Can Hail Damage a Roof?

You probably know that hail can cause damage to your roof, but you might not know exactly how—or what signs to look for. Hail damage isn’t always immediately apparent, especially to the untrained eye. Damage from a hail storm doesn’t always result in something serious, like a leak, and if it does, it doesn’t always happen immediately. The most likely scenario is that a hail storm will damage your roof in seemingly imperceptible ways that can eventually cause greater damage. Here are a few possible ways that hail can cause damage to your roof and home.

The most common type of hail-related damage for asphalt roofs is granule loss on asphalt shingles. Regardless of the size of the hail, the impact of a hail stone hitting an asphalt shingle can erode some of the granule coating. These granules protect the shingle underneath from direct exposure to the sun’s rays and generally make the shingle sturdier. Without these granules, shingles are more prone to cracking, either from sun exposure or the next hailstone strike, especially if your shingles are 3-tab and not studier architectural shingles. If the hail stones are large enough, they may skip the granule erosion phase and crack the shingle outright—regardless of the type of shingles, asphalt or otherwise, you have. Newer asphalt shingles are typically more resistant and shock absorbent than older shingles, so you should be especially wary of damage if your shingles are older. High winds usually accompany hail storms, and the wind can curl or lift shingles by breaking the seal that bonds them together, leaving roofs vulnerable to rain.

On other types of shingled and non-shingled roofs, hail stones can create hairline cracks and punctures that might be difficult to see at first, but can create weak spots on your roof and/or worsen with time, potentially causing leaks and other water damage.

Hail can also cause damage to siding and or gutters. Like hail damage to shingles, hail damage to these areas may be imperceptible or seem cosmetic at first, but can lead to bigger issues later on. If you have leaf guards on your gutters, hail can deform or tear the screens, causing them to let leaves and other debris through. The impact of hail and severe winds can cause dents or dings in gutter joints or downspouts, which can eventually cause leaks in the gutter system, and even cause gutters to pull away from your home, leaving both the gutter system and your roof vulnerable.

Cracks, dents or paint chips in your siding can leave the siding and your walls underneath the siding vulnerable to water damage. High winds can also cause siding to come loose and pull away from your home, exposing your home to moisture and other possible causes of damage.

If you’ve experienced hail in the past year, or aren’t sure if severe weather has affected your area, it’s best to have a contractor inspect your roof for possible damage. To ensure your roof is ready for the hail season ahead, contact John Beal Roofing to schedule your free storm damage inspection or learn more about our additional residential services.