Weathering the Storm: A Comprehensive Guide to Hail Damage Roof Inspections
It’s that time of year again. The wind speed is picking up, and the clouds are getting dark. It’s hail season, and those without garages are bemoaning the likelihood of a cracked windshield. Homeowners listen to the pounding on their roofs, hoping the storm damage won’t be that bad.
Arizona isn’t known for heavy hail storms, but they come around and can cause damage to your home’s roof. When a storm passes, see if you need an inspection and what it entails.
How Much Damage Can Hail Really Do?
Hail can cause a lot of damage depending on where you live. Nationally, it causes an average of $15 billion in property damage annually. In 2020 alone, hail damages 6.2 million homes in the US.
Hailstones don’t need to be record-breaking to cause massive damage. Smaller, inch-wide hail can do just as much.
The expense of massive hail events can be in the billions for specific cities. Phoenix, Arizona, holds the record for the costliest hail storm at $3.5 billion.
What To Look for After a Hail Storm
Always look around your property after a major weather event, especially after hail. This step won’t give you a perfect understanding if anything is wrong, but it may indicate any problems.
Assessing the damage is the first step in navigating hail damage. Remember to stay safe, and don’t go on your roof, as you never know if it is unstable. Inspect your house from the ground and look for the following indicators.
Shingle Granules In the Gutter
The gravel granules that sit on top of your shingles are there to reflect light and heat away from your roof. They protect the lower layers of asphalt from being exposed to the weather. Asphalt doesn't do well when exposed to excessive heat. That’s why shingle granules are so important. Without them, your shingles can age prematurely.
Hail can remove these shingle granules and cause big problems for your roofing system. After hail, Look at your downspout and check for any granules that have accumulated there. You can also put up an “A” frame ladder next to your home and look into the gutters.
If you notice these granules, the protective coating on your shingles is gone. When that happens, your roofing system is open to the elements causing premature aging and potential leaks.
Cracked Shingles and Tiles
Hailstones can come down at fast speeds. Larger hailstones can act like hammers that can tear up your roof. As the hail impacts your roof, it can sometimes break tiles and rip up shingles.
From the ground, you can look for damage to your shingles. It may look like dents or “blisters” across the surface or lines in individual shingles that shouldn’t be there.
If you notice any cracked shingles or missing parts, there’s probably more that you can’t see. Cracked shingles mean your roof is allowing water to seep into your roofing system.
Shingles act as the first line of defense so when they are compromised, it can often lead to big problems. The first issue that can occur is damage to your underlayment. Underlayments are not meant to repel water, but when they stay wet for a while, they begin to absorb water and break apart.
If your roof underlayment is absorbing and trapping water, it will start to damage your decking. Once water has seeped into decking it will begin to grow mold and mildew. Decking that has experienced water leaking for a long time can eventually swell or buckle.
To summarize, you do not want water getting into your roofing system.
Leaks typically show up during storms. As mentioned above, water and roofs do not go well together. Hail can start long-term damage that could go months before being noticed. However, in some circumstances, hail can create leaks that show up almost instantaneously.
Keep your eyes peeled for roof leaks during the storm and after. Look for:
Dripping or running water
Rook leaks don’t always show up where the water is coming in from. Checking for moisture in your attic is the best way to identify where the water is coming in from and what may need to be replaced.
This type of damage can cause expensive repairs. If you notice any leaks, call a professional as soon as possible.
What the Professionals Will Do
Professional roof inspections will cover a lot more detail than you can. Roof inspectors will look for the following:
- Cracks or other signs of damage
- Mold or rot
- Condition of flashing
- Condition and age of shingles
- Condition of gutters
- Check on roof vents and vent pipes
- Any recommended repairs or replacements
When you get a roof inspection after a hail storm, they’ll look for any roof hail damage and give you any recommendations. Schedule an appointment for a roof inspection in the Prescott, AZ, area. It’s free and can save you money and time.
Assess the Damage
The roofing contractor will inspect any damage to your roofing material. Because they’re trained professionals, they can go onto your roof and inspect your shingles more closely. They’ll look for missing or broken shingles that could compromise your roofing system.
A professional roof inspector will check on several things that can’t be seen from the ground. The things a professional roofer will look for when assessing for damage could include:
- Curled shingles
- Loose granules
- Areas the roof is sagging
- Smaller tears in shingles
Shingles aren’t the only thing to check on after hail. Professional roofers will also inspect any fixtures on your roof like
These fixtures are important parts of your roof and if they are compromised they should be repaired or replaced quickly. One area of potential weakness on these fixtures is the flashing - the piece of metal that is used to keep water away from important areas. Professional inspectors will look over these critical areas to assess the damage.
Create a Damage Report
After inspecting the damage, the inspector will give you a damage report. This report will detail any damage found and the estimated repair or roof replacement cost. It’ll also include the age and manufacturer of the roof, which may influence what to do next.
Having a damage report on file is helpful when filing an insurance claim. Roof repairs can be costly, so get information on any insurance or warranty help.
After Hail Damage: What’s Next for Homeowners?
Although the roof inspector will give you suggestions, what you do is ultimately up to you. Decide what you need to do — repair, replace, or ignore it. Check with your insurance company for any benefits you can receive.
It would be best if you also talked with the roofing company. Ask them if they recommend immediate or postponed repairs. If the repairs can wait, use the time to save up money for the incoming expenses. Also, use the conversations as a way for you to learn more about your roof and the terminology.
Call Legacy Roofing
If you live in the greater Prescott area, call Legacy Roofing. We’ll do it all, from inspection and repairs to roof replacements.