Many people think of tornadoes as being the most destructive part of a storm. Tornadoes usually destroy a small number of structures before dissipating. When a hail storm, on the other hand, often strikes thousands of homes when it passes over a large urban area. Many times hail damage is not noticeable from the ground but when you go up on your roof and inspect if damage is present. If your home has been struck by hail, it is important to have an initial inspection, call your insurance company, and select a quality roofing contractor to repair your home.
When hail strikes an asphalt shingle roof, it usually loosens the protective granules and creates a soft spot the size of the hail stone. There is a fiberglass reinforcing mat in the shingle. The soft spot happens because the mat has been crushed in this particular spot. Usually the damaged area is sunken in like a crater. These sunken areas are sometimes called “bruises.” If the hail was large, the impacted areas will be very visible from the roof level. The bruises will be less visible if the hail was smaller in size. Smaller hail can still cause soft spots that weaken the shingles even if they are not visible from ground level. Hail damaged shingles do not always leak initially because they are double coursed and have felt underlayment. The damage will, however, cause the roof to deteriorate faster and start to leak.
You will need to have a roof top inspection to determine the extent of the damage. It is best to have a good roofing contractor inspect the roof for you to determine if you have hail damage. Your roofer can tell you if the damage is severe enough to file an insurance claim. You should call your insurance company when the damage has been confirmed by your roofer. You will be issued a claim number, and an adjuster will be assigned to the claim.
Check around the downspouts. When hail impacts roofing shingles, it degrades the shingle and tends to knock off the granules. In most cases, this damage cannot be seen by the untrained eye, but if you have standard asphalt shingles on your house, you’ll want to check around the downspouts for excessive granule buildup. If evident, there is strong chance there has been roof damage from the storm. Just remember that this may simply be due to the age of the roofing material, so further investigation is needed.
Hail Damage and Roof Replacement
The best approach to replacing a hail damaged roof is to find a roofer that you feel comfortable with, and work with him from the very beginning. Have the roofer make the initial inspection and meet with the adjuster if necessary. Your roofer also needs to review the adjuster’s report to see if everything is correct. He can determine if the measurements agree and if the insurance company is paying enough money for a good job.
Now it’s time to take action. If you have 10 hits in a small aread, or if any of the above steps result in positive indications, call for a professional inspection. Get two or three roofing companies, preferably hail damage certified ones, to come around and have a look. Most will provide estimate for free. Ask each if they think it’s enough to warrant getting your insurance company out. You may want to call your insurance company anyway as they make the final determination and the worst that can happen is they deny the claim.