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Are You Ignoring Hail Damage?
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Asphalt Shingle Construction
Hail storm damage can be severe enough to dislodge granules from the surface of the shingles. In spots large enough to expose the asphalt will leave a roof has compromised.
The colored granules which are placed on the surface of the shingle provides an aesthetically pleasing product as well as protection to the underlying asphalt from sun exposure which results in deterioration. This is why a hail-damaged roof will tend to fail prematurely.
When indentations/surface damage of the shingle are 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.
Experts agree hail damage is a necessary and critical roof repair. 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 sun's ultraviolet light can 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 and 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 to roof, 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, and focuses on roofing in local offices nationally, but is headquartered in Lees Summit, MO.