Hail. It’s merciless, and it’s fast. There’s nothing you can do to prepare for it. It’s just going to strike. But how do you know whether you got out safely or experienced significant hail damage? Without an inspection, you really don’t. Here’s what you need to know about looking for hail damage on your roof.
Inspecting the Interior of Your Attic
First, you might want to take a look at your attic. If there’s been significant damage, you’ll be able to see it here. Hail usually corresponds with wet weather, and damage is likely to lead to leaks. A lack of damage in your attic doesn’t mean that you haven’t experienced hail damage, but the presence of damage in your attic means you have to address the problem right away. After any big weather event, you should make sure water isn’t leaking in. That can cause structural problems and mold.
Doing a Visual Inspection
Before you get up on the roof, you can perform a visual inspection around your house. Look for loose shingles that have blown off or areas that you can see are damaged from the street. Those are the areas you’re going to need to focus on. But as before, you can’t really see what’s going on with your roof before going up there. Don’t assume that because you don’t see damage from the street, there isn’t any damage.
You can also look at your neighbor’s houses and see if they had any damage. But consider that hail is highly localized and can absolutely obliterate one house while leaving another house nearby untouched. Try not to make any assumptions about the amount of damage until you’ve performed a complete visual inspection from the roof.
Going Up on the Roof
Always be careful when checking your roof. If you don’t feel confident, you can call a professional. Have someone else with you to make sure your ladder is secure and that you can get help if you need it. When on your roof, you’ll be looking for:
- Crushed shingles
- Missing shingles
- Broken shingles
- Loose shingles
Hail can be remarkably damaging. Sometimes, softball sized hail comes down. It can essentially blow a hole in your roof. But there’s more subtle damage too. You might just see a crushed shingle, which might look visually okay but might start leaking. Missing shingles are always a bad sign and need to be replaced as soon as possible. The role of the shingles is not only to protect your roof physically but also to form a waterproofed barrier. The major issue with this type of damage is that it can cause small cracks to form, which may be invisible except to professionals but let water infiltrate over time.
If that’s the case, you’re not going to know until the next big storm. And in the meantime, small amounts of water could be getting in and damaging your home.
Getting an Inspection
If you see any damage to your roof, you should get a professional to your house. A professional is going to be able to do a much more thorough inspection, identify and isolate the areas that need to be repaired, and patch them properly so they don’t leak. Getting your roof repaired could potentially cost nothing if your insurance covers it. Make sure to get multiple quotes and send them in. Your inspection could reveal issues that also predated the hail, and this is the perfect time to get it all fixed.
Of course, you might also want to replace your roof. If your roof is already 20 or 30 years old, it’s coming up on the end of its life. It may be better to replace your roof than spend money repairing the hail damage just to replace it a few years later. Replacing your roof also improves your property’s value, which is a great thing if you’re thinking of selling your house within the next few years.
Hail damage can be quite insidious. It isn’t always possible to identify it all visually. If you’ve been pummeled by hail recently, it’s better to get an inspection by a professional roofing company. A roofer will also be able to identify any damage that isn’t hail related.
For most people, having an inspection about once a year is a good idea anyway. Most homeowners don’t get up on their roofs with any regularity, so they can miss major issues that could cause water damage or structural damage later on. If you have a house in Collin County, Dallas County, or Tarrant County that has recently been struck by hail, contact Paradigm Roofing as soon as possible. We can get you a consultation and quote.