Hail is known to leave a devastating impact on roof shingles. It affects both the functional and aesthetic aspects of a roof. Hailstorms are considered very destructive. However, the way it affects a roof and causes damage is difficult to generalize. Factors like wind speed and direction, hail size, shape, hardness and velocity, roof slope, age and materials, and barriers determine the extent of damage that a hail storm can cause. Apart from shingles, hail can also cause dents in siding, chimney, and flashing. 

In this article, we look at the different damaging effects hail can have on roof shingles:

Random damage

Hail can affect the shingles causing dents and cracks in non-discernable patterns. Shingle damage is not always immediately noticeable or visible to the homeowner’s untrained eyes after the hail has hit the roof. Sometimes, it causes underlying damage, and homeowners may remain unaware of the harm for a long time, possibly years, causing premature aging of shingles and leading to costly repairs down the line. Only a trained and experienced roofer is the right person to figure out such type of damage.

Granule loss

When the hail hits the shingles, it causes an impact that may create depressions and indentations on the particular shingle surface, causing it to lose granules. When a shingle loses its mineral granules due to a hailstorm, gradually, if not immediately, it exposes the asphalt coating to elements that may cause the shingle to age prematurely. When you discover granules in the gutters and downspouts after a hailstorm, it signifies that the shingles have suffered damage.

Cracks on the shingle surface

When big pieces of hail hit a shingle roof hard, the impact can cause cracks on the surface. It is a common occurrence when strong winds accompany a hail storm. It causes bare spots on the roof, reducing the effectiveness of shingles in keeping it protected.

Exposed fiberglass mat areas

One of the hail impacts is the pulling away of the shattered granule-asphalt surfacing from the fiberglass mat placed underneath.

Fiberglass mat fractures

Fractures in the fiberglass mat may or may not appear as visible damage and can surface with time. Dented fiberglass can result in black coloration radiating out from the impact area. If left unnoticed, as the shingles age with time, the probability of developing more cracks and tears increases, which may end up causing roof leaks.

Loosened or weakened self-seal strip

Hail compromises the shingle seal’s integrity, making it more susceptible to blowing off during strong winds the next time.

Ways to prevent shingle damage from hail

An ill-prepared roof is more vulnerable to the dangers that accompany a hail storm. Investing in preventative roof maintenance and repair before the storm season to keep it in optimal condition is an effective way to avoid damage. It helps to identify shingle issues on time, making it easy and cost-effective to perform prompt repairs.  

Regularly inspect the roof for signs of water damage like mold, mildew, and stains to address minor issues before they worsen.

Installing high-quality, durable, thick, and dense hail-proof and wind-resistant shingles can protect the top layer from any damage. Though the upfront cost of installing quality shingles is high, it saves homeowners time, money, and hassles down the line.

Hire a professional roofer

Getting the roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor thoroughly after a hailstorm is essential to identify any signs of shingle damage that are difficult to notice for inexperienced eyes. A local roofer can assess the extent of damage and suggest possible repair options, like replacing shingle repair or roof replacement, required to maintain the home’s integrity.