Uh oh! A hail storm just came through your city, and you woke to the sound of hail pelting your roof—what do you do now? Here’s how you can check for damage and determine the right next steps to take.

What Does Hail Damage Look Like?

6 large pieces of hail laying on grass next to measuring tape for scale of size; hail damage roof guide

First, it’s essential to know that hail doesn’t need to be the size of a baseball or golf ball to cause significant damage to your home. Hail that large is relatively uncommon. Even small coin-sized hail can make an impact on your roof, and you’ll want to check for damage right away. But what does it look like?

  • Missing granules
  • Black dots or “bruises.”
  • Dents or holes
  • Missing shingles or spaces between shingles
  • Tears on the shingle corners

What Types of Damage Can Hail Cause?

Your roof and your car parked outside will probably be the most susceptible points of impact in a hail storm. But you may not always see obvious damage right away. Smaller dime-sized hailstones may damage your flowers and landscaping, while larger hail like golf-ball or tennis ball-sized can break windows, make large dents, and create holes in your siding.

It’s important to know some of the most common types of damage that your roof may have in the event of a hail storm. That way, you can notice pretty quickly if you have damage and get it repaired right away.

Old worn out asphalt shingles on the roof of a residential home; hail damage roof guide

Loss of Roof Shingle Granules

Asphalt shingle roofs have a layer of granules on each shingle’s surface that protects it from UV rays, wind, and other elements. They’re the first barrier to the shingle, and when those get damaged, they exposed the tar or fiberglass mat underneath, which protects your home from leaks. Hail that impacts your shingles can easily break away these granules, and even a little exposure can, over time, leave your roof susceptible to leaks. Loss of granules may require getting up on the roof, which we recommend being done by a professional. They can see pretty quickly which shingles have lost this barrier.

Cracked or Exposed Fiberglass Mat

If the fiberglass mat beneath these granules gets damaged, that even more so leaves your roof open to leaks because moisture can get behind the shingle and infiltrate your home. These leaks can cause mold and mildew growth plus water damage in your attic and insulation.

Damage to the Seal Strip

Hail damage can break the sealing strips between every shingle. Once these strips are damaged, it essentially makes the shingles null as that seal is critical to keeping out water leaks and moisture. Plus, any strong winds can lift your shingles if they aren’t sealed correctly.

Hail damage on roof shingles marked up by chalk to show where damage took place; hail damage roof guide

Cracked or Dented Shingles

Finally, large hail can do some serious damage to your shingles themselves by cracking or even denting them. Dents are pretty apparent when checking your roof for damage. The dents don’t even have to penetrate through the shingle—that small bit of damage can cause granule loss or even crack the barrier underneath.

Next Steps if You Find Hail Damage to Your Roof

If you discover you have any amount of storm damage, there are a few things you must do right away. If your damaged roof is terrible and you believe you will have immediate leaks, a local contractor will often come to provide emergency service. They can come and cover your roof with a tarp to prevent any leaks in the period before getting it repaired.

Check Your Home Insurance Policy

First things first, check your insurance policy and find your hail coverage details. This will help you know before you call a contractor or your insurance company to file a claim. You don’t want an insurance adjustor to throw you for a loop, so it’s good to know it yourself as well.

Get a Roof Inspection

It’s smart to get both an inspection by your local roofing contractor as well as the homeowner’s insurance provider. The two inspections can be compared, and your roofing contractor can determine how much money will cover your damage repairs.

Storm damaged roof on house with a blue plastic tarp over hole in the shingles and rooftop; hail damage roof guide

Cover Any Potential Roof Leaks

Whether you call an emergency service to cover your roof or you manage to tarp your attic yourself from the inside, it’s critical to contain any potential leaks, so you aren’t faced with further damage beyond your roof repairs.

File an Insurance Claim

File an insurance claim with your homeowner’s policy. This can be done earlier in the process or after you’ve done your research. Either way, the faster you get your claim processed, the faster you can get repairs done. And especially in catastrophic weather events, insurance providers can be struck with numbers of claims and take longer than expected.

Secured Roofing and Restoration is here to help with your storm damage repairs. Not only do we offer 24-hour emergency services, but we will work with you and your insurance company to ensure your claim gets processed and we can get your roof repaired as soon as possible. Plus, we offer FREE repair estimates! Just fill out our estimate form to get started!