How to Identify and Repair Roof Hail Damage

January 3, 2023

If your area has recently experienced severe storms, you’ll want to know how to identify and address hail damage to a roof.

If you live in an area that experiences severe storms, your roof may be more susceptible to hail damage. Hail can crack shingles, which could lead to water damage to the home. Although some materials are more resistant to hail than others—for example, normal-sized hail won’t dent a metal roof—extremely large hail can wreak havoc.

In addition to checking daily hail reports, homeowners can minimize the impact of damage by assessing and making necessary hail damage repairs promptly. Here’s what you need to know about identifying and repairing roof damage caused by hail storms.

Time Required: 1-5 days
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: Hail damage repair costs range from $4,000-5,000 for an average-sized roof that requires partial or full replacement, up to $20,000 for a large roof that requires a complete replacement.

tools and materials

  • Ladder
  • Scaffolding or platform
  • light colored chalkOnce a hail storm has stopped, the first step for any homeowner is to identify the location and extent of any damage. Familiarizing yourself with the signs of hail damage can help you determine if the damage warrants professional inspection and repair.Keep in mind that the length and cost of repairs will vary greatly depending on the extent of the damage. Additionally, roofers will not be able to make repairs during inclement weather.

    Tips for Identifying and Repairing Roof Hail Damage

    • Even the smallest hail (¾ inch) can damage a roof depending on wind speed, although it is not always noticeable to the untrained eye. When hail reaches 1 inch or more, bruising and more extensive damage to the shingles is visible. Hail larger than 2 inches, especially when combined with high speed winds, often causes serious damage.
    • While a few loose granules on a shingle may not seem like a big problem, it indicates that the integrity of the shingle has been compromised. Over time, a water leak can develop, leading to more significant problems such as mold growth or structural damage. This may result in having to hire a company to complete mold remediation

    security considerations

    • When working on a roof, use scaffolding or a platform so you can walk safely on uneven surfaces. Wear sturdy, soft-soled shoes or roof boots.
    • If you are inexperienced in roof repair, call a professional to inspect and complete any necessary repairs.

    Imitation of hail damage

    Before performing any roof repairs, it is crucial to accurately identify the source of the damage in order to take the best course of action. Other types of hail damage repair damage that can mimic hail damage include blistering and cracking from degradation from UV rays or inclement weather, scratch damage from shingle installation, disfigurement from wind and debris, and worn shingles.

  • Signs of hail damage aren’t limited to the roof itself; the surrounding areas may also show signs of damage. If a roof has experienced a major hail storm, the gutters and downspouts will often have dents from the impact. Inspect siding, window frames, and any exposed metal surfaces (including outdoor air conditioning units), even for minor bumps. Decks and other painted surfaces may show peeling paint or other signs of impact.

Some common signs of hail damage to roofs include loose granules that can expose roofing felt, roof cracks, and random damage with no discernible color. Inspect roof vents, chimneys, skylights, and other features, as well as shingles, for dents or chips. Using light-colored chalk on dark or hard-to-see surfaces can help reveal otherwise invisible damage.

Specific signs of hail damage will also vary by material. For asphalt and composition shingles, homeowners may see “hail hits” that are black and smooth to the touch, as well as a shiny appearance on the asphalt or your carpet. Hail damage to wood shingles can often be identified by brown or orange cracks with sharp corners and edges.

Once you’ve done an initial inspection of your roof, the next step is to get a professional roof inspection to determine the extent of the damage. Most professional inspections are free, and a roofer or general contractor should be able to quickly identify the severity of the damage and any necessary repairs.

For tile roofs, homeowners can choose to replace individual tiles or repair an entire area. If only a handful of shingles are damaged, they can be removed and replaced with new shingles. This can be an ideal solution if you have a relatively new roof that doesn’t need to be completely replaced, although you’ll want to make sure your new shingles closely match the old roof.

For more extensive damage that is still contained to one area of ​​the roof, a partial roof change is also an option. This will not only cost less than repairing the entire roof, but the new and old shingles will blend more easily. However, partial roof change jobs can also result in increased labor and removal costs and the possibility of uneven ridge roofs. If most or all of the shingles are damaged, it may be wise to replace the entire roof.

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