What does wind and hail damage look like on a roof?

Oct 17, 2023 | Roofing

Your roof protects your home from the elements, including sun, rain, snow, ice, and more. However, the roof can be damaged in the process. When your roof experiences storm damage such as wind or hail damage, it’s important to take care of the issue as soon as possible so the roof can continue protecting your home. Here’s how to identify wind or hail damage and the important steps to take next.

Signs of Wind Damage

Strong wind can cause a variety of problems for your roof. If left unaddressed, these problems can lead to water damage and other issues to your home. It’s important to be able to identify the signs of wind damage.

Shingle Damage

High winds can cause shingles to curl, lift, and even tear away from your roof. This makes your roof more vulnerable to water leaks.

Bald Spots

Shingles contain granules that form a protective layer. Strong winds can remove these granules, leaving the asphalt with bald and shiny spots.

Lifted or Cracked Flashing

Flashing is placed where the roof meets walls, chimneys, vents, skylights, and other features to direct rainwater away from these areas. When strong enough, wind can lift the flashing away from the roof or cause cracks, which can allow rain to seep through.

Debris on the Roof

Debris like leaves and tree branches can be picked up by high winds and thrown onto your roof. This debris can trap moisture and eventually cause rotting.

Gutter and Downspout Damage

Forceful winds can push downspouts away from your home and cause gutters to detach or become crooked. Damaged gutters and downspouts can allow rain to collect at your home’s foundation and cause issues.

Signs of Hail Damage

A hailstorm can be exceptionally damaging to roofs, with the ability to break shingles, vents, gutters, and more. After a storm with hail, be sure to check your property for signs of hail damage.

Roof Shingles Dented or Bruised from Hail

During a storm, hail can hit roof shingles and cause bruises, dents, and small craters. This hail damage weakens the shingle and over time can lead to leaks.

Loose or Missing Granules

Similar to strong winds, hail can dislodge shingle granules and expose areas of the roof to the elements.

Cracked or Split Shingles

When hailstones hit the roof, they can cause shingles to split or crack. This storm damage can allow rain to seep into the home and cause issues.

Broken Ventilation Systems

Hail can be damaging to the vents and exhaust caps on your roof. When this happens, rainwater and debris may be able to enter the attic.

Hail Dents in Gutters and Downspouts

When hail dents or damages the gutter system on your house, it makes it harder for the system to redirect rainwater away from your property.

The Dangers of Ignoring Wind and Hail Damage

Storm damage does more than just affect the appearance of your roof. If you ignore wind and hail damage, rainwater can seep into your house and damage your home’s interior, insulation, and even compromise its structural integrity. This leads to more extensive and costly repairs in the future. Damaged roofing can also make your home less energy efficient, which leads to higher utility bills. Ignoring storm damage can have expensive consequences.

Water Leaks and Interior Damage

Missing or cracked shingles leave space for rainwater, hail, and snow to leak into your house. This moisture can be damaging to the ceiling and walls, which may lead to health hazards like mold and mildew growth as well as be expensive to fix.

Compromised Roof Structure

Failing to repair damaged areas of the roof can hurt the structural integrity of the entire roofing system. Minor issues can quickly turn into bigger issues, creating a weakened roof that’s susceptible to additional storm damage. As roofing issues get worse, they may also require more complex and expensive repairs.

Decreased Energy Efficiency

Damaged roofing materials can compromise your attic’s insulation and ventilation. This makes it harder for your home to keep warm air in during the winter and hot air out during the summer. Your heating and cooling system will have to work harder as your house struggles to maintain a comfortable temperature, which leads to higher utility costs.

Increased Repair Costs

Ignoring wind and hail damage can also be a costly mistake. What starts as a small issue can rapidly turn into a big problem for your roof and the rest of your property. As roofing issues become more severe, they can also require more expensive repair work and even full roof replacement. Addressing problems quickly can help save you money down the road.

What to Do If you Discover Storm Damage

If you find hail damage and other storm damage on your roof, take action quickly to prevent it from getting worse. Climbing onto the roof yourself can be dangerous, so hire a contractor to perform a professional roof inspection. Collect documentation of the damage and report it to your insurance company to see if you’re covered. When you better understand the extent of the storm damage and the financial assistance you’ll receive, make a plan for roof repair or replacement. Hiring a high-quality roofing company helps ensure that your roof will be repaired correctly.

Get the Roof Inspected

After a storm has passed, walk around your property for an initial inspection of the damage. Make note of any of the signs mentioned earlier in this blog post. For example, look for dented or missing shingles, broken gutters, dislodged flashing, exposed substrate, and other hail damage. Take pictures for documentation, which will be helpful later on when filing an insurance claim.

Then, call a roofing company to have your roof inspected by a professional. They’ll be able to perform a more thorough inspection of your roof and further document any issues. They can also suggest repairs and provide estimates for how much the work will cost.

Report the Damaged Roof

Following the roof inspection, gather the documentation and provide it to your insurance company. They will ask you questions about the damage, including when it occurred and how it happened. This is a necessary step if you want your insurance to cover the cost of roof repair or replacement work. Typically, the company will assign an adjuster to evaluate how severely your roof was damaged and collect any additional information or documentation. Cooperating with the adjuster can help you expedite the claims procedure and address the hail damage as quickly as possible.

The Role of Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance plays a helpful role when your house experiences roof damage from hail or wind. When wind or hail damage are present, your insurance policy can help cover the cost of roof replacement or repairing. The extent of coverage depends on the terms of your insurance policy.

The Insurance Process

If your roof has been damaged by hail and other weather events, begin the insurance process by contacting your insurance provider to file a report. The company will assign an adjuster who will review your documentation, evaluate the extent of the hail damage, and determine whether or not it qualifies for coverage. The adjuster will also decide how much compensation you can receive. If your claim is approved, your insurance provider will cover the cost to fix the roof or for roof replacement. Your specific policy will determine how much compensation you receive for the roof work.

Roofing Repair Options

There are a variety of roofing repair options available, from fixing small patches of the roof to full replacement. The right choice for your roof depends on the extent of the hail damage present. Minor issues, such as a few missing shingles, can often be fixed through cost-efficient solutions like patching and sealants. Larger and more complex problems, such as those impacting the structural integrity of the roof, typically require more complicated fixes, including partial or full replacement. A professional roofing contractor can assess your roof and determine the best solutions based on the specific issues. When deciding the best way to fix your roof, be sure to consider which option will be a long-term solution rather than a quick fix that may fail in the near future.

DIY vs. Professional Repairs

When repairing the roof, you have the option to either do the work yourself or hire a roofer. If you have the appropriate skills and experience, you may be able to do minor fixes on your own. However, attempting to fix the roof on your own could lead to further damaging the roof or accidentally injuring yourself. Roofing systems are complex, and it’s often better to leave the work to professionals.

Roofers have the knowledge, experiences, and tools necessary to assess and fix a wide variety of roofing problems, including those cause by hail and strong winds. They know the local building codes as well as safety best practices to ensure all work is done correctly and safely. Plus, you’ll save yourself time and effort as well as enjoy peace of mind knowing the work is being done right.

If you need a roofing company in Columbus, Ohio, contact Whitt Roofing & Restoration. Our team is highly experienced in assessing and repairing a wide range of roofing issues, including problems caused by hail. We offer a free inspection to better understand the state of your roof so we can suggest the best solutions. To learn more, contact us today.