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Hailstorms can cause problems for just about any kind of roof. The most popular roofing material for homes in the United States is asphalt shingles. If you’re one of the many homeowners who has this kind of roof, it’s a good idea to know how to identify any damage caused by a hailstorm so you can be sure to get repairs done as quickly as possible. Here are some factors that increase the chances of damage, and some signs to look for that indicate that damage has occurred:

Hail Damage to an Asphalt Shingle Roof

  • Size of the hailstones: generally speaking, any hailstones larger than 3/4″ in diameter—about the same size as a penny—have the potential to do damage to a roof.
  • Wind speed: the winds during a hailstorm can be variable and unpredictable, and high wind speeds can increase the damage done by the falling hailstones.
  • Unobstructed access: if you have trees or other barriers on your property, they can lessen the impact damage of hailstones; if you do not, your roof and siding bear the brunt of the storm
  • Cracked or missing shingles: the most obvious sign that your roof was damaged by the hail (and wind) is that your shingles are broken or completely torn away from the roof.
  • Dark spots: asphalt shingles have a number of small granules embedded in them; when they are knocked away by hail, you can see the black asphalt underneath.
  • Granule buildup: even if you don’t notice where the shingles were impacted, if you see a buildup of granules in your gutters, you know that many of your shingles are missing them.
  • Dented penetrations: if the hail was hitting hard enough to damage vent pipes, chimney caps, or other metal roofing penetrations, you can be reasonably sure that the shingles took a beating, too.

Factors that Influence Hail Damage

One thing to remember about hail, however, is that just because you don’t notice visible damage or leaking immediately, that doesn’t mean that your roof is still in good condition. What you don’t want is to wait and discover months or even years later, that the hailstorm compromised the integrity of your roof and now that you have a major leak, it’s too late for your insurance to do anything about it. If you even suspect damage, it’s a good idea to get a professional roofer to perform a damage inspection.

Signs of Hail Damage