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How to Identify If You Have Hail Damage to Roof Shingles?

By July 29, 2021April 4th, 2022Blogs

Hailstorms can be very destructive to properties, and your roof is the most vulnerable to damages. When hail hits, it can be very devastating and can cause serious damage to your roof.

So how do you know if you got hail damage to roof shingles?

Roof shingle materials

hail damage to roof shingles

There are many types of shingle materials for your roofing application; among them are the basic ones that use wood, slate, and asphalt. These materials are made into composites, reinforced, and coated with opaque ceramic granules for strength and durability.

The material of a shingle determines its durability and lifespan. For example, asphalt shingles can last up to 20 – 50 years, wood shingles up to 20 years, while slate shingles have 60 years.

Materials are a durability factor but not guaranteed that your roof will not get damaged when a hail storm hits. The severity of hail damage to your roof shingles depends on hail size, amount, and the impact that hits your roof.

Damage also depends on the type of shingle, the age of the roof material, and the quality of construction.

hailstorm damage

Signs of hail damage to roof shingles

Hail damages to shingles are classified as cosmetics and functional. Cosmetic damage affects only the aesthetics of the shingles. In comparison, functional damages are those that affect the integrity and the lifespan of the roof.

This type of damage diminishes the ability of the roof system to perform its function. Some of this type of damage is not easily detected, especially if you have no expertise in spotting it.

Here are examples of functional damages to your roof:


Roof punctures can be tiny but very damaging. Often, a small hole is unnoticeable because some are so tiny but equally serious.

When they remain unnoticed, these small punctures will develop moisture build-up over time that pierces through the material. And this will cause the shingle to deteriorate without you noticing it.

However, some punctures are visible, and you can see them outright. These punctures create severe leaks on the roof, which eventually damage the house or building’s interior.


Crack is one of the typical hail damage to roof shingles that you would encounter. Hard impacts caused by hail can produce cracks in every type of shingles.

When the roof experiences too much stress, it can weaken the material and eventually damage it. And this means you can not have the optimum protection from your structure because of cracked shingles.

Extensive cracks will compromise the natural waterproofing ability of the roof.

Granule Displacement

This damage might not be easily spotted and is most commonly ignored. But if you notice even a tiny granule of the shingle knocking off, it only indicates that hail hits your roof and some granules are displaced.

Small granule displacement will expose the material directly to the sun. Without the external layer of protection, your shingle is now vulnerable to UV light degradation. This type of damage accelerates cracking, formation of edge damage, blistering, and water leaks.

hail damage inspection

Detection, Prevention, and Intervention

You can now identify the type of hail damage to roof shingles. The next question would be, “how do you detect it, prevent it, and the necessary interventions moving forward?”

Hail Damage Detection

Homeowners don’t usually have training on how to detect damage to roof shingles. Therefore, it would be best to get a professional to help you assess the extent of damages that the hail caused to your shingles.

They would also help you decide if you needed to replace your roof system or have them repaired. In addition, experts have the proper methodology to assess hail damage using test squares.

Test squares is a method that would count the hail damage shingles per test squares against the directional roof slope.

However, in the absence of a trained assessor, you can do it yourself and follow these simple tips:

  • Dents on your gutters and downspouts are the first sign that a high-impact hail most likely damaged your roof; this is the easiest way to check if you have possible damages on the shingles.
  • Gutter clogging signals shed of granules from shingles; thus, a possible granule displacement may have occurred.
  • Check on your sidings and deck. Suppose you find damages on these places after a hailstorm. In that case, there’s a strong possibility of roof damage, and thus it needs outright inspection.
  • Check your ground. If you find tree branches in the yard after a hailstorm, it is most likely that your roof has also been hit and endures some damages.

Prevention and Intervention of Hail Damage

Hailstorm is a natural phenomenon, and therefore there’s no way you can prevent it.

However, you can avoid or minimize the impact of hail damage to roof shingles; further, you can ultimately prevent casualty.

  • Choose a solid roofing material – If you live in an area that is frequently visited by a hailstorm, get a heavy-duty type of shingles that can resist the impact of hail. You can use the class 4 shingles to give you better protection against hail. These shingles are made of copper, plastic, resin, or aluminum. These shingles are a bit pricey compared to other materials, but it would be ultimately economical.
  • Check your roof regularly – A regular walkthrough and inspection will allow you to nip the problem early. If not addressed and repaired early on, minor damage will ultimately become a big problem and cause more extensive damage. So a regular inspection would do well to help you save a lot of money for repairs and replacement.
  • Regular trimming of trees around the house – Trees give shade and fresh air, but they can also pose a hazard to your roof. Untrimmed branches may break when hit by storms, or a whole tree may uproot in a strong storm; all these may fall on your house. And these not only cause damage to roof shingles but, of course, are the last thing you want to happen to you, your property, and your family.


A hailstorm can damage your property, and your roof is the most exposed to damages. Unfortunately, you can not prevent the hail from falling. Still, you can take necessary actions to minimize the impact of the damage.

If you care to know about them, it will save you from hard-hit damages and even save you money. Most of all, preventing the impact of hail damage to shingles will protect you and your family from potential accidents to happen.


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