DO YOU NEED TO REPLACE A ROOF AFTER HAIL DAMAGE?
Texas is one of the hailstorm capitals of the US, if not the world, so you're not alone if find your house getting battered by ice balls. Hail causes up to a billion dollars in damage in Texas every year.
Following hailstorms, homeowners have concerns about damage to their roofs and want to know if the damage can be repaired or if the roofs need to be replaced. We created this guide about hail damage to roofs to help you understand how to make that decision.
What is hail?
Hail is formed when raindrops get caught in storm clouds’ updrafts that lift them up to where temperatures are below freezing. This causes them to freeze and collect other particles of ice and dust.
Then they drop down to where temperatures are above freezing, melting slightly and picking up more moisture before being lifted up again, growing in size as the cycle repeats. Hailstones can be anywhere from the size of peas to as big as softballs.
This cycle continues until the hailstones grow too heavy for the updraft to lift anymore, and then gravity takes over as they plummet to the ground. That’s when a hail storm strikes.
Inspecting your roof for hail damage
Once the storm has passed and you and your family are safe, you’ll want to survey the damage to your roof and your property.
Be careful of hazards. The storm may have downed power lines, toppled trees, or scattered debris. Don’t go out until you’re sure the coast is clear.
Start on the ground. Survey the roof as well as you can from below. A pair of binoculars would be helpful. Also check your window screens, lawn furniture, sheds, fences--anything that could have been struck by hail. Keep in mind that even if you can't see any damage from the ground (like missing shingles), an up-close inspection is still needed because it's not always obvious from below.
Be careful on the roof. Make sure your ladder is secure. Don’t get on the roof unless you’re steady on your feet and confident you can safely get back down. If you’re worried about the risks of climbing up to your roof, wait for a professional inspection.
Call your insurance. You’ll want to get a claim started ASAP. They will likely send out an insurance claims adjuster. You can also hire your own third-party insurance claims adjuster to make sure you get maximum benefits out of your insurance policy.
Get an inspection. Most roofing contractors will provide a free inspection. A roofing professional will be able to show you what damage is just cosmetic versus what will cause leaks and threaten the integrity of your roof. Sometimes what looks like a small hail strike can be an opening for serious leaks and water damage down the road.
Roofing contractors are also experienced working with insurance companies on roof damage claims, and they can help you get that process started.
What are the signs of hail damage to a roof?
Once you’re up on the roof, what are you looking for? That depends on the type of roofing, the size of the hailstones, and the severity of the storm.
As you’d expect, big hailstones can cause serious damage, but even pea-sized hail can riddle a roof with holes, dents, and pockmarks.
Much of the damage depends on the slope of your roof (flat vs steep) and the direction and speed of the wind and hail.
Here’s what you can look for with each type of roof:
Hail Damage to Roofing Shingles
Most shingle roofs are either asphalt or composite shingles with a granulated (gritty) surface.
Hail strikes will usually appear as darker spots where the granules are missing, exposing the black or dark lining underneath or even the felt or roof membrane underneath. These spots may feel soft or mushy. That's where leaks can start that damage the structure below.
An insurance inspector or a roofing contractor will be able to tell you if the hail damage to the shingles is severe enough to warrant roof repair or replacement.
Hail Damage to Tile Roofs
Roof tiles are usually either made out of concrete or clay. Both can break or crack in hailstorms.
Hail damage will show as broken tiles with fractures and cracks. The edges of tiles can be broken or chipped off, and you’ll often see distinct star-like impact fractures where the hail hit.
Hail Damage to Metal Roofs
With metal roofs, you’re looking for dents and punctures.
Dents may be unsightly, but they are not structural, so insurance will usually not cover it since it’s considered cosmetic.
Punctures, on the other hand, are serious because they can cause a roof to leak or even fail if severe enough.
Hail Damage to Gutters
Don’t forget your gutters and drain pipes for hail damage. They can take quite a beating during a hailstorm. If their functionality is compromised by hail damage, they can become a cause of water damage and roof leaks.
Hail Damage to Vents
Vents are another casualty of hail damage. You’ll want to inspect them to make sure they are still operational. Vents damaged by hail can cause carbon monoxide build up, a potentially lethal situation!
Hail Damage to Skylights
This will usually be easy to spot as a hole in your skylight is hard to miss.
Should I replace my roof after hail damage?
The best way to answer this question after a hailstorm is to get your roof inspected by a professional. While some hail damage may just seem like little dings and dents, those can cause serious leaks and water damage down the line. Your safest bet is to have an expert assess it and give their recommendation.
WE'RE THERE WHEN YOU NEED ROOF REPAIR AFTER A STORM
Wind, rain, and hail can wreak havoc on your roof. You might end up with holes and cracks in your roof or a fallen tree limb damaging your shingles. When you need roof repair, don't wait to call us. We'll handle your storm damage repair services efficiently.
Call 682-429-7012 now to request storm damage roof repair in Garland, TX.