Frequent, volatile weather systems affecting the United States has led meteorologists to coin terms such as "bomb cyclones" and "bombogenesis," as well as many others. While the names can be both frightening and amusing, the powerful storms they represent are not funny. Often these storms are particularly violent due to the clash of warm and cold air in the upper atmosphere that can result in the creation of a hailstorm.
While most storms of this nature produce small diameter hail that rarely does damage, those that produce large hailstones can inflict serious damage to residential shingled roofs, as well as some types of roofing materials.
If your home has experienced a hailstorm and you are wondering if your shingles have survived the onslaught, this information helps you know what to look for after the storm has passed.
First, look for collateral damage from ground level
Actual shingle damage from hail can be difficult to spot, especially when your roof is still wet from the storm. Homeowners in this situation can get their first clues about the amount of damage their roof may have incurred by looking for dents in guttering and downspouts and damages to windowsills and other horizontal surfaces like decks and porch floors. If these areas are pockmarked or damaged by the force of the hail, it is a good bet the roof has suffered damage as well.
Next, look for visible damage to shingles
Once you have walked around the perimeter of your home and determined the level of any collateral damage that may have occurred, you will need to get on the roof to check for damage to the shingled surface. Hail damage can show up as small spots on the shingle's surface that have lost their rough granule coating.
These marks indicate direct impacts of large hailstones that may have weakened the shingle or even punched through it, creating a potential roof leak. Be sure to also watch for cracked, broken, or missing shingles, as well.
Finally, check inside the gutters
While still on the roof, carefully make your way to the edge so that you can look inside the gutter trough. If an accumulation of surface granules is visible inside the gutter, it is a sign that your shingles have received significant damage from the hailstones.
Homeowners who check their roof for damage after a hailstorm and have questions about whether it needs to be repaired or replaced will want to have the roof inspected by a reputable residential roofing contractor as soon as possible.
If the roof is steep or the homeowner is uncomfortable using a ladder or walking on their home's roof, the roofing contractor will be able to do a full inspection and report their findings to you.
For more information, contact a roofing company like Rocky Mountain Roofers & Gutters who can help you deal with hail damage to your roof.