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How to Spot Hail Damage

Hail damage accounts for more than $1.7 billion in property damage annually in the United States alone, according to a five-year study by the Insurance Information Institute (III). That figure stems from about 4,600 hail events each year.

If you’re an affected homeowner, it makes for rather annoying hailstorm aftermath. In the following article, we’ll be talking about how you can spot these damages before they lead to costlier repairs. First, however, let’s talk about how the damage usually occurs.

How Roofing Hail Damage Occurs

III notes the most common form of property damage usually comes by way of roofing claims. Aggravatingly enough, that’s the very spot that’s hard to notice when assessing for damages.

That’s particularly true if you’re nervous about getting up on the roof. Still, you’ll probably want to risk it if you notice any of the following factors at play.

Wind Speed

Wind speed certainly plays a factor in experiencing hail damage to a roof. That’s because high winds blow forming stones into the clouds where plunging humidity causes the stones to strike at alarming speeds once they crystallize.

Wind can also “pile on” to damage from falling stones. Here’s a handy guide that covers wind speeds and corresponding damages.

Size of the Hail

Experiencing hail damage to shingles is pretty commonplace when stone sizes hit golf-ball-size and above. The highest-recognized hail sizes are about four and a half inches in diameter and are classified as softball-sized. It doesn’t have to get that large to make its mark, though.

Poor Building Materials

A hail-damaged roof might also be the combination of a megastorm and cheap building materials. It pays to invest in a quality roof on the front end. Asphalt and composite shingles are among the most popular with homeowners.

Now that we’ve covered the factors, let’s take a quick look at how you can spot hail damage. Some roofs can give you a better chance to avoid, but none are immune, depending on the severity of the storm.

1. Black Marks on Your Roof

This is common with asphalt shingles. If you go up to observe roof damage from hail, you might recognize small black “burn” marks in certain parts or across the entirety of the roof.

These are directly caused by hail. Fixing these spots may not be urgent, but you’ll definitely want to address them before the shingles further deteriorate.

2. Split Shingles

This mark is common with wood shingles, and they’re typically distinguished by blunt force trauma. You can tell this by a) the split in parts of the wood, and b) the lack of any wear around the torn edges.

3. Exposure of Roof Felt

Asphalt shingles may wear down with time, and hail can accelerate this through the loss of granules. When the shingles become too eroded, the felt may be visible. If you’ve noticed this phenomenon, it’s time to replace it.

4. Soft Bruising

Finally, a roof may start to experience a rotten-apple quality of soft bruising in places. When this occurs, it’s time to call a professional.

Hail Damage Is Too Costly to Ignore

Full roof replacements can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000. You won’t necessarily get any help from your insurance company if the matter could have been avoided through proper maintenance.

Needless to say, hail damage is too costly to ignore. If you’re ready for a roof inspection or replacement, contact us today.


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