Identifying and Repairing Hail Damage on Your Roof

Mar 1, 2024

Spotting hidden hail damage on your roof can require a trained eye. While homeowners can perform an initial inspection to identify potential damage, we recommend getting a professional assessment. That way, it’s guaranteed all damage is identified so repairs can be made. 

Below, we list all the areas to check for hidden hail damage on your roof, what that damage will look like, and why it’s essential to get it repaired. 

Sizes of Hailstones and The Damage They Can Cause 

Most hailstorms include hail of varying sizes, which is measured using everyday items. While the largest-sized hail stones pose the biggest threat to people, hail of any size can damage your roof. 

The intensity of hail is measured on a scale from H0 to H10 using the TORRO Hailstorm Intensity Scale (The Tornado and Storm Research Organization, a weather research group based in the United Kingdom). We’ve also combined this information with that from NOAA, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, to help you understand the potential damage caused by varying sizes of hail. 

Hard Hail    

H0: 0.2 - 0.4 inches. Pea-sized hail that generally doesn’t cause any damage.

Potentially Damaging Hail 

H1: 0.2 - 0.6 inches. This mothball-sized hail can damage plants and flowers. 

Significant Hail

H2: 0.4 - 0.8 inches. Penny-sized hail that can strip leaves off plants and damage vegetables in outdoor gardens.     

Severe Hail 

H3: 0.8 - 1.2 inches. Nickel to quarter-sized hail that breaks glass, scrapes paint and wood, and dents metal.  

H4: 1 - 1.6 inches. Quarter to ping-pong ball-sized hail that can damage glass and vehicles.

Destructive Hail

H5: 1.2 - 2 inches. Hail in this range can be the size of a quarter, ping-pong ball, or golf ball. Hail this size can break glass and damage roof tiles and cars. 

H6: 1.6 - 2.4 inches. Golf ball and tennis ball-sized hail that breaks windows and damages roofs. 

H7: 2 - 3 inches. Hail in this range is the size of a tennis ball, baseball, or a teacup. Hail this size can cause severe roof damage and pose a risk of injury.   

H8: 2.4 - 3.5 inches. Hail in this range is larger than a baseball but slightly smaller than a softball. Hail in this size can damage shingles, tile, and concrete roofs. 

Super Hailstorms 

H9: 3 - 4 inches. Baseball or softball-sized hail. Hail in this range can break or destroy concrete roofs, and wooden walls, and split large trees.  

H10: 4 inches and above. Softball to grapefruit-sized hail and larger. Hail this size causes extensive structural damage, breaks brick walls, damages wooden walls, and puts people at risk of fatal injury. 

What to Look for When Assessing Hail Damage

Hail damage, even to the trained eye, is not always easy to spot. Sometimes, damage can be hidden under your shingles or in places you wouldn’t think to check. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced roofer complete an assessment. However, these are the hidden places most often affected by hail storms in San Antonio. 

1. Look for Granule Loss

After a hailstorm, check your gutters and downspouts for accumulated granules. Granules give your roof its color and protect it from the elements. For instance, granules protect the shingles from UV rays and keep your home waterproof. Excessive granule loss can significantly shorten a roof's lifespan.

2. Check for Dents or Bruises in Shingles

Soft spots can form on shingles after medium-sized or fast-moving hail strikes the surface. Dents and other markings may not always be visible to the untrained eye, so gently feel the shingle for any indentations or bruised areas. Even if shingles appear intact, dents or bruises can compromise the shingle's integrity, leading to leaks over time.

3. Inspect for Cracked or Broken Shingles

Hail can also cause shingles to crack or break, especially if they are old or brittle. Look for any shingles that appear damaged or are missing pieces. Cracked or broken shingles can allow water to seep through, causing leaks and damage to your home's interior.

4. Examine the Roof Vents and Flashing

Examine visible dents on metal roof vents, flashing around chimneys, and valleys on the roof. Signs of hail impact are more visible on metal than on shingles, so hail damage may be quicker to find. After a hailstorm, damaged vents and flashing become entry points for water, leading to leaks and moisture problems inside the roof structure.

5. Check the Roofing Felt

If you can safely access your attic, look for signs of water penetration or dark spots on the roofing felt and decking. The roofing felt is a water-resistant barrier and is installed between the roof deck and the underlayment. Hail can compromise your roof shingle’s ability to shed water, even if the damage isn't visible from the outside. In this case, you may spot water stains or dampness in your attic.

6. Inspect Broken Fiberglass 

Fiberglass is used as a roof base to provide additional insulation. This layer of fiberglass is a crucial component in asphalt shingles, reinforcing optimal strength and durability. The impact of large or fast-moving hail can damage your fiberglass, causing cooling and heating bills to skyrocket. Once the seal breaks, your home will struggle to retain an ideal temperature.   

7. Identify Sealant Erosion

Nails aren't the only material holding your home together. Sealants create waterproof seals around vents, chimneys, skylights, and other vulnerable areas. However, hailstones striking the roof can cause cracks, chipping, or even remove sections of sealant. Erosion or damage to the sealant can compromise the seals and your home's protection against the elements as well as cause shingles to fall off prematurely. 

Get a Professional Hail Damage Inspection Today

If you suspect hail damage but can't find visible signs, consider hiring a professional roofing contractor for a thorough inspection. At Cloud Roofing, we have the experience to identify less obvious damage. We can provide you with a free detailed inspection and recommendations for repairs or replacement. We can also help you navigate the insurance claims process if necessary.

We repair hail damage! Contact Cloud Roofing today to schedule your FREE roof inspection.  

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