Roof damage from hail is a harrowing experience for homeowners. As a homeowner you go outside after a particularly bad hailstorm and notice damage on your roof. This can look like broken shingles or even holes in the roof itself. The best thing to do is not panic. Roof damage from hail will shorten your roof’s lifespan without proper repairs.
The damage often differs from that of storm damage to roof shingles. Wind will lift and tear shingles off, while hail will cause breaks or dents. Hail ranges from pea-size to the size of softballs or larger. Smaller hail is the most common that homeowners will see and does not contribute to much roof damage. On the other hand, the larger the hail, the worse the roof damage contractors will see.
After any storm, hail or not, all homeowners should inspect their roofing system for all types of damage. This will range from fallen branches to lifted shingles from wind. As any roof damage can introduce unwanted water into a home, it should be inspected and repaired in a timely fashion by a quality roofing contractor. Rest assured, roof repairs are not a complex endeavor, and traditionally lead to favorable outcomes.
So, what should you do if you have roof damage from hail?
You will notice damage to any part of your roofing system, from the middle shingles to edge flashing. Homeowners will commonly notice dents on their shingles or metal flashing pieces. With larger hail, punctures and holes will be seen. Take a rough note of the locations of damage to best direct a professional. A helpful piece of information for contractors during this stage is the age of the roof. Old roofs are not conducive to repairs therefore, you may need a full replacement. Roofing contractors will take the age and damage into account when determining next steps.
First do not climb on your roof. If you believe there is damage that cannot be seen from the ground, contact a professional. Roofers are trained and comfortable in traversing steep roofs. They will know exactly what to look for, even if the damage isn’t readily apparent.
If storms are in the forecast, a roofer will cover the area prior to the repair. This is done to ensure additional damage in the form of leaks and mold do not occur. While you may want to do this yourself, it is a dangerous job to attempt.
What Should You Prepare For?
While it is likely that a repair can be done, a homeowner should understand that the damage may be too extensive to patch. This is rare and reserved for storms of historical proportions. Roofing contractors will try to prioritize roof repairs to prevent more damage from occurring. This can be affected by contract deadlines and other scheduling, so one should hope for but not fully expect next day repair services. With any holes or punctures, you should protect valuables in your attic or near the holes. Moving or covering these important items will keep them safe from leaks.
At the end of the day, roof damage from hail is rare, especially worrisome damage. Roofing issues will often look worse than they are. This is due to the layers in your roofing system that work in synergy to offer protection. If shingles are broken or cracked, underlayment will provide more than enough protection before a contractor can complete a repair. Understanding your roof’s anatomy and the duties of each unique piece will alleviate most worries.
In all, roof damage from hail will traditionally look worse than it is. You should contact a roofing contractor for a free estimate upon your first notice. Refrain from unnecessary worrying, and take steps to protect your possessions from leaks.