Is Hail Damage to a Roof Serious?

hail damaged tile roofing

Dealing With Hail Damage

Sugarland, Texas is accustomed to all types of weather, but hailstorms and thunderstorms are the most common. Along with that ‘bad’ weather, homeowners have more than they desire resulting in wind and hail damage roof repair. How do you know if your roof has hail damage?

There are four key indicators that your home will need hail damage roof repair: 

  1. Missing granules of the asphalt, which looks like bald spots with the black substrate exposed. 
  2. Bruises on the shingle, which look like black marks.
  3. Bent or cracked shingles.
  4. Dented gutters and downspouts.

What size hail will damage shingles?

The following are the most common hailstone sizes. Just because you have the smallest size for the shortest amount of time doesn’t mean you don’t need hail damage roof repairs though! Always have an inspection done to be sure. 

  • Pea-Size: ¼-inch hailstones are typically for a very short time before turning into rain. An older roof can be damaged by this hailstone size. 
  • Marble-Size: ½-inch hail is also considered a safe zone, meaning very rare for any significant hail damage. Roof repairs may be needed for an older roof though, so again, always worth getting a professional roof inspection. 
  • Dime or Quarter-Size: ¾-inch to one-inch hailstones are likely going to leave you needing hail damage roof repair no matter the age of your roof. You’ll see cracks and dents and cracks, and while they may seem minor on the surface, it is the underside of the shingle where the damage can be severe.  A professional roof inspection is recommended. 
  • Golf Ball-Size:  At 1 ¾-inch to 4 ½-inch size, this is serious hailstones, and very unlikely that you do not need hail damage roof repair. This size of hailstones can cause substantial damage to a roof and vehicles. A professional roof inspection is a must at this size! 

How does hail damage a shingle roof?

The bigger the hailstone, the more damage can be done from bruising and cracking shingles, and more.  Not all hail damage roof repairs needs can be spotted from the ground though. This means you need to get on the roof, or a better idea, have a professional roofing contractor inspect the roof. Most roofing contractors offer free inspections and estimates, and those that do charge a minimal fee will deduct that from the cost of the job. 

The first thing to look for in hail damage roof repair needs is the roof’s surface. Look for bruising in the way of dark round spots, missing granules from the shingles, divots, bent, broken, and cracked shingles. 

How much hail damage is needed to replace a roof?

There isn’t a rule of thumb as to how much of a roof needs to be damaged before replacement is necessary. It is based more on what type of damage and where the damage is located that is found during a hail damage roofing inspection. 

Can a metal roof be damaged by hail?

Yes, but not as easily as other roofing materials. Metal roofs are more durable but that doesn’t make them immune to needing hail damage roof repairs. The smaller size of hailstones will leave small dents and bigger hailstones can do severe damage to metal roofing. Like with any other type of roofing material, if there has been a hailstorm, have the roof inspected by a professional contractor that works with metal roofing. 

How do you repair hail damage on a metal roof?

Cosmetic issues on metal roofing can be repaired with spot-patching with these steps: 

Step One: Clean the affected area thoroughly

Step Two: With a wire brush, scuff the affected area in preparation for cutting and sealing. 

Step Three: Cut the damaged section out plus an additional 2” margin all around.  

Step Four: Place a color-matched patch in the place you cut out and using a urethane sealant, seal around the edges. 

Step Five: If needed, apply a protecting coating after the sealant has dried.

Step Six: If there are several areas on a panel damaged, replace the entire piece.

man holding a handful of hail

From The Top to The Bottom

Is it worth repairing hail damage? This is what the insurance adjuster will determine.  They will use factors like the age of the roof, the current roofing material, and then refer to your policy for the deductible and other details. If one or two shingles are missing granules and the underside is okay, they adjust will likely approve a hail damage roof repair versus total replacement. 

Does insurance cover hail damage? Yes and no, it will depend on the condition of the roof prior to the hail damage. If your roof is 20 years old, your roof claim will be reviewed in comparison to the depreciation value versus the actual value. All homeowner’s insurance policies vary, and it is recommended to review your policy from time to time so that you are aware of your deductible and more.