The United States is pelted with hail storms all year round; as recently as 2016, the National Weather Service recorded over five thousand large-sized hail storms! Hailstones are an incredible hazard. They can cause severe damage to your lawn, car, and even you, yourself. Short of personal injury, however, one of the most devastating problems with these storms is hail damage roof repairs. One particularly bad three-day period of hailstorms in the southern United States cost homeowners billions of dollars in combined damages.
While that’s a somewhat rare disaster, hailstorms in general are quite common, and are no laughing matter. Hailstones of even relatively small size – 1in in diameter – have the potential to wreak havoc on the roof of your house tallying several thousand dollars in repair costs. If you’ve experienced recent hail storms in your area, then check for these signs of hail damage before calling roofers. We’ll talk about many of the most common indicators of roof hail damage, and whether they may result in the need roof repairs.
Signs You Need a Hail Damage Roof Repair
You don’t actually need to get up onto your roof itself to spot signs of hail damage. Even if you’ve been away from town, and you weren’t around for the hailstorm, you might come home to any number of warning signs that there’s been hail activity in your neighborhood.
Check Your Property
You might not even have to go so far as the house to spot signs of damage. Everything across the lawn is a target waiting to be damaged by falling hailstones. If you notice your mailbox has dents or scratches on it, it may have suffered hail damage. The driveway itself will show signs of hailstones splattered across it. This can also wash away any uncleanliness from the concrete. If your driveway is streaky-clean, it can be another sign of hail damage.
Your yard plants may be mangled and torn from heavy hailstones, too. Check for any flowers and shrubs that look like they’ve been trampled. If you have lawn decorations or yard signs, these, too, will take a lot of blunt force trauma from hailstones. If you notice that your yard ornaments are all beaten up, hail damage is a strong culprit.
The same goes for anything in the yard:
- A/C Vents
- Swimming Pools & Equipment
- Basketball Hoops
- Lawn furniture
Especially if you notice a consistent pattern of damage across objects on your lawn, it’s an easy guess that there’s been a hailstorm recently. You’ll wanna take a closer look at the house itself to see what kind of hail damage has been done.
Check Your House
Still before getting up onto the roof itself, you can look for numerous signs of hail damage around the house to get an idea of how severe the effects might be.
The most obvious sign of hail damage you’ll probably spot is your siding. If there are dents or cracks in the siding, then the roof definitely took even more blunt damage, and is almost certainly in need of some repairs.
Your gutters and drainpipes, too, will show signs of hail damage. Your gutters will be hit almost as hard as the roof itself, too, so if they’re significantly damaged, it’s a pretty sure bet that your roof is going to be showing some signs of damage, too.
Check around all of your windows, window sills, and window casings. The glass windows, in particular, can suffer small cracks that you’ll want to have repaired immediately. Fix any damaged wiind
Getting Up on the Roof
Before we say anything further, let’s take a quick moment to talk about roof safety. Here at Elite Remodeling Services, we’re experts in roofing and hail damage roof repair, so we spend all day up on the roof working; we know a thing or two about safety. However, as a homeowner, it’s not very likely that you get up onto your roof very often (or ever). This means you’ll want to take some serious precautions before attempting to inspect your roof yourself.
Always use the buddy system when going onto the roof. Between slips, falls, and ladder problems, you don’t want to find yourself getting into any trouble without someone there to help you. Never go it alone on your roof; always wait to go up until you have a strong buddy handy. Walk only on level surfaces, and use a harness if you can get your hands on one. If you aren’t sure if a surface is safe to step on… don’t. If you’re not confident you can navigate your roof safely and comfortably, just give us a call to help you out.
Checking the Roof
Now that you’re safely up on the rooftop, you can start to look for signs of hail damage. The easiest thing to spot will be your roof vents and skylights. Check your chimney, too. These parts all have metal pieces on them that will show obvious signs of denting or cracking if they’re hail damaged.
Take some chalk up onto the roof with you; if you can’t tell whether a particular area has been damaged, roll the long side of the chalk over it. Any areas within your mark that are light or colorless are dented inward from the surrounding roof. Feel free to mark off any damage with your chalk so that your roofing inspector will have an easier time seeing where the problem area is.
Hail Damage to Roof Shingles
It can be kind of tricky to spot roof hail damage if you have asphalt shingles, since the surface of the shingles is grainy and multicolored. Get down and look very closely at your shingles; you’re looking for spots of discoloration or empty patches where there are missing granules. These granules are the shingles’ primary defenses against harmful UV radiation, so if they’ve been wiped away, the shingles will need to be replaced. Of course, if the shingles are cracked, chipped, or punctured, the same solution applies; this sort of damage calls for a roof repair.
If you’re having trouble identifying shingle damage, look for patches that are dark in color or patches that aren’t as glossy as the rest of the roof surface. It can be easier to spot roof hail damage in wooden shingles, since they are thicker and more pronounced. Damaged wooden shingles will often be split outright, but without being worn around the edges. Dents in wooden shingles show a lot more clearly, too, since they aren’t obscured by a pattern of granules. Of course, as with your asphalt shingles, damaged wooden shingles should be immediately replaced.
Even if you don’t see any readily apparent signs of hail damage on your roof, there are other warning signs. One of the most easy to find, but one of the more alarming, is the presence of your shingles’ granules in your gutters. This buildup will start to happen naturally if your roof is approaching 25 or 30 years in age. If it’s younger than that, then this buildup shouldn’t occur. Should this be the case, it means your shingles are damaged and the granules are coming loose from being damaged. Of course, if you’ve looked for damage, found nothing, and walked into a home with a leaky ceiling, then you know you have a problem you didn’t spot!
Cosmetic vs. Functional Roof Damage
There is a difference between functional hail damage and simple cosmetic damage, however. The difference, mostly, comes down to common sense. If you see some hail splatter on the roof, but the shingles aren’t dented and there are only some scratches on your roof vents, then you’re not likely suffering any sort of structural damage to the roof. Hailstones measuring a quarter inch or less in diameter are very common. They often only result in cosmetic damage like this. However, even stones roughly the size of a marble can strike your roof with enough impact to cause concerns.
If your home has recently suffered a Florida hailstorm, get in touch with your friendly neighborhood roofing experts at Elite Remodeling Services. We’ll assess the situation and give you a fair estimate for repairs. You’ll always have the peace of mind that your family is in hands.