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If you are a homeowner that has recently been through a hailstorm and would like to inspect it for hail damage, the following quick guide will give you a basic understanding of what to look for.
Always Call a Qualified Roofing Inspector:
If you spot a potential issue during your annual checkup or suspect any sort of wind or hail
damage after a severe storm, you should always contact a Qualified Roofing Inspector. Many
roofing contractors specialize in insurance restoration and offer Free Inspections. A trained
representative can discover hidden damage, separate hail damage from natural wear, educate you on your findings and make further recommendations on whether a repair or call to the insurance company is necessary.
If you were around during the hailstorm and have an idea of the size that fell, it will give you a basis for what kind of roof hail damage to expect.
Quarter Size Hailstone - Less Than 1 Inch: When smaller than an inch, or about the size of a quarter, hail can inflict damage to asphalt roofing. Most often though a hail damaged roof at this size can be more
difficult to identify. You may require the assistance of a trained roofing inspector to accurately identify any hail damage.
1 Inch – 2 Inch: If the size is between 1 and 2 inches, or between quarter and egg size, hail damage should be more easily found on the asphalt shingles themselves as well as any soft metal on the roof.
Golfball Size Hail - Greater Than 2 Inches: Any greater than 2 inches and it will almost guarantee some level of hail damage to an asphalt roof.
When wind passes over and around a building, it generates inward or outward pressures on the walls and inward or outward (uplift) pressures on the roofs. Inward (positive)pressures are generated on the windward side of the building as the wind blows against a wall or roof surface such as a steep roof. This positive pressure does not damage shingles unless the tabs are lifted such that the pressure can get underthe tab. Outward (negative/suction/uplift) pressures aregenerated when the wind passes by a wall, passes away from a wall (leeward side of the building, that is, the side not facing the wind), passes over a shallow
sloped roof, or passes overthe leeward slope of the roof. It is this negative or suction pressure that lifts a tab or a shingle strip.
It is an accepted industry practice that an asphalt shingle should be inspected at least once per year. This is a regular maintenance issue and is required to reduce the risk of damage from winds because unsealed or poorly sealed tabs are more vulnerable to lifting by normal and expected wind.
In closing, the cause of damage to shingles proposed to be due to exposure to excessive winds requires methodical consideration. The evaluation includes the consideration of the weather data, the reported weather conditions prior to the reported discovery of the damage, the review of surrounding objects for wind damage,the review of the pattern of the damage, and the close-up examination of the shingles themselves. All of these provide clues to identify the true damage-producing mechanism.