How Can I Tell If My Roof Has Hail Damage?


It can be difficult to spot hail damage after a storm. Many homeowners don’t even bother checking their roofs if the hail was small, but even small pieces can cause serious damage to your home. Look for the following signs to determine if your roof is damaged and whether you should take action to report it and/or have it repaired. Waiting too long to make necessary repairs could turn a minor problem into something major.


Before You Climb on Your Roof

We do not recommend climbing all the way onto your roof. It could result in serious injury, especially if the surface is wet or you don’t have roofing experience. Instead, call a professional roofing contractor to inspect it for you. Many contractors offer free roofing estimates. After a storm is the perfect time to take advantage of this offer.


From the Ground

Before you climb up on your ladder to get a closer look, do a visual inspection from the ground. Walk around your yard to check things like the outdoor air conditioning unit, your gutters and downspouts, painted surfaces on decks or patios, windows, and siding. See if you can spot any visible damage. If you do, your roof will be more likely to have damage as well.


Inspecting Your Roof

Next, it’s time to put on some boots or tennis shoes and grab a safe ladder. Make sure the storm has passed and your ladder and roof are dry before you ascend. From the ladder, look around for signs of hail damage. Look for dents or chips in roof vents, chimneys, and skylights.


Inspecting Your Shingles

Depending on the size of the hail and severity of the damage, it may or may not be obvious that your roof has hail damage. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, look for large amounts of granules in your gutters and missing granules in the shingles across your roof. Also take note of any cracks, divots, or bruising you see. If you have a metal roof, look for dents across its surface. Metal roofs are tougher and more resistant to hail damage than asphalt, but it’s still wise to perform an inspection if you experience a severe hailstorm.

Again, it may be difficult to assess the extent of the damage without climbing on your roof, so you should call a professional to inspect it for you. It takes a trained eye to spot all signs of damage.


Impact of Hail Damage

There are two categories of hail damage: cosmetic and functional. Cosmetic damage doesn’t affect a roof’s ability to function properly. Functional damage is more serious and impacts a roof’s integrity and longevity. Your roofing contractor will be able to determine whether the damage to your roof is functional or cosmetic so you can relay the correct information to your insurance company.

Even if the damage seems minor, like missing granules across your roof, it can turn into a larger problem later. Missing granules can leave areas of your roof exposed to the elements—like harmful UV rays that can fade and deteriorate your roof over time and lead to water leaks. If not dealt with soon enough, even small amounts of moisture that make their way under shingles can encourage mold or rot and bring your roof problems inside your home.



Do you think you may have hail damage, or would you like your roof inspected to make sure it’s still in good shape? Contact Hedrick Construction if you live in Ames, Ankeny, Des Moines, or a nearby area. We look forward to working with you!