Hailstorms are a common weather phenomenon in the United States. In some parts of the country, it’s common to get hail the size of a golf ball — sometimes even larger. The size of the hail isn’t the only factor in the damage they can cause. Both how hard the hail impacts and the duration of the storm are important. Hailstorms, even those that produce small hail, can do a lot of damage to your roof. They can result in thousands of dollars in damage to your roof and lead to a potential roof replacement.
How Hail is Formed
Hail is a type of precipitation formed when air updrafts (air currents moving upwards) in a thunderstorm carry raindrops into the top-level clouds where temperatures drop below freezing point. As a result, small particles of ice form around a nucleus. Hail could be a miniature ice crystal, a frozen raindrop, a speck of dust, or something else. When the frozen ice particle drops within the cloud at temperatures below the freezing point, it picks up extra moisture from water vapor and raindrops. Eventually, the particles get caught in another updraft and freeze again. Typically, the stronger the updrafts, the more the hailstone bounces up and down, growing bigger and bigger until the gravity no longer allows it to stay afloat. At that point, the hail drops towards the ground, inflicting damage on anything it hits.
Ways that Hail can Damage your Roof
Hail can cause massive damage to your roof by knocking granules off shingles, making them soft and mushy. Over time, the shingles can fall apart before their lifespan. Hail damage manifests differently in different types of roofs. Generally, here are three ways hail can cause damage to your roof.
1. Knocking Off Granules from Shingles
When a hailstone hits an asphalt roof, it loosens the bond of the granules in the shingle. The granules in the affected area come off, often ending up in the gutters drain. You won’t be able to see this type of damage from the ground but you can always tell there’s damage from the accumulation of granules in the gutters drain.
The layer of granules is followed by the substrate layer. When the granules are gone, the shiny substrate is exposed. Severe hailstorms can break through the substrate, leaving the felt layer underneath the shingle exposed.
When granules come off, the affected areas are left exposed to harmful weather elements such as the sun’s UV rays. Over time, this weakens the exposed areas of the roof making them brittle. The expansion and contraction of the roof during winter causes weakened areas to curl and crack. This leaves them highly susceptible to leaks and all kinds of damage, especially wind damage.
2. Roof Leaks
Even minor hail damage can eventually cause roof leaks. The problem is that the effects of hail on your roof are gradual. Continuous exposure to hail will eventually cause weakened areas to become susceptible to leaks.
Over time, a leaking roof can lead to more extensive water damage and cause the deterioration of your home’s structural integrity. This will result in costly repairs and sometimes, depending on the extent of the damage, you may have to replace the entire roof. As a homeowner, you should never ignore roof hail damage. Just call your roofer for inspection, even after a seemingly minor hailstorm, if you want to avoid potentially expensive repairs or replacement. Hail damage can lead to further problems within your home, including wet ceilings, walls, and insulation. Your belongings also have the potential to be damaged.
3. Damage to Roof Vents
When hail damages your roof vents, it can cause extensive damage to your home’s interior. Damaged vents can allow rainwater to enter the piping, ductwork, and then your home. Metal ductwork could also corrode from the exposure to water and create weak spots.
How to Deal with Hail Roof Damage
In the aftermath of a hailstorm, it’s imperative to call your roofer to inspect the damage on your roof immediately. A thorough inspection will help you determine if any repairs need to be done to avoid major problems in the future. If there’s any damage to your roof after a hailstorm, call your insurance provider immediately to discuss the next possible steps. Generally, hail damage can lead to bigger issues if not repaired quickly.
Overall, hailstorms are a powerful force of nature, and hail roof damage can be mild or extreme depending on the severity of the storm. The damage may not be obvious from the ground, which is why you need to have a qualified roofer inspect your roof for damage after a hailstorm. Contact LB Solutions, LLC, if you suspect roof damage after a hailstorm in the Twin Cities. LB Solutions is your trusted residential and commercial roofing contractor in the Twin Cities!