How Big Does Hail Need To Be to Damage a Roof?

Beautiful house with pretty roof

The winter months bring hazards and damages to almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives, impacting everything from our vehicles to our homes and roofing systems. Hail and snow are common occurrences for us here in Maine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye out for hail damage after a storm.

Signs Hail Damage Leaves Behind

Without being able to visibly check your roof for damage, you’ll want to be able to identify other signs of hail impact to determine if there was enough hail for potential roof damage. You’ll want to check for dents, holes or cracks in:

  • Metal siding, gutters and downspouts
  • HVAC units, propane tanks or other outdoor appliances
  • Decks and patio along with accompanying furniture
  • Windows and window frames

All of these items are made to withstand weather conditions and keep working for their estimated service life. What that means is that if the hail was severe enough to damage them, your roof will likely need to be inspected as well.

Checking the size of hail on the ground when it’s safe to do so can also determine how likely roof damage is after a storm. Hail that measures above one inch or higher in diameter is considered severe in regards to potential damages. For reference, a one inch sized piece of hail will be in between the size of a quarter and a golf ball.

Areas Inspected Upon Climbing on the Roof

Roofing systems have most of their wear and tear come from the weather no matter if it’s rain or shine. Hail damage is often accompanied by wind, rain and other forms of ice damage due to storms bringing multiple forces with them.

Due to this, there are multiple parts of the roof system that must be verified as damage free. Chimneys, roof vents, shingles and anything attached to the roof such as a satellite all need checked as any damage to where they attach to the roof can let in rainwater and lower the effectiveness of the roof’s insulation.

The area most inspections are more concerned about are the shingles. Identifying shingle damage can be difficult to do as their composition makes visually noticing impacts near impossible from a distance. Once up close, hail damage will be seen as a loss of the protective layer of granules shingles use to fight off heat and precipitation.

Older roofs may have shingles that are already nearing the end of their service life and can be physically dislodged from their designated position. It’s not a common occurrence in newer homes but given the right mix of high winds and large hail, any roof can suffer from a new hole that needs addressed.

When Should You Schedule an Inspection?

After the sky clears and the snow settles, it’s time to walk the grounds and inspect everything for damages. Aside from hail damage, you’ll need to look for tree branches that have frozen and snapped off as well as build-ups of ice or snow that can put too much pressure on the load-bearing frameworks of your home.

Accidents happen so it’s important to work with a company that understands this and works one-on-one with homeowners to set up a strategy to complete the needed work without breaking the bank.

If you’re unsure about the amount or even presence of roof damage, we strongly encourage you to utilize a professional team of roofing system experts to take a look and provide a thorough audit on any damages found.