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Your Roof-Hail Damage vs. Old Shingles

04 September 2013

After a hail storm, homeowners are often curious to see whether their roof has experienced enough damage to be eligible for an insurance claim.  A trained professional is able to analyze whether a deteriorating roof is the result of hail damage or a roof simply nearing the end of its lifespan.  In this blog, we’ll discuss the difference between the two.


Bruising: Bruising occurs when a hailstone’s impact disperses the roof’s granules.  Bruising will feel like indentations on your roof’s surface.  They are not always visible but should be addressed upon discovery, as failure to do so can cause holes to eventually form in your shingles, leaving your roof vulnerable to nature’s elements.

Missing or Loose Granules: This one is tricky because this symptom can also be a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.  To verify if this is happening due to hail damage, see whether the displaced granules have now uncovered the roofing underlayment.  If it is faded, it means that the condition is preexisting.  However, if it is not discolored, it is likely that this is a new phenomenon.

hail on roof
The roof was less than a year old when it was damaged by hail.

Cracking: Large hailstones, hitting your roof at a high enough velocity can cause cracking in circular patterns.  Should you find this on your roof, address as soon as you can, as failure to do so can lead to a leaky roof.

Dented Roof Vents: Should your roof vents have been dented, it’s probable that the roof itself has been damaged by hail.  Contact your insurance company and a local, reputable contractor, who can offer a professional opinion and information on repair and replacement costs.


Buckling Shingles: This can occur when new shingles are placed on top of old shingles or the roof was not properly installed. It can also be a sign of poor ventilation. When the shingles buckle, it means that moisture is underneath them. This can often signal that a whole new roof is needed.

Water Spots on Your Ceiling:  Discolored spots on your ceilings are caused by leaks in your roof. The damage doesn’t stop with the unsightly spots. Left ignored major damage can occur and a homeowner can be forced to also replace their ceilings and/or drywall.

Curling Shingles: There are several reasons this can happen. One is that the roofer disregarded the manufacturer’s nail per shingle recommendations. If a roof is inadequately insulated, moisture may build up in a home’s attic. Because it needs to go somewhere, it will slowly become trapped between the underlayment and shingles. Each shingle has an adhesive strip that connects it to the row below it. If that strip, called back coating, is not properly attached to the row below it curling can occur. Weather elements cause your roof to expand and contract. During this process, the nails holding your shingles down can be forced upwards which can cause shingles to curl.

Roof Rotting: Roofs begin to rot when the shingles have absorbed moisture all the way to the core. This is a serious matter and should be addressed as quickly as possible by a roofing professional.

Missing Shingles: This problem often occurs in the spring and cast be the result of high winds, ice and snow damage. Another possibility is that shingles were not installed correctly. Regardless, it’s important to call a roofing professional to get your roof back to its original condition. An untrained person trying to do this on their own can incorrectly replace the shingles which can cause your roof to leak.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Inspecting Your Home After a Storm: 

Missing Granules: When a roof is first replaced, it’s normal to have some granules (small ceramic coated rock specs that cover an asphalt shingle’s surface) dislodged from the shingles. However, if this continues, your roof’s lifespan will be greatly decreased because the asphalt on your shingle has been exposed to weather elements. If you are noticing this problem on an older roof, it’s likely that it needs to be replaced.

Blistering: Blisters which look like bubbles just under the surface of your shingle’s granules are caused by moisture trapped in a shingle. The shingle may not need to be replaced until it breaks open. Once a shingle breaks open, it may become discolored and water leakage may become an  issue.

Flashing that it Damaged: Roof flashing is a piece of sheet metal placed on the joints in a roof to keep water from seeping into the structure. It is installed before the shingles.  Flashing that has not been installed correctly or is damaged can cause leaking. In some cases, flashing is able to be replaced in the damaged area only.

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