Of all the sources of roof problems, hail is one of the most common and unpreventable. Here are some questions that you might have about hail and hail damage.
What Causes Hail?
Hailstones form in energetic storms with strong updrafts of warm air. The stone begins as an ice particle in the cloud. As it drops, it enters an area of liquid water drops and collects some of that moisture. The updraft then blows the newly forming stone back up into the freezing air of the cloud.
Once in the freezing zone, the water collected on the particle freezes, making the particle a little bigger. The slightly larger particle then falls again, collecting more moisture. The updraft blows the stone back to the freezing temperatures.
The more times the hailstone goes through this cycle, the larger it becomes. The updrafts in larger storms blow with more force, allowing the hailstone, growing ever heavier, to get quite large.
Once the hailstone gets heavy enough, or gets blown free from the updraft, it will plummet to earth. Often the force of gravity is reinforced with a cold air downdraft, which hurls the hailstone even harder.
Those dropping hailstones must land somewhere…your roof.
What Damage Do Hailstones Cause?
The size of the hailstone and the force with which it impacts your roof are both key factors in the amount of damage done.
Smaller stones not blown forcefully by a downdraft are not likely to cause significant damage to a healthy roof. For older roofs, though, smaller stones might dislodge quite a bit of the granule material, making already aging shingles reach the end of their useful life that much more quickly.
Larger stone, especially those blown with sheer winds, will damage not only the shingles’ coating, but the asphalt material of the shingle itself. While a hailstone is unlikely to punch completely through a shingle, the impact can be enough to create small holes in the compressed material. The shingle could be cracked completely.
Can I Assess Hail Damage Myself?
Major hail damage is easy enough for the average homeowner to spot. The tell-tale dings show up readily. The obvious damage, though, is only a small part of the picture. The untrained eye is unlikely to know everything to look for and everywhere to seek it out. Leave the hail damage assessment to the professionals. Our trained inspectors will be able to see all the hail damage and to understand the severity of that damage.
How Quickly Should I Address Hail Damage?
The short answer: as soon as you can. Any damage, major or seemingly minor, will only lead to more damage later if left alone. Contact us at J. A. Edwards of America as soon as you suspect hail damage on your home’s roof. We can quickly and efficiently assess the damage and recommend a course of action.