Hail damage can be insidious. Sometimes you will find after a small hailstorm with just over pea-sized hail, and you have a roof leak. Other times, you can live through much larger hail and not find a leak. These factors can make hail damage seem unpredictable. However, certain commonalities that demonstrate why this occurs. Since Texas tends to have more hail than anywhere in the country, an examination of some of the factors that influence how much damage your roof will sustain.

How can I tell if my roof will leak after a hailstorm?

A variety of factors influence whether the damage you sustained will cause a leak. The best prevention, of course, is a roof inspection. Roofing inspections help detect damage while small to prevent larger problems later. It is worth a discussion on some of the factors that determine whether you will have any damage following a hailstorm.

Factors that can influence how much damage hail will cause your roof

·       Age of your roof – while age may be just a number, for roof hail damage, it’s more.

The age of your roof will influence the likelihood of more severe damage. Over time, even wear and tear from sunshine and the other elements can break down the protective coating of your roof, leaving your roof susceptible to more damage. Also, older roofs have likely lived through more than one hailstorm. What may have been mild hail damage previously will be magnified with a new hailstorm.

·       Type of roof – is your roof hail resistant?

The type of your roof will influence the severity of the damage. Shingle roofs that are impact resistant are more likely to survive a small hailstorm. Metal roofs are more impact resistant than even the sturdiest of shingle roofs. However, there may be denting related to the hail. Concrete tile roofs tend to be the sturdiest with regards to hail damage.

·       Size of hail – yes, it turns out, size does matter, in hail damaged roofs, anyway.

While pea to marble-sized hail or smaller is unlikely to cause much damage, even to a shingle roof, unless combined with other factors, repeated hailstorms over time can accentuate this damage. Tile roofing can often withstand up to 2-inch hail. Obviously, golf ball sized hail is much more likely to cause damage severe enough to cause a leak. However, even if you have only had small hailstorms throughout the year, an annual roof inspection is essential maintenance. Your inspection catches minor damage before a leak can occur and protects your rights with your insurance company.

How can I tell if I sustained damage after that last hailstorm?

As Texas often has multiple hailstorms in a season, it can be tempting to wait for your next annual inspection. However, there are some circumstances in which you should call in a professional to examine your roof. Climbing up on a ladder to see your roof is not always practical and can be unsafe. However, some general parameters will give you an idea that it is time to call a roofing contractor, without climbing on the roof. If you note any of these signs, it’s time to call the pros. Damage that is not always seen by the homeowner can often be detected by a well-trained professional, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.

  1. If you had hail that was larger than 1-inch in shingle roofs, 1 and a half inches in metal roofs, or 2 inches in concrete tile roofs, you should call in the pros. The chances of hail damage to your roof are almost guaranteed.
  2. Dents to your gutters can be a sign that your roof sustained significant damage. Dents to your siding and air-conditioner are also of concern. If you see these, call an experienced roofer — preferably one who specializes in general contracting, such as Becker Roofing and Exteriors.

Conclusion

While they say there is nothing certain in life except death and taxes, hailstorms and hail damage to roofs and other exterior structures in Texas must come in third. As always, prevention is essential to prevent a minor problem from becoming a major one. So, if you suspect you have hail damage, call Becker Roofing and Exteriors for your free written, detailed inspection, today! We help you maximize the amount you receive from your insurance company for your covered claim.