What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof? Key Things to Look For

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When the skies turn dark and hail starts to pound the earth, it’s not just the ground that takes a beating—your roof does too. Understanding what hail damage looks like on a roof can save you from costly repairs and ensure your home remains safe and sound. Here’s how to spot the telltale signs of this weather-inflicted harm.

What to Expect After a Hailstorm

Granular Loss on Asphalt Shingles

One of the most common types of damage caused by hail is granular loss on asphalt shingles. Hailstones knock off the granules from the shingles, exposing the asphalt underneath. This exposure can accelerate the aging of your roof and make it more susceptible to further damage.

Damage to Soft Metals

Look at the softer metal components on your roof, such as roof vents, furnace pipes, gutters, and downspouts. Hail can leave dings and dents on these materials. Unlike other irregular damage—say, from a lawnmower incident—hail damage is usually quite uniform and consistent across these surfaces.

Impact Marks on Shingles

In severe hailstorms, you might find impact marks where the hailstones have completely penetrated the shingles, breaking through to the underlayment. This type of damage is less common but indicates significant hail impact, suggesting that even without visible signs, the structural integrity of the roof might be compromised.

Indications of Hail Damage on Commercial Roofing

Issues with PVC Roofing

PVC roofing, while popular for its initial cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, is highly susceptible to hail damage. As PVC ages, it becomes brittle, particularly after 5 to 7 years, due to the loss of plasticizers. When brittle, PVC is less forgiving under impact, which can result in cracking and even holes. This can lead to leaks and significant water damage inside the building.

Damage to EPDM and TPO Roofing

Commercial roofs often use EPDM (a rubber membrane) or TPO (thermoplastic membrane) materials, which are generally more durable under hail impact than PVC. However, these materials are not immune to damage. Large hail, especially combined with strong winds, can still cause punctures or significant depressions that may require professional assessment and repair.

Emergency Repairs: A Crucial Response

When hail damages PVC roofs, it often leaves holes and cracks that can quickly allow water to enter the building, leading to interior damage. For schools and large commercial properties, this can mean emergency repairs are necessary to prevent rain from entering the building and causing further damage. These repairs often need to be performed urgently to cover up holes and prevent leaks.

In Summary

Recognizing what hail damage looks like on a roof is essential for maintaining the integrity and longevity of your roofing system. Whether you have residential asphalt shingles or commercial roofing materials, understanding the signs of damage can help you address issues promptly.

If you suspect your roof has been damaged by hail, it’s crucial to contact us for a professional evaluation to prevent more severe problems down the line.

Kyle Grell

President & Co-Founder


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