When big clouds begin to form on the horizon, and you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s not uncommon to start thinking about potential damage your home or roof may sustain.
While storms and bad weather will help you feel more thankful for your roof, they can also pose a threat to your roof. One of the biggest threats that severe storms bring to homeowners and their roofs are high-wind and hail. Sure, you can prepare your home for rain and snow, but it’s hard to prepare it for the large pieces of ice falling through the sky we call hail.
What do you do if hail hits your roof? We’re here to help! In this post, you’ll learn how to identify & what to do if you suspect hail damage on your roof.
How to Spot Hail Damage
Spotting hail damage isn’t always as easy as you’d think. It takes a trained eye that knows what they’re looking to find and document hail damage successfully. For this reason, consider reaching out to a professional roofing company for a free inspection. WISA offers free inspections when you reach out to us. Give us a call, tell us why you need an inspection, and we’ll get it on our calendar to come out and take a look. If we suspect any major hail damage, we’ll help you work with your insurance company to file a claim.
If you’re looking for hail damage on your own, here’s what to look for:
Dark Spots / Bruised Shingles
Dark spots or bruises on the faces of shingles are sure signs that your roof has experienced some serious hail damage. These may be slightly difficult to spot at times. The best way to tell is to get down and look at the shingles closely from multiple different angles. Your shingles, if damaged, will appear to have dark circles or bruises throughout but in no specific pattern.
Loss of Granules
When hail impacts your roof, you can expect a significant amount of granule loss upon the impact points. The hail will knock the granules loose and cause your roof to become more susceptible to other damage over time.
We recommend checking your gutters and downspouts for excess granules (the sandpaper-like substance on the surface of your shingles). If you see any large buildups of granules, then your roof has likely come in contact with hail.
Impact Marks or Dents
Just like the dark spots or bruises on your shingles, you may notice something like dents. These impact marks will often be seen after a hail storm on roofs that come in contact with smaller hail pieces. These are the hardest things to spot when it comes to hail damage. Many homeowners will miss what roofing experts will be able to spot when it comes to impact marks and dents on a roof.
Tears at the End of Shingles
A severe hail storm will often bring high-winds to your neighborhood as well. High-winds can cause significant damage to your roof, and sometimes the damage that high-winds cause is even more pressing than hail damage. Wind will tear your shingles and, at times, send them flying off your roof into your yard. When this happens, your roof becomes susceptible to leaks.
These tears or missing shingles will be easy to spot even from the ground around your home. If you have missing shingles, you’ll want to get them repaired as quickly as possible. Missing shingles will lead to a roof leak very quickly.
Splits and Cracks
The second easiest and least common type of shingle damage caused by hail are splits and cracks. A severe hail storm will bring with it large pieces of hail. The larger the hail is, the more damage to your roof that it will cause. If large pieces of hail hit your roof, some shingles may crack or split.
Splits and cracks will make your roof more susceptible to leaks and further damage from wind and more hail. Ideally, split and cracked shingles will be replaced quickly to ensure that no further damage happens.
Can Hail Damage be Repaired?
Hail damage will, at times, need to be replaced, and other times can be repaired. You’ll want to speak to your local roofing company and look into the severity of the damage before you decide one way or the other. If your entire roof is damaged by hail or more than 50% of it, you’ll likely need to replace the entire roof. Additionally, you’ll want the new shingles to match the existing ones. In some cases, your shingles may be discontinued, meaning that you’ll need to replace your roof so that it all matches.
What Happens if You Ignore Hail Damage?
Ignoring minor hail damage is more common than you might expect. Minor hail damage isn’t something that can cause any major problems right away. But, over time, that damage can get worse and cause further damage. Major hail damage isn’t something that should be ignored at all. Any major damage should be taken care of as quickly as possible. Major damage will lead to leaks and eventually complete failure of your roof system.
Don’t let damage on your roof go untreated because it will cause further damage. And it can hurt your home’s value. Additionally, insurance companies often have cutoffs for when you can make claimed. You’ll want to get your roof looked at before your insurance company won’t allow you to make a claim.
Is Hail Damage Covered By Insurance?
Yes. Under most homeowners’ insurance policies, hail damage is covered and will often get you a full roof replacement. Read our more in-depth guide on how to get insurance to cover the cost of your new roof, but for now, the most important thing for you to do is get an inspection and documentation of the damage to your roof. Moving quickly and ensuring that the inspection and documentation are sent to insurance within an adequate amount of time.
If a hail storm has damaged your home or you suspect that it’s been damaged and would like to confirm it, reach out to us! We’re here to help you get the insurance claim filed and get the new roof installed that your home needs. You can trust us, we’ve been serving northern Virginia and Washington DC area, and our team has more than 25 years of combined experience. We’ll get the job done right, no matter what it takes.