Spring is prime time for hail storms in the Upper Midwest. Hail can be very damaging to property, particularly roofs, leading to costly repair bills for homeowners. U.S. hailstorms cause $15 billion in damage to homes, cars, and crops every year, according to Wunderground.
The thing about hail is, you don’t always know your roof has been damaged during a storm. Sometimes the damage isn’t visible to the naked eye, at least not from the ground when you’re looking up. That’s why it’s important to have regular roof inspections that can detect hidden damage and underlayment “bruising” caused by hail.
Unchecked hail damage can cause even more damage, such as roof leaks, which lead to even more costly repairs and so on. It’s a vicious cycle. That’s why you need to hire an exterior maintenance contractor who can inspect your roof after a nasty hail storm.
Hail: Hidden Damage
While you may assume that small surface impacts on shingles are just a problem related to aesthetics, hail damage can run much deeper than meets the eye. Small marks that are barely visible can become big problems in just a few years’ time. And once those small indentations – called “hail bruises” – have been made, this can lead to hairline cracks that introduce water underneath your shingles.
In addition to leaks inside your attic and home, that moisture will then evaporate back through the shingles, causing those little black protective granules to loosen up and crumble. When shingles are weak, they can blow off in a stiff wind and introduce even more potential for leaks. Again, another vicious cycle.
There are different levels of hail damage. Severe damage involves immediately observable cracks, dents, and fissures. Latent damage involves the loss of granules or weakening of structural supports and shingles. Shingles that have been placed on top of other shingles are the most vulnerable to damage.
Damage by Hail Size
Even the smallest of hailstones can cause damage to your roof. Here’s a look at what hail damage to roof shingles looks like according to size.
- ¾” Hail: The main damage caused by small hailstones is to the shingle granules. But this size hail can also dent or dislodge gutters, as well as lead to collateral damage of your vinyl siding, window screens, and decking.
- 1” Hail: This size hail can bruise shingle underlayment, which is a softness in the mat that indicates a fracture on the shingle’s bottom. It can also cause a lot of damage to gutters, and even dislodge them. One-inch hail at high wind speeds can actually register damage that’s comparable to much larger hailstones.
- 1¼” Hail: Even with relatively calm winds, hail of this size can lead to severe cracking and tearing of shingles. When the hailstorm is accompanied by high winds, you may experience dozens of compromised or lost shingles.
- Large Hail (1 ½” and Up): Hail of this magnitude causes a lot of damage in a short period of time. It can penetrate ridge caps, plastic roof vents, and other soft spots. When coupled with high winds, it’s not unusual for shingles to fly off or siding to get torn off your home.
After any hail storm, it’s a good idea to get your roof inspected by a professional roofer to ensure the integrity of your shingles and underlayment.
Contact Allstar Construction in Fargo
Allstar Construction specializes in exterior maintenance, including roof and hail damage repair. If you have concerns about your roofing system after a particularly bad hail storm this spring or summer, book your inspection now when you contact us at 701-315-8150.