What comes to your mind when a hailstorm hits? Very few people think of the destruction hailstorms can do to a roof. While most roofs can endure small to medium sized hailstones, sustained hail or big hailstones can do real damage to different types of roofing material.
Hailstorms can damage your roof in two ways:
- The sheer impact force of the hailstones can cause dents on your roof or even crack brittle roofing material if the stones are big enough
- Strong winds that can rip off shingles or loosen roofing material accompany most hailstorms. If the stones don’t damage your roof, the wind will
We are going to focus on how the impact force of hailstones can damage your roof and teach you how to spot such damage immediately after the hailstorm.
All the inspection procedures we are going to give exclude climbing onto the roof since we strongly believe that being on the roof is a risky affair that should be left to professional roofing experts. We will give you tips to help you decide whether you should call in the pros for thorough inspection or if you can give your roof a clean bill of health and wait for your annual roof inspection.
Inspect the Gutters and Roof from a Distance
Walk around your house from a distance that you can easily see the roof. Inspect the gutters for any buckling or dents just as you would see in a car that survived a hailstorm. Roof damage, on the other hand, will range from a couple of dents that you can’t see from the ground to cracked or dislocated roofing material that is easy to notice from a distance.
Inspect Exposed Metal Surfaces That Are Within Your Reach
Inspecting metallic surfaces like metal fascia, window sills or even your air conditioner for visible dings and dents is a great way to infer whether the hailstorm was severe enough to damage your roof. If you believe that the damage on these surfaces was extensive, you can go ahead and call a roofing inspector or climb into your attic to inspect the roof from the inside.
Severe damage can lead to possible leaks or light stems especially if the hailstones knocked off or cracked the iron sheets or roofing shingles.
What to Look for if You Can Access the Roof
Flat or slightly slanted roofs are easy to access especially if you can easily walk onto the roof or you have a ladder that lets you climb onto the roof safely. Remember to wear high grip rubber boots and to walk along roof rafters (points where the shingles or iron sheets attach to the understructure) to avoid denting the roof as you inspect it. Once on the roof, look for:
- Dings, cracks or holes on metallic roofing fixtures
- Missing pieces of shingles or tiles
- Look for dimples on asphalt shingles and use your hands to check if the asphalt granules are giving way
- Cracks on asphalt shingles or roofing tiles
A preliminary sweep of your roof should be enough to assess whether the hailstorm was something your roof could shrug off or not. If you notice any damage or noticeable dings, you should call a roofing contractor who will give you a professional opinion on whether you should do repairs or not. Always remember that a simple roofing repair done in time could save you thousands of dollars in the near future,