8 Signs of Hail Damage to Your Roof
As we enter the coldest part of the year, it’s important for everyone to start thinking about their roofs. Most of the year through the sun and mild wind or rain storms, we can happily ignore our roofs, comfortable in the knowledge that they were built sturdy enough to handle anything short of small hurricane but hail is a completely different matter.
Hail occurs when an updraft (wind that goes up) blows raindrops into a colder part of the atmosphere where they freeze hard and fall. With high winds, this can happen over and over again until, finally, the hail ball is big and heavy enough to fall through the updraft and then it hits your roof with a big worrying thunk. The question is, was the hail storm big enough to need immediate roof repairs? For most people, unfortunately, the answer is yes. Hail is one of the biggest dangers to the integrity of your roof. You might call it death by a thousand tiny impacts. If you’re not sure if it’s time to get a professional roof inspection, here are eight clear signs that your roof has taken serious hail damage.
1) Dented Gutters
Let’s start with the safer examination methods that don’t involve getting up on the roof. Take a walk around your house and look closely at the gutters. If your gutters are visibly dented by the falling hail, then the impacts were definitely hard enough to do damage to your roof whether you have asphalt composite shingles, wood shake, or tile. Hail can destroy it all.
2) Dented Air Conditioner Unit
Another easy to spot sign of obvious hail damage is your air conditioner unit. If you live in a home with a large external AC unit in your yard, then it was out there in the storm as well. Big, visible dents in your AC unit mean that the same amount and force of hail was also falling on your roof. Chances are it’s time for an inspection.
3) Dented and Broken Roof Vent Covers
If you didn’t see any obvious gutter or AC unit dents, unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear for roof safety just yet. If it’s safe to do so, climb carefully up on the roof to start your own amateur roof inspection. Inspecting the shingles may be a little difficult but the other roof features are quite easy to see. Take a close look at the vent covers and other bits of metal or glass on top of your roof. If they are smashed, dented, or otherwise impact damaged, you have damaged shingles as well.
Examining your shingles, the clearest sign of a hail damaged roof is mostly circular little pock-marks about the size of the hailstones that fell earlier. Sometimes they land in a spray of ice, sometimes they land with a distinct thud and sometimes they will skid heavily along the surface of your roof for a while. Look for dark thumb-sized depressions to identify the pock-marks in composite or wood shingles.
5) Dark Spots with Missing Granules
Another problem caused by hail is knocking the granules off of composite roof tiles. These granules protect the flexible asphalt part of the shingle from degrading in the sun and without them, your roof is likely to rot much more quickly. Even if they don’t seem that damaged, these shingles will soon need to be replaced.
6) Cracked Wood or Tile Shingles
While most homes have composite asphalt shingles now, if your home features wood shake or tile instead the hale actually poses a much larger and more obvious threat. The force of a single falling hailstone can chip, crack, and even completely shatter a more rigid roof shingle so if you see evidence of this, do not hesitate to call for roof repair services.
7) Missing Shingles
Because hail storms are caused by winds, high winds often come right along with them. While hail itself cannot, for the most part, remove roof shingles, high winds can. The wind simply pushes heavily and insistently on the rough sides of your roof shingles and if one starts to come loose, it is quickly at risk of being completely pried up and blown away.
8) Soft Spots
Finally, the most insidious problem with hail is that it damages the singles below the top shingles. Enough light pulverizing and your roof will start to develop dangerous soft spots that are bad both for weather resistance and walking on. If you’re not sure about the state of your roof after a hailstorm, it’s best to call for an inspection just to be on the safe side.
If your home needs Minnesota roof repairs, contact us today!