Identifying Hail Damage On A Roof With Asphalt Shingles

Hail damage is easy to spot on cars or patio furniture, but it's not as simple to tell whether or not your asphalt roof has hail damage. However, it's important to determine whether your roof was damaged after a hailstorm so that you can have any roofing repairs needed completed before they become major problems, especially if you want your your insurance company to pay for the damage.

Hail Size Matters

Before you climb up onto your roof, examine a piece of hail from your yard or a dent in your car to determine what size hail has fallen. Small-sized hail can still cause damage to your roof, but it's a lot harder to spot the damage. So, if the hail wasn't very big, have a licensed roofing contractor inspect your roof for hail damage. If the storm produces large balls of hail, you should be able to spot any damage yourself. However, if you don't find any damaged areas on your roof and the hail was large, chances are there is damage that you aren't seeing. You should have a roofing contractor inspect your roof just in case.

Spotting Hail Damage

Inspecting your asphalt roof for hail damage will take some time, because it isn't always easy to spot damaged areas right away. To thoroughly inspect your roof:

  • Look for hail damage on the soft metal portions of your roof first because the damage will be more obvious. Make sure you inspect the exhaust caps, vents, metal valleys, flashing, and metal that surrounding skylights.
  • Walk along the ridge of your roof looking for missing granules or cracks on the shingles. Most likely, the cracks that you find will be full circles or in a half-moon shape. If granules are missing from the shingles, you'll be able to see the black paper part of the shingle. Keep in mind, your insurance company will try to determine what caused the roof damage, so look for shingles with exposed paper that still looks dark. If the sun has faded the paper, the damage wasn't caused from the hail storm.
  • Run your hand along the roof shingles to feel for indentations or dimples. If you discover a dimple or indentation in a shingle, gently press the dent to see how the dented area feels to the touch. If it feels spongy or soft, the hail probably bruised it. That shingle will need to be replaced.

More Indications of Damage

You don't necessarily need to climb up on your roof to look for hail damage. If you prefer to look for roof damage from the ground:

  • Look at the ground beneath your gutters to see if any loose granules have been flushed through the downspout.
  • Walk along the entire perimeter of your house looking for loose granules on the ground.
  • Look for dents on your air conditioner. If your central air unit has hail damage, chances are, your roof does too.

Hail damage can happen any time there is a storm. So, after a storm that produces hail is over, you need to take the time to inspect your roof. Remember, the faster you find the damage, the more likely it is that your home insurance policy will cover the damage. If you're unsure about inspecting your roof yourself, hire a licensed roofing contractor like Bob Behrends Roofing & Gutters LLC​ to complete the inspection.