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!

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.

Window Screens

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.

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.

What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof?

What size hail will damage a roof

If you recently had a hail storm in your area but only saw very small hailstones, you might be assuming that everything is fine. Unfortunately, even relatively small hail can cause damage to your home, including your roof.

Hail that’s about one inch in diameter (the size of a quarter) or smaller likely won’t cause much damage outside. With this size of hail, you might notice some damage to your plants but probably nothing else.

Hail any larger than that, though, can start to cause damage to your roof and other surfaces. Once the hail reaches about 1.5 inches in diameter (about the size of a walnut), it can lead to severe roof damage.

If the hail is even larger, 1.75 inches in diameter (the size of a golf ball), then it can start to cause significant damage to vehicles parked outside and buildings.

Another relevant factor beyond size in how much damage the hail causes is the wind speed. Hail storms are often accompanied by severe winds which add to the damage.

Never assume that there’s no damage to your home just because the hail looked small. Go through the steps of looking for roof damage any time you have a major hail storm in your area.

Can marble sized hail damage a roof?

Marble-sized hail although it is possible, typically does not cause damage to a roof. This normally refers to hail about 1/2 inch, which is just a mild hailstorm. However with very strong winds, the likelihood of even small hail to cause direct damage increases.

Can pea sized hail damage a roof?

Pea sized hail is also not likely to cause damage to a roof unless strong winds are present. Damage from smaller sized hail is hard to notice without professional help. If hail this size happens often, then it is more possible that shingles build up damage over time.

Can Hail Damage a Metal Roof?

A metal roof is an increasingly popular option for homeowners who are building a new home or replacing their existing roofs. If you have a metal roof, you may be wondering “can hail damage a metal roof, too?”

The simple answer is yes. If the conditions of the hail storm are severe enough, even a metal roof can sustain damage from hail.

However, metal roofs are naturally very durable and strong so they’re less likely to be damaged by average hail storms. Metal roofing, unlike standard shingle roofing, can withstand up to golf-ball-sized hailstones without breaking.

People who live in areas that frequently get hail storms may want to consider installing a metal roof the next time they need to replace their existing roof.

Do You Have to Fix Roof Damage Caused by Hail?

If you go through the whole process of looking for damage to your roof after a hail storm and find damage, what then? Do you have to fix that damage immediately?

Yes, you should repair your roof as soon as possible if you notice hail damage. If left unaddressed, the damage could severely compromise your roof and lead to water damage or other structural problems in your home.

Luckily, most homeowners insurance policies will cover hail damage to your roof. Be sure to reach out to your insurance provider when you discover the damage to see if your roof repairs or replacement will be covered.

Don’t wait to address damage to your roof caused by hail. The sooner you deal with the problem, the less likely it is to cause additional issues down the line.

Jenkins Restoration can help you deal with storm and wind damage, including damage from hail storms. Reach out to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I replace my roof after hail damage?

It is possible you might need to replace your roof after experiencing a hail storm. Hail storms can bring serious damage, especially to older roofs. Older roofs are usually weaker and more accustomed to damage, meaning roof replacement may be needed after hail damage.

Can hail damage window seals?

Yes, hail damage can cause cracks in the glass and damage your window seals. If the hailstones are 1.5 inches in diameter or larger, it can seriously damage the window. This can lead to moisture and air infiltration to seep in through the broken window panes.

Can solar panels be damaged by hail?

Yes, solar panels can be damaged by hail. Manufacturers have to put the glass on top of the solar panel through test to represent impact from hail, and pass the tests. However, hail still damages solar panels at times.

Have you Recently Dealt with Hail Damage to your Home?

Make sure to call Jenkins Restorations to get your Storm and Hail damage taken care of.