How to Tell If Your Roof Has Hail Damage
Discovering that your roof has hail damage is never fun. Each year, hail storms lead to billions of dollars of damage to homes and other property in the United States alone. Some areas in the United States are more prone to hail storms than others, but it can still impact homes anywhere. Roofs are particularly vulnerable to hail damage but this damage can often go unnoticed.
It’s hard to see the damage hail causes to your roof from the ground so you may not even know that it’s there. If there was recently a hail storm in your area and you’re wondering whether your roof sustained hail damage, here’s how you can tell:
Signs of Hail Damage from the Ground
Even if you can’t see your whole roof while standing on the ground, there are still some signs of hail damage you can look for without getting out a ladder. The presence of one or more of these signs is an indication that you might have more hail damage on your roof.
Dents and Dings on Your Siding or Window Sills
Just by taking a quick walk around your property, you can check the siding and window sills of the building for hail damage. If a hail storm caused significant dents and dings to these areas, it’s likely that your roof sustained damage as well. Even just a faint ding to these surfaces could be cause for concern.
Damage to Your Decks and Porches
Look at the wood on your decks and porches to check for chipped paint or other damage from the hail storm. Hail that’s capable of damaging your deck or porch likely damaged your roof as well.
Hail Damage to Gutters and Downspouts
Since your gutters run along the edge of the roof, they’re an ideal way to check for potential hail damage to your roof. Large or even small dents in your gutters and downspouts are a sign that your roof was damaged by the hail storm, too. Don’t ignore hail damage to gutters!
There are lots of ways to end up with holes in your window screens but if they show up after a hail storm, that’s a sign that there could be hail damage on the roof, too.
Damage to Air Conditioning Units
Finally, you’ll want to look at your outdoor air conditioning units and any other large items you keep outside. The air conditioner is an easy item to check for hail damage and that’s a good way to gauge whether your roof might have damage that needs to be addressed.
The good news is that damage to your air conditioner caused by hail may be covered by your insurance. If you notice that your air conditioner is damaged after a hail storm, consider making a claim with your insurance to have it replaced.
Signs of Hail Damage From the Roof
Just because you don’t see any of those signs of hail damage doesn’t mean that your roof is in the clear. You’ll still want to get up on the roof and check it out to be sure that there’s no damage up there.
Keep in mind that getting up on a roof and inspecting it can be very dangerous. You should take all possible safety precautions to protect yourself. When in doubt, leave the roof inspection to a professional.
Once you get on the roof, there are several things you should be looking for to identify hail damage. Just like with the gutters, you’ll want to check for dents and damage to any of the surfaces on your roof including vents, skylights, and the chimney.
Sometimes damage on your roof is very noticeable but other times it can be much harder to spot. Large hail generally creates easy-to-see dents in the shingles and other roof surfaces while smaller hail creates damage that can be trickier to find.
A helpful tip is to bring a stick of sidewalk chalk up with you to the roof. With surfaces like the chimney cover, you can rub the chalk sideways across the surface to help find any places where the hail caused a dent.
You should spend most of your time checking the shingles on the roof. Hail damage to shingles will have small or large dents and dings on them, as these are telltale signs of hail damage.