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Hail damage to roof. Inspect, repair and prevent

Posted by Alex Roof

Hail storms are a common natural occurrence in many parts of the world, and they can wreak havoc on homes and other properties. When it comes to houses, one of the most vulnerable areas is the roof. Hail can cause a range of damage to roofing materials, from small dents and cracks to major structural problems that compromise the integrity of the roof. This damage can shorten the lifespan of the roof and even lead to leaks and water damage inside the home. In this article, we will discuss the different types and signs of hail damage, its impact on roof lifespan, steps to take after hail damage occurs, and ways to prevent hail damage to the roof. By understanding the risks of hail damage to your roof, you can take proactive steps to protect your home and ensure the longevity of your roof.

Types and signs of hail damage of roof

Hail damage to a roof can be classified into two broad categories: physical damage and functional damage.

Physical damage to the roof

Physical damage is visible damage to the roof’s surface caused by the impact of hailstones. It can include:

  • Dents: Hailstones can leave small or large dents on the surface of metal roofs or other soft roofing materials like asphalt shingles, wood shakes, or clay tiles. These dents can cause the roof to look uneven, affecting its aesthetic appeal and potentially its structural integrity.
  • Cracks: Hail can cause cracks on the surface of some roofing materials, such as clay tiles, slate, and wood shakes. These cracks may not be immediately visible, but over time, they can develop into more significant problems.
  • Holes: Large hailstones can create holes in the roof, allowing water to enter the attic and causing water damage.

Functional damage to the roof

Functional damage is damage that may not be immediately visible but can affect the roof’s ability to perform its essential functions. This can include:

  • Granule loss: Asphalt shingles have a layer of granules on their surface that protects them from the sun’s UV rays. Hail can knock off these granules, making the shingles more vulnerable to damage from the sun and other weather elements.
  • Bent or dented flashing: Hail can also cause flashing (the metal strips that protect roof joints and seams) to bend or become dented, compromising the roof’s waterproofing.
  • Damaged gutters: Hail can dent or damage gutters and downspouts, which can prevent them from effectively channeling water away from the roof and home.

Both physical and functional damage can have long-term effects on the roof’s lifespan and performance. It is essential to identify and repair hail damage as soon as possible to prevent further damage and maintain the integrity of the roof.

Impact of hail damage on roof lifespan

The impact of hail damage on the roof’s lifespan can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the roofing material. While some damage may be cosmetic, other damage can lead to more significant problems and reduce the roof’s lifespan. Here are some of the ways hail damage can impact the roof’s lifespan.

Short-term hail damage effects

Hail damage can cause immediate problems, such as leaks and water damage, which can compromise the roof’s structural integrity. If left unaddressed, these issues can worsen and lead to more extensive repairs or even require a full roof replacement.

Long-term hail damage effects

Hail damage can also have long-term effects on the roof’s lifespan. For example:

  • Granule loss: When hail knocks off granules from asphalt shingles, it can cause the shingles to deteriorate faster, reducing their lifespan.
  • Cracks and dents: These types of hail damage can cause the roof to become more susceptible to water damage, which can cause rot and decay in the underlying materials, shortening the roof’s lifespan.
  • Flashing damage: Hail can cause the flashing to become dented or damaged, which can result in water leaks and further damage to the roof structure.

If hail damage is not repaired promptly, it can lead to more severe problems down the road, such as mold, mildew, or even structural failure. In some cases, hail damage can also void the roof’s warranty, making it even more important to address any damage as soon as possible.

To ensure that your roof has a long lifespan, it is crucial to schedule regular roof inspections and maintenance to detect and repair hail damage or any other issues before they cause significant problems.

Steps to take after hail damage to roof

If you suspect that your roof has sustained hail damage, it is important to take prompt action to minimize any potential damage and prevent further problems. Here are the steps to take after hail damage to the roof:

  1. Inspect the roof: After a hailstorm, carefully inspect the roof for any visible signs of damage, such as dents, cracks, or missing shingles or tiles. You can do this by walking around the perimeter of your home or using binoculars to examine the roof from the ground.
  2. Document the damage: Take pictures of any visible hail damage to your roof, including close-ups and wider shots that show the overall extent of the damage. You can use these photos as evidence to support an insurance claim or to show a roofing contractor the extent of the damage.
  3. Contact your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the hail damage to your roof. Your insurance provider will send an adjuster to inspect the damage and determine if the repairs are covered under your policy.
  4. Hire a professional roofer: Hire a reputable roofing contractor to repair the hail damage to your roof. Make sure the contractor is licensed, insured, and experienced in repairing the type of roofing material you have. The roofing contractor can assess the damage, provide an estimate, and help you determine if it is best to repair or replace the roof.

It is important to take action quickly after a hailstorm to prevent further damage and maintain the integrity of your roof. By following these steps, you can get the repairs you need and restore your roof to its pre-damage condition.

Why it is important to get roof ready for hail in Philadelphia

Philadelphia experiences frequent hailstorms, particularly during the spring and summer months. Hailstones can range in size from pea-sized to golf ball-sized, and even larger. These hailstones can hit a roof at high velocities and cause significant damage to the roof’s surface, gutters, and other roof accessories. Having a roof that is ready to withstand the impact of hailstones can help protect your property.

Prevention of hail damage to roof

Preventing hail damage to your roof may not be entirely possible, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage and protect your roof from hail-related issues. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Choose the right roofing material: Some roofing materials are more hail-resistant than others. For example, metal roofs, tile roofs, and slate roofs are more durable and can withstand hail better than asphalt shingles. Consider choosing a hail-resistant roofing material if you live in an area prone to hailstorms.
  • Maintain your roof: Regular roof maintenance can help detect and repair minor problems before they become more significant issues. Schedule regular inspections and maintenance with a professional roofing contractor to ensure your roof is in good condition and can withstand hailstorms.
  • Install impact-resistant roof coverings: Impact-resistant roof coverings, such as shingles or tiles designed to withstand hail, can help protect your roof from damage. Talk to a professional roofing contractor about the various options available and which one is best suited for your home.
  • Trim nearby trees: Overhanging tree branches can become projectiles in a hailstorm and damage your roof. Trim any trees or branches that are too close to your roof to prevent potential damage.
  • Install protective shields: Install protective shields, such as hail guards or screens, over your roof to provide additional protection from hail damage. These shields can be made of various materials, such as metal, plastic, or mesh, and can be installed by a professional roofing contractor.

Importance of timely hail damage repair and prevention

Timely hail damage repair and prevention are critical to the longevity and functionality of your roof. Here’s why:

  • Prevents further damage: Hail damage, even minor damage, can lead to larger issues if left unrepaired. Moisture can seep into the damaged area and cause rot, mold, or mildew to develop. Prompt repairs can help prevent further damage and save you from costly repairs or even a complete roof replacement.
  • Maintains the roof’s integrity: Hail damage can compromise the structural integrity of your roof, making it more susceptible to leaks, water damage, and other problems. Timely repairs can restore your roof’s integrity and prevent further damage from occurring.
  • Protects your property: Hail damage can extend beyond your roof to other areas of your property. For example, water can seep into your home and cause damage to your walls, floors, and personal belongings. Timely repairs can help prevent this from happening and protect your property.
  • Maintains the roof’s warranty: Most roofing warranties have clauses that require homeowners to maintain their roofs and promptly repair any damage. Failing to do so can void the warranty, leaving you responsible for the cost of any repairs or replacements.
  • Increases your home’s value: A well-maintained and damage-free roof can add value to your home. It shows potential buyers that the roof is in good condition, protecting their investment in the property.

Hail damage to the roof can have a significant impact on the longevity and functionality of your roof. It is essential to take prompt action to minimize any potential damage and prevent further problems. By following the steps to take after hail damage, you can quickly and effectively restore your roof to its pre-damage condition. Additionally, implementing prevention measures can help protect your roof from future damage, save you money, and maintain your home’s value. While you cannot prevent hail storms from occurring, you can take steps to protect your roof and minimize the damage they may cause. By doing so, you can ensure that your roof remains in good condition and can withstand the impact of hailstones for years to come.