Posted on May 05, 2023.
Hail damage can significantly impact the integrity of a roof, which can lead to more severe issues if not addressed promptly. Hailstones can vary in size, from as small as a pea to as large as a softball, and the larger the hail, the more damage it can cause. Even smaller hail, however, can cause issues over time or exacerbate existing weaknesses. Here is a detailed look at how hail can affect different types of roofs.
1. Shingle Roofs: These are particularly susceptible to hail damage. Hail can cause granule loss, cracking, or complete puncturing of the shingles.
Granule Loss: The granules on the surface of shingles help protect against UV rays and enhance the shingle's water-shedding capabilities. Loss of these granules can accelerate the aging process of the shingles and may expose the underlying roofing components to the elements, making the roof more susceptible to leaks.
Cracking or Fracturing: Hail impact can cause cracks or fractures in the shingle. This damage may not always be immediately visible but can weaken the shingle's integrity, making it more prone to future leaks or additional damage from wind or other weather events.
Puncturing: In severe cases, large hailstones can puncture the shingle, causing immediate leaks and exposing the underlying roofing system to the elements.
2. Metal Roofs: Hail can cause dents and other forms of deformation in metal roofing. While these roofs are often more resilient to hail than shingle roofs, severe hailstorms can still lead to significant damage. Dents can harm the aesthetic appeal of a roof and may even lead to seam or fastener issues that can cause leaks.
3. Tile Roofs: Whether made of clay, slate, or concrete, tile roofs can crack or break when impacted by large hailstones. Broken tiles can expose the underlayment or decking to weather, increasing the risk of leaks and other damage.
4. Flat Roofs: These roofs, typically covered in a membrane or a coating, can be punctured by large hailstones. Even if they aren't punctured, the impact from hail can create weak spots that degrade over time, causing leaks.
5. Wooden Roofs: Wooden shingles or shakes can split, crack, or suffer punctures from hail impacts. This damage can expose the underlayment or decking to the elements, potentially leading to leaks and accelerating the aging process of the roof.
After a hailstorm, it's recommended to have a professional roof inspection to identify and repair any damage. Even small damage can have significant long-term impacts, and catching it early can save significant time and expense. Damages might not be visible immediately, especially to untrained eyes. An experienced inspector will look for signs of damage that might not be obvious and will be able to recommend the best course of action for repairs. Ignoring the damage can lead to more serious issues like leaks, mold growth, insulation problems, structural damage, and eventually, a shortened lifespan for the roof.