Checking For Hail And Weather Damage On A Shingled Roof

Posted on: 3 June 2015

If you live in an area with hail, you probably know that there's a chance it can damage your roof over time. The problem is that hail damage can be hard to see if you have common asphalt shingles on your roof. If hail damage isn't repaired, it can gradually lead to a variety of other problems as moisture from rain gets under the shingles.

You can check for damage by going up on your roof and inspecting the shingles, but you can also use your gutter drains to look for evidence of damage. Inspecting your roof from inside your attic can also help you find more serious damage:

Inspect Shingles

If you can get safely on your roof, there are a few things in particular you should look for. Hail damage isn't always obvious, so you'll need to take a close look.

  • Look and feel for dents and depressions in the shingles. When hail hits a shingle it can create a depression that cuts into the roof below and damage the shingle, but because shingles are flexible, they may not be immediately noticeable. You can sometimes tell if certain areas of shingles are a little darker than others. Run your fingers over the shingle to see if there are any dents underneath.
  • Look for areas of shingle where the granule covering is starting to wear off, exposing the bare shingle underneath. This can happen as a direct result of the hail, or from moisture seeping into and under the shingle after it has already been damaged.

In either case, minor damage will mean that, at the very least, the shingles will have to be replaced. While the shingles may look okay at a glance, hail damage can cause the weather seals to break, and water damage to your roof can get bad quickly.

Investigate Your Gutter Runoffs

If you can't or don't want to get on your roof, there's another way you can look for damage yourself. Locate where the water from your gutters escapes, and look around the area by the outflow pipe. Here, you'll be looking for the same granules you'll find on your shingles.

If you notice stained areas or patches of granules, that's a sign that the granules are being forced loose from your roof as a result of the hail, and your roof will probably need to be inspected and repaired.

Check Your Attic

Your attic puts you as close to the inside of your roof as you can get. This is an important step if you've had hail frequently over time but haven't performed any routine roof inspection. You won't be looking for hail damage here -- instead, look for signs of moisture damage. If moisture has made its way under your shingles, it may have started to damage the wood, which can weaken it and cause rotting.

Look down the entire slope of your roof; even if any damage was high up, water can travel down your roof for a while before starting to drip inside. Moisture damage is often accompanied by mold, so if you don't smell any mold, you may be in luck. Take a flashlight with you so you can look for dark spots.

If you do have water damage, especially damage that has occurred over months or even years, your roof may be structurally unsound. Call your insurance company to investigate your options. They may help with repairs and recommend contractors to perform them. To learn more, contact a company like Pasco Roofing with any questions you have.