Hail Damage And Your Roof


It is springtime in St. Charles and that means it’s time for hail storms. There are about 5,600 hailstorms in the United States each year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. Learning how to prepare for this weather phenomenon can save lives and minimize damage to your roof.  

What Is Hail?

Hail forms when raindrops hit very cold temperatures and freeze into balls of ice. Depending on the size, hail can be extremely dangerous not only to people, but to property, cars, and animals. If winds are strong enough during a hailstorm, hail can fall with enough force to penetrate many surfaces. Hail storms can range in size from a few acres to an area 10 miles wide and 100 miles long. 

How To Prepare For Hail

The first thing when preparing for hail is to make sure that you are safe. Wind and hail can be very dangerous and contribute to loss of life. Make sure you and your family have a sheltered place to go during the storm. The next thing to do is protect your physical property. Here are a few general tips to reduce damage:

  • Stay indoors. Get covers for your windows to prevent them from breaking. 
  • Do not inspect property damage until the storm has passed. Hail damage may not be obvious so it’s important to examine all glass surfaces, building walls, and the roof.
  • Check HVAC equipment. Hail damages the condensing coils in air conditioning appliances.
  • Store your vehicles in a garage or some other protected covering. 

How To Prepare Your Roof For Hail

The type and age of your roof play the biggest role in the damage a hail storm may cause. Concrete or clay tiles perform better in hailstorms than asphalt or wood shingles. Built-up roofs with dense substrates and multiple base sheets perform better than those with lighter substrates or organic felts. Coarse aggregate surfacing, like ballast or gravel materials, increases the hail resistance of a roof. It’s important to remember that regular inspection and maintenance of your roof will increase the life and resistance to hail and wind storms. 

If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, anything on the exterior of your home and property is at risk for hail damage. It is possible to install roofing materials that can withstand greater levels of impact. Talk with your roofing expert about what roofing materials are best for you. 

How To Check For Hail Damage

After a hailstorm, it’s important to get your roof checked for damage. Hail falls in random patterns, so while your neighbor may not have any damage, you may have a ton. Some signs of hail damage around your yard and property are:

  • Plants stripped of their leaves
  • Dents in cars
  • Damaged HVAC units
  • Evidence of hail damage to other exterior furnishings

If you see any signs of hail damage like this, it is best to bet that your roof has some damage. If there are dents on the gutters, closely inspect your shingles. 

Make sure to look for damage on the inside of your house, as well. If you notice water stains on your ceiling after a hailstorm, the odds are there is a leak. Contact a roofer immediately. 

It is highly recommended that you get a professional roofing expert to inspect your roof for hail damage, since damage can be hard to see with the naked eye. 

Types Of Hail Damage

Surface Hail Damage

The first type of damage you want to look for is damage to the surface of your roof. If you have asphalt shingles, you may notice the following after a hailstorm:

  • Small divots
  • Round black areas
  • Bruised shingles
  • Loss of protective granules, which may collect in gutters and downspouts
  • Tears at the end of the shingle
  • Splits in the shingle

Hidden Damage

The naked eye cannot see all the damage a hailstorm has done to your roof. The impact of a hailstone can cause shingles to split and can only be seen when you look at the backside of the roof shingles. Therefore, it’s best to call a roofing expert to assist in this type of inspection. 

Is It Necessary To Fix Hail Damage On Your Roof?

If the hail has only cosmetically damaged your roof, repair might not be necessary. However, if the hail damage is allowing water to pass through your roof, the hail damage should be fixed as soon as possible. Once leaks occur, damage can become extensive due to damage from mold, electrical issues, or ceiling and wall damage from water. 

If the hail damage has caused granule loss on your roof shingles, it could affect the performance of the shingle. The granules on the shingles help to protect the asphalt from UV light degradation caused by the sun. Shingles that have lost granules have a higher risk of failing sooner. Ignoring hail damage is not a wise decision. 

What Does Insurance Cover?

Most homeowner insurance policies cover hail damage. It is best to study your policy in depth before any storms hit, so you are best prepared. Some insurance companies have stipulations associated with hail related insurance claims such as:

  • Homeowners have within one year to file a claim. 
  • Most policies require a deductible payment.
  • Filing a claim may increase your premium rates.
  • Cosmetic damage may not be covered.

Handling Hail Damage Claims

Notify your insurance company immediately after a storm to open a claim. The company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage and replacement cost. Next, you will need to look for a qualified roofing company to do the necessary repairs. Make sure that your chosen roofer will communicate with your insurer. Be wary of “storm chasers” who show up right after a storm offering amazing discounts. Find a state-licensed roofing contractor like Second To None to take care of your roof. We offer free estimates for hail damage. 

Don’t let hail get you down. Assess and clean your property after a storm and call us at 636-699-0449 so we can help you.