Springtime means rain and lots of it wreaking havoc on your home’s roof and causing storm damage. It is important to identify any roof damage as soon as possible, and to address and fix any damage before it becomes a costlier leak.

Inspect your roof regularly: If you inspect the roof regularly you then can have information to compare with the condition of the roof after a severe storm. This way you can document when damage occurred and can establish that damage was or was not present before a storm. This is helpful when filling insurance claims.

Photographs help: Take pictures of the roof in its un-damaged or normal wear state. Having “before the storm” and “after the storm” photos can completely put to bed any debate about whether or not a storm has damaged a roof.

Inspect your roof as soon as possible after a storm: Any storm or even the wind alone, can cause damage to a roof, so the sooner you inspect the roof after a storm the better you can avoid leak damage inside the home. If an insurance claim for roof damage is warranted, the better the data you can provide in support of your claim will be.  If you aren’t sure what to look for call a roofing professional to check it out for you. This is the safest option and they know what to look for.

Inspect your roof gutters: before and after a storm. If the gutters were clean and after the storm they are loaded with mineral granules you have strong evidence of roof wear and damage due to the storm.

Hail Damage – What is it and how do you spot it?


Is damage immediately noticeable? Not always. Hail impact may cause hidden damage that can, over time, result in premature aging of the shingles. Without noticeable visual damage, there is no real way to be sure how much, if any, damage shingles have endured. Hidden damage caused by hail or severe weather may not be apparent until months or years later and may cause the shingles to age prematurely.

How can I tell if the roof was damaged?

Generally, damage may be seen as indentations and/or fractures on the shingle’s surface. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness and can create a random pattern of dents or depressions. If this is not evident, look for indentations on metal flashings, siding, chimney caps, or even skylight flashings. After some time, clusters of granules may come off (at the point of impact) in a random pattern and expose the asphalt.  If you are unsure or not comfortable climbing up on your roof, it is always a good idea to call a roofing expert to check it out for you. They are trained and know what to look for.

What are the most common types of damage?

  • Granule loss at points of impact, which may be accompanied by surface depression. Loss of mineral granules as an immediate or gradual consequence of storm damage can lead to the asphalt coating being directly exposed to the elements. This may lead to accelerated aging of the shingle. Therefore, granule loss is NOT just cosmetic damage, and “sugaring” — the process of adding loose granules to damaged shingles with asphalt cement — is not a permanent solution.
  • Cracks in the granule-asphalt surfacing, which may radiate outward from points of impact. Cracks may be present especially if high winds blew the shingles back.
  • Exposed fiberglass mat, where hail shattered the granule-asphalt surfacing causing it to break away from the fiberglass mat.
  • Fractured fiberglass mat, which may or may not be immediately visible. A fractured mat may result in tears radiating out from the points of impact. Furthermore, hidden damage to the mat may later develop into cracks and tears in time as the shingles age.
  • Loosening of the self-seal strip. This damage may or may not be immediately visible and may weaken the seal integrity, creating the possibility of future shingle blow-off.

Can several individual shingles be replaced, or should the entire roof be replaced?

While it is possible to replace individual storm-damaged shingles, hidden damage to the surrounding shingles caused by a storm can be difficult to assess. Because of the potential for the surrounding shingles to also have experienced storm damage, complete roof replacement is sometimes suggested for the long-term performance of these roofs.

If the damage is confined to one plane of the roof, replacement of just the damaged roof plane may be possible. If individual shingles are being replaced, any nails that are removed from nearby shingles must be replaced and the nearby shingles are then resealed by hand for the best results.

It is always best to have an expert diagnose your roof after any major storm, especially if the storm produced hail or strong wind. Call the professionals at Reynolds Roofing, Exteriors & Coating for a free estimate on your roof.

Posted by Reynolds on April 11, 2018