After finding hail damage on a roof, some home owners ask us whether it would make sense to hold off on repairs or replacement until they detect a leak.
While we can understand the desire to put off what may seem like an unnecessary repair, experts agree hail damage is a necessary and critical repair.
Consider how significant damage can occur and the amount of time you have in order to make an insurance claim.
The points below detail how hail damage can progress.
- The shingles hit by hail have loosened the bond with the granules to the asphalt layer. While you cannot see this from the ground the loosened granules will often end up where your gutters drain. If you see a large accumulation of granules after hail you should have your roof inspected.
- Once the granules fall off the damaged areas of the shingles, the asphalt layer will be exposed to weather. The sun’s ultraviolet light will weaken the exposed spots and make them brittle. In the winter, the shingle expands and contracts and can curl and crack after being weakened by hail. The exposed areas are then very susceptible to leaks. The areas that curl up are also more susceptible to wind damage.
- Storm and weather related damages have different characteristics as it passes through the seasons. Thus, an inspector can tell whether the damage is new or older. Insurance claim periods can vary but typically there is a set amount of time a home owner can make a claim after the damage occurs – whether you were aware of the damage or not. Aspen has detailed maps showing where and when areas received significant hail damage that can be useful to help pinpoint the damage date.
- Once leaks occur, the damage can be extensive due to potential damage from mold, electrical issues, ceiling and wall damage from water and perhaps even personal property losses. The damage can also come very quickly and often is not initially detected.
Bottom-line, if you suspect you have hail or storm damage, have your roof professionally inspected. Aspen Contracting offers free inspections in the areas we serve.
Asphalt Shingle Construction
When asphalt shingles have been exposed to a hailstorm severe enough to dislodge granules from the surface of the shingles (in spots large enough to expose the asphalt), the roof has been compromised. The colored granules which are placed on the surface of the shingle provide an aesthetically pleasing product and protect the underlying asphalt from exposure to the sun. Prolonged exposure to sun causes asphalt to deteriorate. This is why hail-damaged roof will tend to fail prematurely.
Heavy hail damage is obvious because of the indentations in the shingle. When the surface damage of the shingle is not visible, look for indentations on vents, ridge vents, siding, or any other softer metal objects that may show impact. The effects on the shingle may not be apparent for about a year. At this time, circular areas of granules will fall off the shingle. This is often called spalling. What has occurred is that the impact of the hailstone has broken or weakened the bond between the granules and the asphalt. After a year or so of weathering, the granules fall off the shingle in the circular area of impact. With granules missing, the sunlight (UV) quickly attacks the asphalt and the maximum performance of the shingle has been compromised. The results of a hailstorm will void the shingles manufacturer’s warrant, as they cannot warranty against “Acts of God” such as hailstorms.