Here in Georgia, hail happens. It’s a fact of life during both spring and fall and in some cases a hailstorm can be pretty destructive. We’ve seen hailstones as big as tennis balls!
How can you protect your roof from hail, and what do you need to know about the damage it can do? Here’s what your local roofers at Accent Roofing want you to know about what hail does to different kinds of roofing materials.
Asphalt Shingles: Hail takes its biggest toll on asphalt shingles, which also happen to be the most common roofing material used in the southeastern U.S. Shingles can be displaced or broken/cracked around their edges after a hailstorm. Invisible-but-serious damage can be caused if hailstones strip the granules off asphalt shingles without harming the shingles themselves; the granules are what protect the shingle structure from UV degradation and moisture intrusion.
Slate Tiles: For the most part, hailstones are no match for beautiful slate roof tiles, but we’ve seen damage occur during particularly strong storms! Hail can crack slate tiles themselves, but storm damage is more likely to cause them to simply break free of their fasteners and become loose. If a slate shingle randomly falls to the ground on a clear day, it might have been long-ago loosened by a hailstone.
Wood Shingles: Wood shingles are attractive but they’re not the most durable roofing material in existence. Hail can crack wood shingles along the grain which allows moisture to seep into and underneath the shingle itself. Ensuring wood shingles are properly sealed helps protect them against the effects of storms.
Skylights: As you might imagine, you don’t want to be standing under a skylight in the event of a hailstorm! Most modern skylights are glazed with a super-strong top layer to prevent cracking or chips, but it’s not impossible for a hailstone to damage a skylight (or even an exterior window.)
Gutters: Gutters are some of the most underrepresented victims of hailstorms. Your gutter system is integral to the overall performance of your roof and it works best when all its components are aligned perfectly. Hailstones can knock gutters off of their hangars, dent gutters and gutter forms, and move debris around in a way that clogs gutters over time.
What to do After a Hail Storm
If a hail storm has come and gone, the first thing you should do is take a walk around your property. Look for signs of visible damage such as missing shingles or broken windows, but don’t assume that just because you don’t see anything, no damage was incurred.
After any size hail event, it’s always best to call in a roofing professional for a comprehensive inspection. Some roof damage caused by hail is impossible to detect from the ground but can lead to long-term issues down the road. Don’t let a forgotten hail storm lead to leaks in your attic weeks or even months from now.