What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?


Key Takeaways:

    Importance of Identifying Hail Damage: Hail damage to your roof can lead to immediate issues like leaks and long-term problems such as shortened shingle lifespan and future leaks.

    Factors Influencing Hail Damage: The severity of hail damage depends on multiple factors including hailstone size, wind speed, and roof material.

    Professional Roof Assessment: After a hailstorm, it’s advisable to have a professional roofer inspect your roof, as some damage might not be visible from the outside. A professional assessment ensures all damage is identified and repaired.

Why Does Hail Damage on a Roof Matter?

In thunderstorms, hailstones form from water droplets high in the towering thunderheads collecting and freezing. These ice pellets fall during the storm and can vary in their size. Tiny hailstones may resemble pebbles. But these ice balls can reach softball size or larger. Small hailstones have a lower chance of causing damage than larger stones.

Damage to your roof can become apparent immediately from a roof leak and subsequent water damage. In some cases, the hail damage could shorten the lifespan of your shingles, resulting in harm over time and a greater chance of leaks in the future.

Getting your home assessed by a professional for roof damage ensures that you have a completely intact, well-performing roof ready for the next storm that passes through your area.

Factors That Determine the Severity of Hail Damage to Your Roof

Several factors will determine whether your home has minor or severe hail damage after a storm. Therefore, you cannot necessarily determine whether your home has sustained hail damage simply based on whether your neighbors had roof problems or the size of the hailstones.

First, hailstone size makes a difference in the amount of damage done. Smaller hailstones don’t have as much weight and force when they hit your roof. Therefore, they are less likely to cause severe damage to shingles. However, they can still harm the granules on asphalt roofs, which can cause problems later. Large hailstones with more weight and speed can punch through shingles.

Size is not the only factor, though. The wind speed plays a role in damage to your home’s roof. Winds can blow hail harder onto your roof, or a crosswind could reduce the speed of falling hail and lessen damage slightly.

Like tornadoes, the damage done during a hailstorm can seem erratic. Therefore, your neighbors could have severe roof damage while your home does not have the same level of harm done to the roof.

Roof materials play a major role in the amount of damage done. For example, metal roofs could have dents in them from hailstones, while wooden shakes could crack.

With so many factors at play in how much damage your roof sustains after a storm, how can you recognize when you have hail damage?

What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?

Once the storm passes, use binoculars to look over your roof from the ground or climb a ladder for a closer look. The appearance of hail damage to your roof depends on the type of roofing material you have on your home. Some of the most common types of material, wood and asphalt shingles, look different when damaged by hail.

Hail Damage to Wood Shingles

If your home has the timeless look of wood shingles, you need to look for subtle signs of hail damage. First, you may notice irregularities in your overall roof due to random damage to shingles.

Second, splits or cracks on shingles will have bright, unweathered edges, indicating recent damage. Often, the color will appear brown or orange, the natural color of the wood inside the shingle.

Third, look for cracks that have sharp edges. Because wood shingles experience constant sun and rain exposure, their edges should be smooth. However, newly cracked shingles will have sharp sides along the crack.

Next, don’t forget to check parts of your home aside from the shingles. Metal parts on your roof, such as flashing and gutters or your home’s siding, could have hail damage. If you see damage to these parts of your home, you likely also have some damage to your roof.

Finally, look carefully along the crack for unusual marks or dents indicating the location of where the hailstone hit the shingle and caused the split.

Hail Damage to Composite or Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt or composite shingles typically don’t crack or split as wood shingles do. Hail damage to these types of shingles looks very different.

When looking over your asphalt or composite roof, watch out for dark circles on the shingles. These bruises show where a hailstone struck the shingle and knocked off granules.

Sometimes, you may notice small divots or indentations in your shingles where smaller hailstones hit the roof.

Another sign of hail damage appears in your gutters. If you have extra granules from your roof shingles in your gutters or roof runoff, you likely had hail knock it off, or the roof is reaching its age limit and will need replacing soon.

Additionally, dents in your gutters, flashing, or vents show other parts of your roof that sustained hail damage. When you see these, suspect additional harm to your shingles.

Professional Assessment of Your Roof After a Hailstorm

Not all damage to your roof from a hailstorm is apparent. Some hail damage only shows up on the underside of the shingles. This damage compromises the integrity and performance of the shingle and needs repair.

Don’t allow a random person who knocks at your door to inspect and repair your roof. You don’t know whether they will complete the work, have insurance, or have a license to practice in North Carolina.

Contact a professional roofing company that can offer guarantees on their work and will be around to back up their repairs. A no-nonsense roofer will honestly assess your roof and whether you have damage that needs immediate repairs.

Call Macaw Construction to Get Your Roof In Order Before the Next Storm


*Macaw Construction Services LLC provides free estimates to homeowners looking for home renovations. Requests from Realtors for appraisals to help a house tenant looking to make repairs or for a listing is subject to an inspection fee.