Hail Damage and Your Roof

Jun 10, 2021


Hail threatens the integrity of your roof and gutter system, particularly under certain conditions. For instance, hail can vary greatly in size, but typically ranges from the dimensions of a pea, which poses little to no threat to your roof, to golf ball-sized hail, which can easily pull gutters away from the home and break through shingles. Thankfully, large hail is a rare occurrence in Wisconsin, but hail as large as softballs, or 4.5 inches in diameter, have been reported in other parts of the country, and typically cause catastrophic damage.

In addition to size, the intensity of a hailstorm, particularly wind speed, also plays a critical role in the amount of damage a roof may sustain. According to the National Weather Service, 55-72 mph winds can cause damage to chimneys and antennas, while wind speeds of 73-112 mph can peel the surface of a roof off. “The size of the hail pieces, the wind speed, and the materials your roof is comprised of are all contributing factors that determine the extent of damage your roof and gutter system may endure,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction Company, Inc.

As you read the following signs of roof and gutter damage that suggest your home recently weathered a hailstorm, keep in mind hail damage can be difficult to assess, especially with an unskilled eye. “For example, hail damage that may appear cosmetic in nature, can develop into more serious issues down the road, such as a roof leak,” Scott said. “Therefore, it’s always best to contact a roofing expert for a professional assessment of your roof’s condition as well as for

recommendations on repair or replacement.”

Dents in Metal Flashing and Gutters

An undeniable sign of hail damage are randomly dispersed dents, which can appear in a variety of locations on a roofing system, but are most often seen on the metal flashing bordering the roof or the gutters or downspouts. “Although dents and dings are generally classified as cosmetic damage, they can indicate that more extensive damage or other roofing issues are present elsewhere,” said Scott.

Loss of Granules

Asphalt shingles consist of roofing granules i.e., crushed stone and minerals. The granules serve as a protective barrier from the elements, so when asphalt shingles lose their granules, they become vulnerable to environmental factors, which expedites their aging process. “You’ll know if your shingles are losing granules because you’ll spot them colleting in your gutters and flowing out your downspouts whenever it rains,” he said.

Cracks in Shingles

If hail is large enough, more specifically, an inch and half or larger in diameter, the force of the hail falling from the sky can be enough to cause shingles to crack on impact. “If you see your shingles are cracked, know that this is considered severe roof damage, because without intervention, cracked shingles will eventually culminate in a water leak,” he said.

Missing Shingles

If hail can be large enough to cause shingles to crack, it can also cause shingles to completely tear off from the roof itself, especially when it’s coupled with high-speed winds. “When shingles blow off the roof it’s like a domino effect, meaning a single damaged shingle will also compromise the shingles directly around it, causing those shingles to loosen and tear off from the roof as well,” Scott said. “If you see your roof is missing shingles, it’s important to rectify this issue straightaway because a roof that’s missing shingles will no longer effectively protect the home from the elements.” Moreover, this scenario greatly increases the likelihood of water entering the home.

Although the evidence of hail damage outlined above is commonly seen with asphalt roofs, cedar shake roofing can be as susceptible to hail damage, particularly when larger-sized hail pieces, such as those 1.75 inches in diameter or larger, are present. “Ultimately, if you notice any signs of roof or gutter damage to your home following a hailstorm, it’s important to contact a roofing professional and have your roof thoroughly inspected,” said Scott. “Only then can you be sure of the precise extent of the damage. This determines whether your roof will require simple repairs or a total replacement.”

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 The only complaint I have is when I have J&B do my roof in another 30 years or so, is Dave their sales man (a great guy) would not guaranty I could get the same great crew I had this time. They did a fantastic job. Much better than the last roofing company did. A nice bunch of guys. Did a very nice job cleaning up. I'd give them 10 stars but 5 is the limit. If you need a roof done this is the company you want to do it. One more point I need to make. The guys that did the chimney flashing are artists. I went up on the roof when they were done and was very pleased with not only the roofing job but the sculptured sheet metal work. It's kind of a shame it's on the roof and not hanging on the family room wall :). You get the point. Hire em. You'll like em. 
 We live in a historic designated neighborhood and recently had our 30 year wood shingle roof replaced with another wood roof and new gutters. From Day 1 of the project to the final day, the entire team was responsive, professional, and very competent. When some minor changes were proposed by us they quickly and effortlessly complied. After going through this experience with J&B, I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a roof and gutter replacement, whether it be a simple or complicated project. 
 J & B did an amazing job from start to finish. The initial meeting at my home took place exactly at the time that was agreed upon and Scott was thorough in his explanations and transparent about costs. When the time came to begin the project, the team that showed up was friendly, professional and timely in getting the project done. The cleanup afterward was such that it looked like they hadn't been there at all. The roof looks great, there were no surprises and Scott came by to inspect the work and explain the warranty upon job completion. I would highly recommend them. 
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