similar material) to the elements without any exterior protection. This can cause numerous problems with your shingles, as rain and further hailstones are now able to penetrate the underlying layers of your roof shingles more easily.
Furthermore, if the hailstorm is particularly severe, large hailstones may even fracture the protective mat underneath your shingle tiles which stops water from leaking through into your home. If this protective mat has been cracked by a hailstone, you are likely to find water leaking through into your attic and into your home in the near future!
How Does Hail Damage Affect Your Roof?
Hail damage speeds up the degradation and aging of your shingles, severely reducing their lifespan and causing them to become ineffective much more quickly in the face of extreme weather. Damage sustained from hailstorms can also void any warranty you have on the affected shingles, as this kind of severe weather is classed as an “act of God” that the insurance companies cannot compensate you for if the weather turns bad.
As mentioned earlier, if the damage is so severe that it fractures the protective mat underneath your shingles, then water could easily leak into your home and cause you a myriad of problems with damp and water damage, snowballing your home’s repair bills and potentially landing you in debt. If you find leaks in your attic (or the rest of your house) which look like they’re coming from your roof, you should always get them checked out as soon as possible.
Hail damage can be very costly and dangerous if your roof is ill-prepared – it can expose your house to the elements and leave it defenceless for future storms. Additionally, it can threaten the structural integrity of your home by making it easier for water to penetrate through the roof and reach the inside of your house.
How Do I Spot Hail Damage?
You can spot hail damage due to the large “holes” that are found on the top layers of the shingles – they’ll look like they have chunks missing out of them. If you see that random shingles on your roof have round quarter-sized (or larger) chunks missing from their top layers, it’s a good sign that they’ve been damaged by hail. If you notice a leak in your attic which is coming from the roof, this is also another good sign that you may have hail damage.
Can We Prevent Hail Damage?
Sadly, there is no easy fix for preventing hail damage to your roof. Ideally, you need to work with a reliable roofing contractor who can either hail-proof your existing shingles or replace your roof with strong, weather-resistant materials which are designed to withstand hail. Our reliable roofing contractors in Little Elm, TX can replace your broken shingles with new ones or suggest replacement roofing materials.
Be wary of so-called “storm chaser” roofing companies who travel around to towns which have been affected by hail damage, offering low-cost fly-by-night deals while doing a poor job. If you’re not sure about a roofing business, you could check the Better Business Bureau website or look online for authentic customer reviews on sites such as Yelp!
The Bottom Line
Hailstones are cold, rock-hard little missiles which can get thrown at your roof repeatedly at high speeds – it’s no wonder that roofs can only take so much before they start bruising and cracking. While cosmetic damage is not pleasing to the eye, it’s the serious structural damage which can really affect your home’s safety, so be sure to keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs of hail damage and hire a professional roofing contractor if you have concerns about the stability of your shingles.