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What does hail damage look like on a roof: Signs, Dangers, and Repairs

As your home’s primary barrier against the falling elements, your roof will likely come into contact with hail many times throughout its lifetime. While a light hailstorm can be fairly innocuous, in the right conditions, one can do serious damage to your roof and its materials. In fact, around 40% of home insurance claims in the last few years have been attributed to hail and wind damage. 

We’ve put together this guide to explain how to tell if your roof has hail damage, the effects it can have on your home, and the cover that an insurance policy will provide for you in case you need to make repairs. 

what hail damage looks like on a roof

The Conditions That Contribute to Roofing Hail Damage 

It’s important to remember that not every hailstorm is created equally, and different conditions will lead to different degrees of hail damage on roofs. Some of the key aspects of what will impact the level of damage your roof sustains include: 

  • Hailstone Size & Density: If your roof is going up against hail that’s the size of peas, you likely have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, some hailstones can be the size of softballs, and with sharper edges, they can fully puncture roof shingles. 
  • Roofing Materials: If your home’s roof is made from shingles or metal, the damage might take the form of dents, dings, and small punctures, while wooden or vinyl sliding may suffer from full-blown cracks and splits.
  • Wind Speeds: With a hailstorm, there will often come winds. If these winds are particularly strong and blasting in the direction of your roof, it could sustain a higher degree of damage.  

While there’s not much you can do about any of these conditions, it’s worth being aware of them so you can better prepare for potential outcomes.

Hailstone Size in More Detail

Size is one of the most significant aspects when it comes to hailstones causing damage to your roof, and with modern technology, this size can generally be predicted. We’ve put together this chart to showcase the effects that different hailstone sizes will have on roofs and other surrounding elements on your property.

Size (Inches) Size (Comparable Object) Damage Level
1" Quarter Coin Will cause little to no damage or some damage to your outside plants.
1.25” Half Dollar Coin Will cause some damage to most roofs, like small dents and cracks in siding.
1.5” Walnut Will cause severe damage to most roofs, including serious dents in wooden siding.
1.75” Golf Ball Will likely cause punctures in the roof, along with paint damage and car dents.
2-2.50” Tennis Ball Will crack windows on your home and cars, puncture roofs, and more.

How To Identify Roof Hail Damage

 

Along with affecting the degree of damage that hail can have on your roof, the materials used will also significantly impact the way the damage looks. Hail damage to roof shingles will look different between asphalt and composition when compared to classic tiling or wood, so we’ve collated some of the telltale signs for shingle roofs (the roofs that we work with primarily) so you can stay on top of it. 

Remember that in any case, hail damage will fall randomly on your roof, and there will be no discernable pattern for you to detect. 

Shingle/Composition Roofs

 

  • Granule Loss: Exposure to harsh hail will cause your asphalt or composition shingles to lose their granules. You can spot this on the surface of the shingles themselves but if not, you can also check your gutters to see if they’ve started to get backed up. 
  • Punctures & Cracks: With heavy hail and high winds, you can expect to see some breakage in your shingles, with bare spots becoming more and more prevalent on your roof. This will lead to your roof being an ineffective barrier to rain and the elements. 
  • Exposed or Damaged Fiberglass Mat: After exposure to strong hailstorms, the interior of the shingles is exposed.  This interior fiberglass mat is meant to be protected by the asphalt and granules so once those are gone, the sun will eat at the shingle and it will deteriorate.  
  • Roof “Bruises”: Once it’s been damaged by hail, certain spots on a roof with hail damage will feel soft to the touch, similar to the bruises that fruit can sustain when dropped on the floor. 

Hail Damage Insurance Coverage & Repairs

 

When it comes to repairing hail damage, you can expect that your homeowner’s insurance will cover things. However, the extent to which your coverage will reach will depend on the degree of damage, the state you live in, and of course, your provider.  Just make sure to always properly document damage and file your claim within one year.  Having Agave Roofing out to conduct a full roof inspection and ensure the insurance company did not miss any damage is a great way to ensure you are getting the most from your claim.  

Claim totals can vary wildly depending on the size and materials of your roof.  Average size, shingle roofs in San Antonio and Austin often have claims between $8,000 and $14,000.   Repairs can vary from replacing damaged shingles to a full roof rebuild, so make sure you have a good policy in place, regardless of where you live. 

Where to Go? 

 

If your home suffers storm damage in the greater San Antonio or Austin area, contact us at Agave Roofing, where we’re experts in all things shingle. We want to ensure that you get most value possible when going through an insurance claim.  Ask us about our Free Upgrade Program where we make sure your new roof will look better and last longer all at no extra cost.  For more on our services, along with blogs about the nature of roofs and roofing, visit our website today.

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