How to Repair Hail Damage to Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Repairing Your Hail Damaged Asphalt Shingles
The US receives on average more than five thousand large hail storms per year. Maryland, of course, experiences its fair share. While we all dread the rare softball-sized hail, even much smaller pieces can cause roof hail damage. Many homeowners aren’t aware of the hail damage to their roofs, as it can often not be seen from the ground. We here at DC Generals will show you what to look for when inspecting your roof for hail damage.
What is Hail?
Hail is a type of precipitation that occurs when upward air current in thunderstorms carry raindrops into the upper levels of the cloud layer. Here, temperatures are below freezing, and ice particles will form around some type of nucleus. This can be a tiny ice crystal, a frozen raindrop, even a speck of dust caught in an updraft. The frozen ice particles drop within the cloud to an area above freezing temperatures. Here it will gather more moisture from rain drops, get caught in another updraft, and freeze again. The stronger the updraft the more times the hailstone will drift up and down, growing larger and larger until it can no longer resist the pull of gravity. When it falls, it can inflict damage on both people and property.
From the Ground
One cannot fully determine the amount of hail damage to a roof from the ground level, but there are some telltale signs that one can look out for to ascertain whether damage has taken place. The first thing you should look for is dents in your gutters, gutter screens, or downspouts. Often if a roof has damage up top, there will be some impact damage to the gutters. You can also look for damage to your siding or window sills, because if there’s significant damage to the roof there will likely be damage to these areas as well. Even a faint ding can indicate a more serious problem up top.
From the Top
Hail damage to a shingle roofing system can range from the very obvious to the very difficult to spot. It can take a trained eye to identify all the hail damage to a roof shingle, so you may want to consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect the roof. If the damage is obvious, you’re going to see that the surface granules of the shingle have been knocked off around the point of impact. These marks may not seem like a big deal, as they’re not causing a significant hole in the roof, but any damage to the surface material of a shingle (which takes significant force to knock off) indicates that the integrity of the shingle has been compromised. A water leak can easily develop here over time, even from the smallest impact points. You don’t want a roof leak because you discounted the damage caused by a hailstorm! Hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect the roof is a good idea, as they can help you determine if there’s enough damage to warrant an insurance claim. Most insurance companies look for a significant amount of damage, at least eight hits in a 10’x10’ square on at least three sides of the roof.
In the event of a severe hairstorm, fixing up even the smallest damaged area of your roof becomes imperative. Your best bet is to call a professional roofing specialist to inspect and assess the roof damage. This will help you determine if you need a few simple spot repairs or if you will need a full roof replacement. If your homeowner’s insurance covers hail damage, a good roofing contractor can guide you through the process of completing the claim. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation, give DC Generals a call today!