Roof Hail Damage 101

With Spring right around the corner, this is a good time to review what homeowners need to know about roof hail damage.  Some parts of the country get hit harder, but hailstorms can occur just about anywhere and when they do, it’s important to check your roof for hail damage. 

Not all hail will cause damage to an asphalt shingle roof.  It depends on a variety of factors such as the size of the hail, the quality of the shingles, and the age of the roof.  Wind speed and direction and roof slope can also affect whether or not your roof will suffer damage from a hail storm. 

Pea sized hail and smaller generally will not cause any damage to an asphalt shingle roof, but when the hail is the size of a marble (about ¾ inch in diameter) or bigger, it can cause roof damage, especially to older roofs and you should have the roof inspected by reputable roofer.   Hail larger than an inch in diameter can cause significant damage almost any asphalt shingle roof.

Older roofs are more susceptible to hail damage than new roofs because years of sun exposure has usually caused the shingles to dry out a little and become more fragile.  Higher quality shingles such as laminated shingles are more resistant to hail damage than standard three tab shingles and steeply sloped roofs will usually suffer less damage than roofs with a shallow slope.

If you know or even suspect that your roof has been hit by a hailstorm with hail capable of causing roof damage, have the roof inspected by a reputable roofing contractor even if the roof is not currently leaking.  If your roof inspector identifies hail damage, call your homeowners insurance carrier before getting any work done.  Most hail damage is covered under your homeowners insurance policy.