What Does Hail Damage on a Roof Look Like? How to Spot Hail Damage on Your Roof
When it comes to maintaining your home, keeping a close eye on the condition of your roof is crucial. Especially in Oklahoma, where hailstorms and severe weather are common, your roof can incur a lot of weather-related issues over time.
Weather damage can be tricky to spot, too. With color variations in some shingle types, this effect can camouflage serious issues with your roof. Luckily, there are some key signs that indicate your roof needs attention!
In this post, we’ll explain how to identify hail and weather damage to your roof, various types of hail and weather damage, how severe weather can affect different types of roofing, and the importance of getting your damaged roof repaired promptly by professionals.
Understanding Hail and Weather Damage
Before we can get into looking for and identifying damage to your roof, we need to understand what weather damage is and how it happens.
What is Hail Damage?
Hail damage refers to the destruction caused by hailstones impacting a surface, such as on your roof. Hailstones are solid precipitation composed of layers of ice that can vary in size, ranging from the size of small pellets or peas to golfball, softball, and even DVD-sized hail here in Oklahoma. The force of these hailstones and their size can cause varying degrees of damage to your roof, compromising its integrity.
What is Weather Damage?
Weather damage is a broad term for any damage caused by severe weather conditions. In this case, we’re focusing on damage from conditions such as high winds, tornadoes, hail, and heavy rain. All of these factors can cause damage to your roof when conditions are severe.
Signs of Hail Damage on a Roof
Identifying hail damage on a roof can be difficult, as some damages may appear small or tricky to see but may indicate the need for repairs. Keep in mind, some damage may be difficult to see from certain angles, especially on white finishes.
Follow this list from top to bottom and avoid climbing on your roof if possible. If you notice damage on your gutters, downspouts, flashings, or other metal fixtures, your roof is likely in need of repair. Here are some common indicators of roof damage that you can inspect from the ground:
1. Damaged gutters and downspouts: Damage here is the easiest indicator of roof damage that doesn’t require you to climb on your roof. Your gutters and downspouts are an important part of protecting your home and your roof. Hail can dent and crack these metal fixtures and disrupt proper water drainage on your home or building. This kind of damage is a good indicator that your roof is likely damaged as well.
2. Dented or damaged metal flashings fascia: Dents and cracks in these metal fixtures are another sign that your roof needs repair, too. If your home or building has metal fascia, be sure to inspect it from different angles to identify any difficult-to-see damage.
3. Damage to other parts of your home or building: Broken windows, dented metal fencing or gates, blown-off pieces of your building, and other damages to your property can indicate that your roof also needs attention.
Once you've inspected these pieces, you can move on to checking your roof if necessary. If your metal fixtures and other parts of your building are in good shape, but you still suspect roof damages, here’s what to look for:
- Dented or cracked shingles: depending on the type of shingles you have, hailstones of different sizes can leave noticeable cracks and dents in your roofing. This can lessen their ability to protect your roof and building.
- Granule loss or areas that appear shiny: For asphalt shingles, granule loss (or loss of texture) happens when granules in the shingles are dislodged by hail impact or heavy wind. Sometimes, this type of damage can make areas of your roof appear shiny. This can expose the underlying layers of your shingles to the sun, causing them to deteriorate. If you see granules in your gutters or downspouts, this is an indication that your shingles have granule loss. It will usually look like wet sand in your gutters.
- Bruises or soft spots: Roofs can develop bruises or soft spots from the impact of hail, which can weaken the overall structure. These bruises may feel like a bruise on an apple or appear darker in color compared to the rest of your roof.
Types of Hail Damage and Weather Damage
There are a few ways hail and weather can damage your roof. Here is what some damage can look like and how it happens:
Different Sizes of Hailstones
Hailstones come in various sizes, which means they can cause different types and severity of damage. Pea-sized hail may cause little to no damage at all, while hail the size of a quarter or golf ball may cause severe issues. The larger the hailstones, the greater the potential for damage.
Indicators of Severe Weather Damage
We talked about a few indicators of hail damage specifically, but there are other types of damage your roof can incur from severe weather:
- Missing or loose shingles: High winds and tornado conditions can lift shingles or cause them to detach, leaving areas of your roof exposed and vulnerable to more damage down the line.
- Water leaks: After your roof has been damaged, you may not notice it until another round of heavy rain exposes a leak in your roof. A leaky roof can cause a whole slew of issues, such as mold, water damage, and structural compromises.
- Impact marks: Hail isn’t the only object you need to keep an eye out for during a storm. High winds can also throw debris into your roof, which can also cause visible damage.
Weather Conditions that Can Cause Roof Damage
We’ve mentioned a few types of weather that can damage your roof, but here is a summarized list of weather to look out for.
Roof damage is often caused by strong winds associated with storms. Hail or no hail, wind can rip up shingles, throw debris into the roof at high speeds, and increase the force of hail and rain.
Heavy Rain and Lightening
While hail is typically the primary concern, heavy rain and lightning can also pose risks to your roof. Excessive rainfall can worsen preexisting damage and cause leaks, and lightning strikes, although uncommon, can cause structural damage to your building.
Effects of Hail and Severe Weather on Different Types of Roofing
Asphalt shingles are commonly used on roofs due to their affordability. They are, however, quite susceptible to hail and wind damage. They will often dent, crack, dislodge, or lose granules during severe weather.
Wood shingles are often chosen to suit a certain style or aesthetic of a home, but they can be more prone to weather damage. They can split or crack from harsh impact and may deteriorate more quickly after they are damaged.
Metal roofs are very durable and great at withstanding hail. They may incur dents from hail impact, but they typically do not suffer weather damage nearly as severe as other types of roofs. On metal roofs, keep an eye out for gutter and downspout damage, as well as punctures or severe dents from high winds and hail.
Slate or stone roofing is a durable option for many climates, but it can be sensitive to impact damage. Keep an eye out for cracks, displaced slate, and slate that is soft or brittle after severe weather.
The Importance of Prompt Roof Damage Repair
There are a few reasons you should have your roof repaired quickly and with the help of professionals:
- Repairs prevent further damage
- You can avoid potential leaks or mold growth in your building
- You can maximize the lifespan of your roof
A small issue can quickly develop into a larger problem, which is why it’s important to regularly inspect, maintain, and repair your roof.
Why You Should Hire a Professional Roofing Service
It may be tempting to fix minor roofing issues on your own, but there are quite a few risks, cons, and potential safety hazards to doing so.
Benefits of Hiring a Roofing Professional
- Expertise: Roofing professionals have the knowledge and experience to accurately assess and repair roofing damage.
- Safety: Roof repairs can be dangerous. Professionals have the tools and training to be as safe as possible with working on a roof, ensuring the job is done safely.
- Warranty Coverage: Perhaps one of the best perks of hiring a professional is the potential for warranty coverage on your repairs. This ensures that if your repairs do not last or the problem is not fixed, you are covered.
Spotting hail and weather damage to your roof is essential for making necessary repairs before the problem worsens. By identifying signs of damage and promptly hiring a professional to repair them, you can ensure the longevity and integrity of your roof. Remember to contact a professional for repairs to ensure expert assessment and reliable repairs.
We hope this post helped you learn more about severe weather roof damage! If you’re in need of repairs to your weather-damaged roof, call Statewide Roofing! We're an experienced team of roofing experts that operate all over the state of Oklahoma. Call or contact us today for a free estimate and get your damage fixed now! See more of our residential and commercial roofing work, and learn more about us.
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