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Roofing Resources

Detecting Signs of Roof Hail Damage

The roof is one of the key areas that keep your home or business safe and secure from the elements. When the roof is damaged by inclement weather, such as a hailstorm, what may start out as a small issue can easily turn into a big problem. The information below covers the telltale signs of hail damage on asphalt shingle roofs, slate tile, and metal roofs.

Table of Contents

asphalt roof hail damage

Detecting Damage to an Asphalt Shingle Roof

While asphalt is one of the most popular roofing materials due to its durability and versatility, it can be prone to damage especially from continuous direct hits from hail. Asphalt is subjected to other types of wear such as foot traffic, blister rash, or storm damage making it important to be able to distinguish between those types of damage and hail damage.

  • An obvious sign of hail damage is visible on the metal flashing bordering the roof. After a hailstorm, the flashing may show a series of dents in the material.
  • The area around downspouts and in the gutters may show evidence of mineral granules that have become detached from the asphalt shingles or rolled roofing. Keep in mind, this may be due to hail or from other issues.
  • The direction of the hailstorm is another indicator of where the most damage may be apparent on the roof. With an asphalt covering, the area where the granules have been affected the most will expose the shingle substrate.
  • The asphalt material may also show signs of round-shaped, tear-drop shaped, or pitted spots where the hail impacted the roof.
  • Damaged or bruised shingles, if not replaced, will eventually become water absorbent funneling water to the underlayment and decking beneath the roofing material.
  • Hail also causes cracks within the asphalt shingles and as time passes, water leakage is imminent.

slate roof hail damage

Hail Damage on a Slate Tile Roof

Slate roofs are another popular choice in roofing due to their beauty, aesthetic appeal, and longevity. But, like any material, a hail storm can cause damage to this sturdy material.

Signs to look for include:

  • Slate tile is susceptible to being broken to the point it requires immediate replacement especially if the hailstorm is severe, the hail is large in size, or if the slate tile already had existing damage that weakened its structure.
  • Slate tile material may show signs of punctures or fractures within the material. The slate isn’t totally broken but has a series of fractures from the hail’s impact.
  • Holes created by hail, for the most part, are crisp, clean and have sharp edges. Slate tile may also have broken corners or edges denoting hail damage.

Identifying damage to slate is relatively easy especially if the hail is large in size creating holes, pits, pockmarks, cracks, and breaks. If your home has deteriorated or soft slate material, hail damage is more common since the tiles are fragile. In addition, if your property has a “side-lap” installation style—the roof has a single layer of material— if it’s damaged to the point water can enter through the slate, it will create leakage problems beneath the material.

2022 Homeowner Storm Guide

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metal roof hail damage

Signs of Damage to a Metal Roof

Metal shingles come in several material options including aluminum, steel, or copper. It is durable with a long life span but even metal roofing material may show signs of hail damage.

  • After a hailstorm, the metal coating may show signs of damage. The “scouring” effect is much like that of a series of scratch marks along the panels that results in the removal of the coating material.
  • Metal roofs are affected by hail with small, medium, or large dents depending on the size of the hail and the speed it was traveling when impacting the surface. What happens when the roof is pelted with hail results in the panel being pocked or dented with many indentations in the metal.
  • While some hail damage may amount to only a cosmetic issue, dents and fractures can easily lead to rust, resulting in deterioration of the affected metal panel or panels. The extent of the damage may depend on the type of metal roofing material installed and the severity of the hailstorm.

After a hailstorm, it’s to your benefit to have your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor. They have the experience to look for damage that can lead to potential problems resulting in a leaking roof. The contractor can also advise you on the best steps to take to repair or replace damaged roofing material. Once you have a report from the contractor, contact the company providing your property with homeowner’s insurance for information about roof repair or replacement reimbursement.

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