4 signs your roof has hail damage


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“Oh my hail!”

It’s a phrase that’s been uttered numerous times over the past two months as different hail storms seem to come from out of nowhere almost every week.

Although most hail storms are relatively short, their effects can be long-lasting. It’s often easy to spot damage caused to fences, cars, garage doors and other items on the ground, but how do you know if your roof needs to be fixed?

Hail on the roof may be a cause for concern. | Stock photo

Here are four things to look for.

1. Asphalt granules in the gutter

This is one of the biggest signs of severe hail damage. Chunks of hail can knock loose the asphalt in your shingles, which then run down into your gutters.

If you have wood shingles, you may find splinters or shards of wood.

Missing granules leave your roof exposed to the elements, which results in leaks if it rains or snows.

2. Shingle bruising

Bruising is a lot like denting, but smaller. You should be able to see a soft spot on the shingle that feels like the bruise on an apple.

If the hail that fell was about an inch in diameter, the depressions will be about an inch in diameter. If the hail that fell was larger, the depressions will be larger.

“Feel along the surface for dimples to see how your roof is reacting to hail,” says Troy Romney of Columbia Basin Exteriors. “If the dimples have any kind of give when you press on them, your shingles may be starting to decay.”

3. Circular cracks

An insurance adjuster has marked the hail damage on this roof. Note the circular shapes. | Stock photo

When hail storms are extremely strong and break through the granules, they can leave behind circular cracks. These cracks will allow water to seep through your shingles to the under layers of your roof.

Cracks that are vertically or horizontally orientated are generally from normal wear to your roof, and not from hail storm damage. If hail caused the cracks, they will be more circular.

4. Other areas are damaged

An easy way to check for bad hail damage is to look at what else was affected by the storm. If your fences have holes, your gutters are bent, your HVAC or A/C units are dented, then your roof needs to be inspected.

“Many people are worried that it will cost a lot of money to get the roof fixed but companies like Columbia Basin Exteriors, work with insurance companies to make it as painless as possible,” Romney says. “Don’t put off getting it fixed or you’re looking at long term damage down the line – not only to the roof, but inside and outside the home as well.”