Does hail really affect my roofs life expectancy?

The question everyone always asks themselves after a hail and wind storm is, will this really affect the life of my roof. Do I really need it looked at now? I’m sure my roof is fine, they are made to last.

There are always many factors to take into account when it comes to hail damage: wind speed, direction, size of hail, density of hail, and temperature. It’s safe to say if you have a day that is 90+ degrees outside with humidity and then a storm rolls in that it will produce hail stones.

According to Wikipedia: Hail forms in strong thunderstorm clouds, particularly those with intense updrafts, high liquid water content, great vertical extent, large water droplets, and where a good portion of the cloud layer is below freezing 0 °C (32 °F).

These types of strong updrafts can also indicate the presence of a tornado. The growth rate of hailstones is impacted by factors such as higher elevation, lower freezing zones, and wind shear.

Through my extensive experiences and education through Haag Engineering it only takes 3/4″ hail to damage a 3-tab shingle that’s the size of a penny. Three tab shingles are also referred to as 25 year asphalt shingles. Three tab shingles have been rapidly leaving our market and the more common shingle we see is the 30 year laminate architectural shingle. These shingles can still get damaged by hail stones that are only 1 1/4″ in size, which is comparable to a half dollar coin. Smaller hail still can affect a 30-year shingle however, if the architectural shingle is over 15 years old, it will start to get brittle and be affected the same way as a thinner 25 year shingle.

Okay we get it, regardless of the size of hail impacting your roof it is always recommended to have a professional take a look at it to make sure the integrity of the shingle is still intact.

Typically, hail damages to shingles will take up to 3-5 years for it to actually effect the inside of your home. This is taking into account the expansion and contraction of the shingles, weathering from rain, ice, snow and temperature changes. The way the homeowners insurance game goes however is most companies only give you one year to put a claim in to have the roof looked at from the storm date. A few offer you a two year window, but most don’t.

Your safest bet is to have a professional look at it sooner than later and if they recommend contacting your insurance company then doing so in a timely fashion is also important.

I am a homeowner myself and the most common assumption you may have is my roof is totally fine I looked at it myself. We understand that it is important to protect your property, but we do also like to still educate our customers on the complexity of what hail damages look like on a shingle and how they can affect the life expectancy and water shedding ability. Finding hail on shingles is not an easy feat. It does take an experienced and trained eye to spot hail, especially when your dealing with black shingles.

When hail impacts your shingle is will leave what’s called a bruise mark. This bruise mark will not only have asphalt granules missing but will also have asphalt granules embedded into the matting. If you close your eyes and imagine a hail stone impacting your roof, it’s safe to say that it will knock granules in and out. However, if you see marks on your roof that have zero granules left in them, they can be misinterpreted as hail damages. These markings are typically wear and tear or install issues.

If the hail is big enough it will break completely through the matting. Now we are looking at a much shorter time frame of more like 1-2 years that the water will enter your home.

Another common objection is the big worry that if I put in a claim my premiums will go up. By you specifically putting in a claim and your premiums going up is a myth. When a storm rolls into your neighborhood it is not something your home can avoid, it’s going to get hit; if your lucky it might miss your home, but not likely. We call these, ” Acts of god.” Meaning you cannot prepare or avoid these things from happening to your home. The only way premiums go up is by zip code. So, if your neighbors put in a claim for their damages and you don’t then you could potentially be paying for a portion of there new roof whether you like it or not. This is what we call, “peace of mind.” It is important at the bare minimum have a professional look at your roof and if you have no damages at least have the assurance that your roof won’t have future issues.

Another common objection: I don’t want to screw my insurance company. We get it you’ve been with your insurance agent for 20 years and they treat you well. Look at it this way, purchasing a home is life’s biggest investment. Is it important to you to protect your biggest investment? Is it important to keep your home dry and free of potential issues? Have your yearly premiums ever gone down? Have you ever received a check in the mail from your insurance company at the end of the year saying thank you for your business? I’m guessing your answer to most if not all of these questions was, No.

So, if the unfortunate happens and a storm rolls into your neighborhood, it is important to protect that investment and have someone with a trained eye inspect it. Your return on investment for your home is to keep it up to par, keep up the curb appeal, and keep up the value of the home. If you can get a new roof from your insurance company and only pay a deductible, that is one of the best returns of investment you can get on your home.

Look at it another way you have car insurance, and you get into an accident. Would you rather pay your deductible and have your insurance fix your car? Or would you prefer just paying for it out of pocket? That’s why we have car insurance specifically, because if something happens then your covered. Your home is a much bigger investment then your vehicle, so shouldn’t you protect that investment even more?

The answer is YES, when hail hits your home it’s important to have a professional look at your roof! If your looking for an honest and professional property assessment then look no further than Lightning Restoration. We will inspect your property, and work with your insurance company to make sure everything damaged on your property is covered so we can bring your home back to pre storm condition.

Lightning Restoration

Graham Deiman


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