Hailstorms can be easily overlooked. Though they may feel similar to rain or snowstorm, the more forceful impact of the hailstones can leave real and lasting damage to your property – especially the roof.
It’s crucial to know what to look out for when considering if a recent hailstorm caused damage to your roof. Any damage should be noted and addressed immediately if the damage is left over time more significant issues with your roof, such as leaking, can occur in the future.
Let’s look into ways to prevent hail damage before the storm, signs of damage that you should keep an eye out for, and what to do if you’ve identified clear signs of damage to your roof.
- Signs of Hail Damage From the Ground
- Signs of Hail Damage From the Roof
- Preventing Hail Damage to Your Roof
- How to Handle Hail Damage to Your Roof
Signs of Hail Damage From the Ground
Damage to your property and your roof should be inspected both from the ground and directly on the roof. Signs of damage caused by hail that can be identified from the ground include:
- Damage to your fence, shutters, or mailbox
- Pieces of plant debris or your roof on the ground
- Holes in window screens
- Plants on your property left without leaves after the storm
- Dents in your cars, garage doors, or air conditioning unit
- Dented or dislodged gutters, gutter screens, or downspouts
- Damage to house siding, flashing, windowsills
If any of these signs are identified, there may be resulting damage to the surface of your roof. Though these signs alone don’t guarantee damage has occurred, it’s a good sign that you should take a closer look at your roof’s surface to determine if you will need to take any action.
One thing to look out for is if the damage to your property and your roof is cosmetic, meaning it only affected the damaged materials on the surface, or functional, which entails deeper and more problematic damage that may cause future issues.
An example of functional damage includes deep divots or punctures in roof materials that may lead to leaks. The level of inspection needed to identify these subtle differences can be difficult without taking a closer look at the roof itself.
Signs of Hail Damage From the Roof
Once you’ve decided that further inspection is necessary to see the extent of the damage to the roof materials, it may be time to call a roofing professional who specializes in storm damage.
Though it may be tempting to climb onto your roof, it’s not a safe option for most people – depending on your roof layout, age, and experience level.
Once on your roof, a professional will look for signs of damage that depend on its material, such as:
- General: Dents or chipped surfaces on vents, chimneys, or skylights
- For Asphalt or Soft Tile: Damaged shingles with oval divots, round black dents, cracks, or shingles that are missing entirely
- For Slate or Ceramic: Sharp-edged holes, punctures, and cracks, shattered or cracked tiles
- For Metal: Scratches called “scour marks” that may occur if the roof is hit by hailstones at an angle, dents on the metal surface
Charlotte roofing professionals will be able to tell if the damage is cosmetic or functional, and will be on the lookout for any hidden damage from the hail.
Hidden damage can occur when hail strikes a shingle in a way that causes damage to the backside of the material, making it difficult to tell that it’s damaged by just looking at the surface. Many roof experts will be able to lift and inspect shingles that they suspect have this type of damage and properly reseal them after.
Preventing Hail Damage to Your Roof
There are several ways you can prepare your property to make your best attempt at preventing any type of damage so you can avoid the expense and hassle of hiring a roofing pro.
1. Choose the Right Building Materials
If you are replacing your roof or are in the process of building a home from scratch, you have the opportunity to choose the materials that will go into making your home safer from the elements.
While it can be more expensive, using more durable materials can lessen the threat of damage from hailstorms and increase the life of your roof. You should be careful when choosing roofing materials, as each choice has its benefits and drawbacks.
For example, asphalt and slate can both be considered durable materials that hold up well to storms. However, it’s important to know that asphalt shingles can be repaired easily while slate tiles require professional help, as they are heavy and easily damaged.
Because of these differences, you must do research to determine which roof material will best suit your needs not only for durability but also for your budget and ability to maintain it.
2. Build Natural Barriers
Hail damage to your property is often prompted by strong winds blowing the hail stones forcefully in your direction. One way to mitigate this effect is by taking preventative measures to lessen the strength of these winds – stopping the hail at its source.
By installing intentional barriers strategically around your home, you can easily break the path of wind and hail. Examples of these barriers can include:
- High walls
Though building these may cause extra strain on your budget and time, these barriers have other benefits as well. Planting trees supports the environment and walls and fences add security to you and your family.
3. Perform Regular Inspections
Regular inspections can help you ensure that your roof is holding up over time, giving you peace of mind that your home is safe to live in despite all it goes through.
These inspections also offer value through the record-keeping that takes place. By documenting the exact condition of your roof regularly, you may have more success in the future if you need to file an insurance claim and they assess the condition of your home before and after a hail storm or other natural event takes place.
How to Handle Hail Damage to Your Roof
If your preparation to protect your home falls through and you or a professional notice functional signs of hail damage that threaten you or your property’s security such as holes, cracks, or leaks – it may be time to start the process of repair.
It’s important to address any of these as quickly as possible to keep your home safe. Even smaller issues may become larger over time, and should not go overlooked. If you have personal experience in construction, repair, or roofing, it may be an option to repair the roof yourself to save costs.
In most cases, a professional roofer is the best way to get an idea of what is wrong and get it fixed promptly.
Depending on the level of damage, it may be time to file an insurance claim so they can cover the costs of repair.
If the damage is extensive or you’re feeling unsafe with your current roof, another option is to replace your roof. Rebuilding a roof with new, more durable materials will help ensure that the safety of you and your Charlotte home is intact.