Hail damage to roof shingles is a major risk in the Austin area. Aluminum siding, gutters, and flashing can also be affected. Hail damage to roof panels in metal roofing is almost always less severe – but it can still be serious.
Hail is the result of ice gathering around tiny particles like dust when upward air currents push raindrops higher into the atmosphere, where temperatures are below freezing. The precipitation can continue to gather mass and re-freeze through multiple updrafts before falling.
Most roof damage from hail inflicted on single layer roofing systems comes from large stones of one inch or more. Roofs with multiple layers of shingles face more problems from smaller hailstones that penetrate the softer support layers underneath the topmost layer.
How to Inspect Your Roof for Hail Damage
Before a hailstorm hits, do everything you can to remove outside items from the path of the storm and secure any objects that can’t be removed. Winds during a hailstorm can turn yard waste, furniture, and other items into flying debris that compound your roof damage.
After the storm, perform a visual inspection for hail damage to roof systems.
Start an inspection from the ground up by looking for dents in gutters, gutter screens, or downspouts. Damage can take the form of characteristic round indentations from a direct hit or appear as smaller divots. From there, check out the siding, windowsills, and windows.
If you see hail damage to roof elements from the eaves and below, then odds are good the damage is also noteworthy at the top of your roof. We recommend against climbing up on the roof yourself, but you can use binoculars or a camera with a high-powered zoom function to perform a basic once-over.
Some Austin homeowners have even used drones to inspect their roof!
If you are determined to get up on the roof, take appropriate precautions:
- -Be sure you wait until weather conditions die down, with no wind or precipitation
- -Wear a pair of soft-soled shoes or roofing boots to avoid incidental damage to roofs
- -Use a sturdy roofing ladder of adequate height and have someone to hold it steady
Once on the roof, you can take photos of damage and mark areas of concern with roofing chalk. Note most insurers require you to get a professional roofing inspection and lay down a waterproof roofing tarp to ensure damage does not worsen from weather later on.
Hail damage to roof systems with asphalt or composite shingles takes the form of black or dark dings with a feel similar to bruised fruit. There will be no pattern to the damage, but you can spot missing granules around strike zones. Hail damage to wood shingles creates dents and brown or orange splits.
Hail damage can only be repaired by an experienced roofing professional. Texas is one of America’s leaders in hail damage insurance claims, so be sure you get the expertise you need from the start: Contact the team at Longhorn Roofing today.