How Hail Damages Different Roofing Materials

September 29, 2022

How To Spot The Different Ways Hail Can
Damage Your Houston, TX Roof

Protect Your Roof Against The Elements With Hail Proofing

Houston homeowners see a fair share of hailstorms. The Houston area has been under a severe weather warning 72 times in the past 12 months, with Doppler radar detecting hail on 11 days. Severe weather is a fact of life in our region–something all homeowners must prepare for to keep their homes safe.

Hailstones can break shingles, loosen or break tiles, and dent metal roofs, and you may not know it happened. Hail droppings roughly 1″ in diameter can cause severe hail damage to roofs, fan or vent covers, skylights, and other roofing materials.

But if your asphalt shingles are older, hail as small as 1/2″ to 3/4″ in diameter can cause severe damage.

Hailstone damage is cumulative, meaning each hailstorm does a little more damage than the last, and even insurance adjusters can have a difficult time diagnosing hail damage. That’s when you need the expert eye of a professional roofing company that works with insurance to help you identify issues.

Why Does Hail Cause So Much Roof Damage?

Hail is a form of precipitation that falls during thunderstorms. Hail forms when water droplets freeze together in thunderstorm clouds, creating chunks of ice that rain down on roofs, vehicles, and other property. Hailstorms do considerable harm because hail may fall at an angle or nearly sideways at varying speeds, making them more dangerous.

The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) inspects and rates various roofing materials. There aren’t any materials that are hail-proof but would be called hail-resistant (more commonly referred to as IR – impact resistant). The ASTM scale rates materials from class 1 (being the weakest) to class 4 (being the strongest). These ratings vary across brand and type of shingles.

You’ll have to check the hail-resistance rating of the specific roofing material you are considering to know how it will fare in a hail storm.

The intensity of damage depends on:

Wind: During a hailstorm, wind directions influence where hail falls and its impact. Hailstones measuring 1 inch or less in diameter are known to fall at speeds ranging from 9 to 25 miles per hour. Larger hailstones (between 2 and 4 inches in diameter) can fall at 44 to 72 miles per hour.

Size and density: Hailstones form and grow inside thunderstorms based on temperature changes and water vapor. The largest recorded hailstone in the U.S. was 8 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds.

Shape: If hailstones are round or oblong, they are more likely to bounce off a roof, where they are more likely to penetrate the roofing material if jagged or irregularly shaped.

The number of hits: The more times you experience hail, the more damage it does to your roof.

How To Spot Hail Damage

Here are a few ways to tell if your roof has been damaged by hail:

  • Missing or cracked shingles
  • Granules in the gutters
  • Dents in metal roofing or other soft metals (your AC unit, your window frames, pool equipment, etc.)
  • Chips or dents to deck paint
  • Cracks in clay tiles
  • Leaks in the attic after a storm
  • Skylights that are cracked or broken

If you suspect your roof has been damaged by hail, roofing companies in Houston can inspect it and help determine if you should file a claim.

What Hail Damage Looks Like

Depending on your roofing material, damage caused by hail can differ in appearance and severity. Here is what you should look for:

Asphalt Shingles

When hail hits asphalt shingles, it disperses the granules (the first layer of protection), which results in bruising, leaving only the asphalt. Even if your shingles aren’t torn, this will cause more rapid aging of your roof. Minor hail damage to asphalt shingles will appear as small, dark spots with little to no granule loss —more significant damage manifests as large, dark areas with granule loss and exposed asphalt.

Metal Roofing

Hail damage to metal roofing appears as minor, random dents across the entire roof surface. The dents may be any size but are typically 1/4 inch or smaller. Even if you don’t have any metal roofing (or a metal patio or carport), you may see similar marks on the frames of your windows or any outdoor equipment/covers on your property.

Slate Roofing

Hail damage to tile roofing appears as chips, cracks, or breaks in the tile surface. The damage is usually more severe at the edge of the tile than in the center.

Hail Damage Response In Houston, TX

Houston Roofing & Construction works with insurance companies to help you repair or replace your roof in Houston, TX. Our roofing experts will inspect your roof and work with your insurance company to ensure you get the coverage you need. We will also work with your schedule and budget to complete the job quickly and efficiently.

Call us today to schedule a free roof inspection.

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