You just recently experienced hail in your area. Now you’re wondering about your roof. How do you know if your roof has experienced damage from hail and what are your next steps? Georgia Roof Advisors has some tips on how to identify if your roof has suffered from hail damage and what steps to take.
In Georgia, our peak severe thunderstorm seasons are March, April and May. A secondary peak may occur during months of September and October, but not always. Severe thunderstorms can and do occur at any time of the day or night as well as any month of year.
In Georgia, a typical thunderstorm is about 15 miles in diameter and generally lasts about 30 minutes. However, despite their small size, all thunderstorms are dangerous. When a thunderstorm reaches “severe” limits, that means it has intensified to the point that it will produce wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour or hail 1 inch in diameter (about the size of a quarter) or larger.
As a thunderstorm grows, updrafts will push water droplets into a region of the atmosphere which is below the freezing temperature. These water droplets collide with other droplets just before freezing which is why some hailstones can grow into several inches in diameter.
The stronger the updraft associated with the thunderstorm, the larger the hail associated with the storm will be. The typical size of hail in Georgia is approximately one to two inches in diameter, it is not too difficult to image the damage or injuries can be caused by hail – when you consider that hail may fall at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour.
On an asphalt roof, hail damage can be hard to spot, especially if you never had to look for it before.
But if your roof has been damaged by hail, your home may be vulnerable to roof leaks or deterioration of shingles or roofing materials.
Please note – inspecting a roof can be dangerous. We do not advise you to get on your roof. Georgia Roof Advisors has the technology and drone tools to be able to do full hail damage roof inspection.
But there are some things you can check quickly that point to roof hail damage:
Dented gutters and downspouts: look for dents and dings ono gutters and downspouts. If a hailstorm has struck your area, hail stone impacts will often show up in small dents and dimples in metal gutters and downspouts.
Mailbox damage: look for cracks or holes in plastic mailboxes or dents in metal mailboxes
Hail splatter marks on the driveway: Hailstone impacts may remove dirt, grime, algae from driveway surfaces, indicating sizes and direction of hail fall. Look for splatter marks on your driveway that are lighter than surrounding areas on your driveway and sidewalks.
Damaged sidings: Check your home siding or splatter marks, dents, cracks, paint chips or holes. In heavy storms, this damage will be obvious. But smaller hailstones can cause damage that may point to hail damage on your roof.
Door Dents or Paint Damage: Inspect metal doors for dings or dents or look for chipped paint or stain on wood doors.
Hail Damaged cars in the neighborhood: If cars in the neighborhood sustained hail damage, it’s likely that neighborhood roofs have been damaged as well.
Blown off shingles: Look for broken bits or loose shingles that may have fallen off around the house and in the yard. Remember, hail is accompanied by high winds.
Water spots or rotted external wood: Look under eaves or porches for signs of water leaking through roof to external wood surfaces. This may point to old hail damage that leaks through shingles.
Granules in Gutters: Hail damage on your roof will cause granules to break loose at the site of each hail stone impact. If you notice shingle granules in your gutters, you may have hail damage on your roof.
Dented roof vents: Roof vents are often made of lightweight metal. Dents in the metal or cracks in the plastic vents often means your roof was hit with heavy hail.
Dented metal flashing/Roof Fascia: Inspect metal flashing around chimney or vents and fascia for dents or dings. These are relatively easy to spot.
Broken or cracked Skylights: Check for cracked or broken glass if your roof has skylights
Dented Chimney Covers: You will need a professional for this. Give Georgia Roof Advisors a call.
Missing shingles: Check the roof for missing shingles or shingle tabs that may have blown off. If you found some on the ground in your yard, they were most likely yours.
Wind Damaged/Loose Shingles: Look for any shingles that are easily pulled up or flapping from the wind.
Hail Hits on Shingles: Hail Hits on shingles may show subtle spots of granule displacement, bruises in shingle surface or holes. If you see dark spots on uniform shingle surfaces or dimpled areas, you most likely have hail damage.
Curling Shingles: Hail damaged shingles may experience curling or stress cracks over time. They age faster than non-damaged shingles. Contact Georgia Roof Advisors for roof inspection.
Even though metal roofs are very tough and highly resistant to hail damage. A normal sized hail will not damage your metal roof. Let’s clarify what is considered a “normal sized hail” – that would be a hail that is 1 inch in diameter or smaller. A hail that reaches 2 inches or larger can potentially dent your metal roof. (Last reported incident was in 2006)
If you see and have confirmed that your roof has suffered hail damage, then these are your next steps. Call Georgia Roof Advisors to get a full roof inspection and report. In our roof inspection report, you will receive an estimate.
We will also explain our financing options and accommodate your schedule to find the perfect day to repair or replace your roof.
Your Homeowners Insurance
Figuring out what your homeowners insurance covers and does not cover can be confusing.
Georgia Roof Advisors can assist you with that with our years of experience and our relationships with many insurance agents in the area.
Homeowners insurance covers your roof in cases where it is damaged for reasons outside of the homeowner’s control – a few examples are fire and vandalism. Your policy will also usually cover damage from extreme weather events or “acts of God” like hurricanes and tornadoes. Similarly, roof damage caused by moderate weather incidents such as hail, wind, and rain are often covered by homeowner’s insurance.
When filing a claim, it’s important to thoroughly document any damage that occurred. Also, make sure you keep receipts for all work done on the home. Many policies will cover these expenses when submitted with a claim.
However, keep in mind that coverage will often depend on the age of your roof, the area you live in, and may other factors. The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not when it comes to storm damage is to contact your insurance provider and go over the specifics of your policy, including what’s covered and what your deductible may be.
It is also important to be aware that for some insurance companies you are only permitted up to a year to file a claim on that storm damage of your roof. Leaks often do not happen right away, as it is mentioned in this article, hail displaces the granules, which results in cracking the matting underneath. This in turn exposes the asphalt shingle to the elements of Georgia weather.
With that said, it is always best to have your roof inspected after a hailstorm. Georgia Roof Advisors offers free roof inspections – just give us a call.
If you need a roof repair or roof replacement, you need an expert that takes the time to thoroughly inspect your roof and work with you and your current lifestyle and finances. After we take a good look at your home, we will work with you to put together the perfect roofing solution for you – including our 50-year warranty.
We bring trust and peace of mind to every roof. Contact us at (678) 757-3477 or visit us online at www.georgiaroofadvisors.com to schedule a free, no-obligation in-home consultation or to get answers to any home roofing questions.