When your neighborhood experiences a hail storm, you can expect there to be some sort of damage to everything from your roof to your vinyl siding to your car — all of which can be diminished in structural integrity seemingly overnight.
Hail damage roof issues are especially something you don’t want to ignore. Of course, it can be challenging to tell when you have hail damage to your roof if you’ve never had to deal with it before. This is mostly due to the fact that hail storm damage can vary in appearance and depth, which makes it tricky.
Fortunately, there are several ways to tell for sure that your roof has sustained hail damage. Below we’ll explain what hail damage on a roof looks like, plus everything else hail-related that you should know as a homeowner.
Understanding Hail Storms
To better understand the damage that a hail storm can cause, you’ll need to learn about what hail storms entail:
- Hail storm formation: Hail is the product of the updrafts and downdrafts that occur during thunderstorms. The updraft consists of rising warm air whereas downdrafts consist of cool air. The updraft brings the warm air up to the level where precipitation forms and the downdraft turns that precipitation into hail (at the right temperature).
- Hailstone shapes: Hail stones are also not perfect spheres. They vary in shape and usually crystalize, which causes jagged edges to form across their surface. This is part of what makes them so dangerous and damaging.
- Hailstone sizes: Hailstones also come in varying sizes. These sizes can range from the size of a pea to the size of a softball. Regardless of the size, all hail stones should be regarded as potentially damaging.
- Wind speed and directionality: One of the factors that can make even the smallest hailstone a threat is the wind speed and wind direction in which it’s traveling. On average, two- to four-inch hail stones typically have a projected rate of impact between 44 and 72 miles per hour. Therefore, the higher the wind speed, the more damaging the hailstones will be — regardless of size.
Understanding How Hail Damage Is Defined
The important element in understanding hail damage roof issues is understanding the damage through the perspective of your insurance company.
There are two ways in which hail damage roof issues are categorized:
- Functional damage: Functional damage to your roof is when the hail storm damage directly affects the performance of your roof, its components, and its structure. For example, if your asphalt shingles are lifted, curling, broken, or missing, then the damage will be categorized as functional.
- Cosmetic damage: Cosmetic roof damage is when only the surface of your roof and the home’s exterior are affected. This would include dents or other impact marks to your asphalt shingles (or other type of roof shingles) and roofing components. However, they don’t affect your roof’s function.
Most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover cosmetic damage. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the lesser roof damage as it can easily lead to severe damage.
What Roof Hail Damage Looks Like
Despite the fact that roof hail damage can be confusing to the unknowing homeowner, it’s actually very specific in how it’s identified. When you have hail damage on your roof, you’ll likely see one or more of the following:
- Broken, fractured, or cracked shingles. In many instances, roof damage from hail will appear as damaged shingles. They may fracture or break off completely, or they’ll crack across the surface. All of these things can change both the look and function of your roofing system, especially since your roof deck and waterproof membrane will become exposed to the elements.
- Dents and impact marks on roof shingles and other components. Dents and impact marks are arguably the most common indicators of hail storm damage as they occur when the hailstones crash into your home hard and fast. You’ll notice them all over your roof and several other places, including your vent pipes, chimney, and other areas.
- A broken or dented gutter system. It’s easy to forget that your gutters are a part of your entire roof. If you notice that your gutters are dented, bent, or damaged in any way after a hailstorm, it’s considered functional damage as your gutters are designed to protect the home from the issues that backed up water can cause.
What to Do When You Notice Roof Damage From Hail
Now that you know what hail damage to your roof will look like, you’ll need to know what to do after identifying that damage. Here’s an overview of the steps to take when you have hail damage:
Step 1: Schedule an Inspection
Schedule an immediate roof inspection with a trusted roofing contractor. While you’ll want to document the damages as best you can, an experienced roofer will do a much better job at evaluating your storm damage.. They’ll also be able to provide you with a detailed report regarding what’s needed to repair hail damage issues.
Step 2: Get in Touch With Your Insurance Company
Contact your homeowners insurance company to get started on your roof insurance claim. You’ll want to find out exactly what your insurance policy covers and what they’ll need from you regarding your roof claim.
Step 3: Coordinate the Adjuster Inspection
Make sure your roofing contractor will be available to meet with the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster is the only person who can approve or deny your claim, so you’ll want to ensure they have an actual professional to confer with to help encourage their approval.
Keep in mind that a good roofing contractor will have your best interest in mind. Therefore, they’ll guide you on what to do and what not to do, as well as provide you with insurance claim assistance if needed.
Your Partner for Hail Damage
When you’re dealing with hail damage or any kind of roof damage, it’s essential that you act fast. First American Roofing & Siding offers storm damage services as well as free inspections and no-obligation estimates. Get in touch with us today to schedule an emergency roof inspection or to learn about the other roofing services we offer.