Hailstorms can wreak havoc on your home, particularly on your roof. The damage caused by hail can range from minor cosmetic issues to severe structural problems. Understanding the different sizes of hail and the potential damage they can cause is essential for homeowners.
Knowing what to do when a hailstorm strikes can help save you time and money in repair costs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you understand the various aspects of repairing hail damage to your roof, including:
- The sizes of hail
- Signs of damage
- DIY repair options
- When it’s best to call in a professional roofing contractor
Take control of your roof hail damage today, by following the steps in this guide!
Different Sizes of Hail and Their Potential Damage
Hail comes in various sizes, from small pebbles to golf ball-sized and even larger. The size of hail can significantly impact the extent of damage it can cause to your roof.
- 🪀 Pea-sized hail (1/4 inch): While small, pea-sized hail can still cause damage to your roof. It may not always result in visible dents or cracks, but it can weaken the roof’s protective layers over time. Accumulated damage from multiple hailstorms can lead to larger problems in the long run.
- 🔵 Marble-sized hail (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch): Hail of this size can begin to cause noticeable damage. It can create dents, bruising, and granule loss on asphalt shingles. This type of hail can weaken the shingles’ integrity and reduce their lifespan.
- 🪙 Quarter-sized hail (1 inch): Quarter-sized hail is considered large and can inflict significant damage to your roof. It can cause visible dents, fractures, and granule loss on shingles, leaving your roof vulnerable to leaks and water damage.
- ⛳️ Golf ball-sized hail (1.75 inches): Golf ball-sized hail is capable of causing severe damage to your roof. It can shatter shingles, create large dents, and expose the underlying layers. This kind of hail can lead to immediate water infiltration and require urgent repairs.
- 🎾 Tennis ball-sized hail (2.5 inches) and larger: Hailstones of this size can cause catastrophic damage to your roof. They can puncture through shingles, tear flashing, and even damage the structural components of your roof. Repairing hail damage of this magnitude often necessitates a complete roof replacement.
Signs of Hail Damage to Your Roof
Detecting hail damage early is crucial to prevent further deterioration and costly repairs. Here are some signs to look for after a hailstorm:
- Dented or cracked shingles: Inspect your roof for visible dents or cracks on the shingles. Look for any irregularities or disruptions in the uniformity of the shingle surface.
- Granule loss: Hail can dislodge granules from the surface of your shingles, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to UV damage. Check for granule accumulation in your gutters or downspouts.
- Soft spots or bruising: Press lightly on your shingles to detect soft spots or areas that give under slight pressure. These indicate weakened or bruised shingles.
- Leaks and water stains: After a hailstorm, check your attic or ceiling for water stains or signs of leaks. Water infiltration can occur through compromised roofing materials.
- Damaged flashing: Inspect the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights for dents, cracks, or tears. Damaged flashing can lead to water penetration.
How to Repair Hail Damage: 7 Steps
Repairing hail damage to your roof is a task that varies in complexity depending on the extent of the damage. Before attempting anything yourself, note that warranties that may be voided if you attempt DIY repairs. We recommend having a professional inspect your roof before attempting anything on your own. However, if you still wish to attempt repairing on your own, here’s a step-by-step guide for DIY repair options:
1) Gather Your Tools and Materials
- Safety gear
- Roofing nails
- Roofing cement
- Replacement shingles (if necessary)
- Caulking gun
2) Safety First
Always prioritize safety when working on your roof. Use appropriate footwear, safety harnesses, and work with a partner if possible.
3) Assess the Damage
Carefully inspect your roof to identify the areas that require repair. Document the extent of the damage and take photographs for insurance purposes if needed.
4) Replace Damaged Shingles
If you notice dented or cracked shingles, carefully remove them using a pry bar or a flat-blade shovel. Replace them with new shingles and secure them with roofing nails. Apply roofing cement around the edges to seal them in place.
5) Repair Flashing
If the flashing around vents, chimneys, or other roof protrusions is damaged, remove the damaged section and replace it with new flashing. Use roofing cement to secure it in place and ensure a watertight seal.
6) Seal Soft Spots
If you find soft spots or bruised areas on your shingles, apply roofing cement to reinforce and seal them. Press the cement firmly into the affected area to provide additional support.
7) Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Remove any accumulated granules or debris from your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.
Will Your Insurance Company Cover Hail Damage Repairs?
Hail damage can be financially burdensome, but many homeowners can find relief through their insurance policies. Whether or not your insurance company will cover hail damage repairs depends on various factors, including your policy’s terms and the severity of the damage.
- Review Your Policy: Start by reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most policies cover hail damage as a standard peril, but it’s crucial to understand the specifics of your coverage. Deductibles, coverage limits, and any endorsements or exclusions may apply.
- Document the Damage: After a hailstorm, document the damage thoroughly. Take photographs, make notes, and keep records of the date and time of the storm. This documentation will be valuable when filing a claim.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company promptly. They will guide you through the claims process, which typically involves an adjuster inspecting your property to assess the damage and estimate repair costs.
- File a Claim: Once the adjuster completes their assessment, you can file a claim. If your claim is approved, your insurance company will provide coverage for the necessary repairs, often minus the deductible.
Remember that insurance policies can vary significantly, so it’s essential to discuss your coverage with your insurance agent and be prepared for any out-of-pocket expenses that may arise. Additionally, some regions prone to frequent hailstorms may offer specialized hail insurance policies to supplement your homeowner’s insurance.
When to Call a Professional Roofing Contractor
While some minor hail damage repairs can be done as DIY projects, more extensive damage requires the expertise of a professional roofing contractor. Here are some situations in which you should consider calling in the pros:
If the hailstorm has caused widespread damage to your roof, including shattered shingles, torn flashing, or structural issues, it’s best to leave the repairs to experienced contractors.
If you plan to file an insurance claim for hail damage, it’s advisable to have a professional assess the damage and provide a detailed estimate for the repair or replacement costs.
Roofing work can be dangerous, especially when dealing with steep slopes, heights, or unstable surfaces. If you’re not comfortable working on your roof or lack the necessary equipment and safety gear, it’s safer to hire a professional.
Some roofing materials come with warranties that may be voided if you attempt DIY repairs. Hiring a professional ensures that the repairs are done in a way that preserves your warranty coverage.
Fix Your Storm Damage Today!
Repairing hail damage to your roof is a task that requires careful assessment and, in some cases, professional expertise. At O’Donnell Roofing, our experts can help you identify hail damage and perform your roof repairs in an efficient manner. Contact our team today to get your roof inspected!