You've seen the damage that a hailstorm can do to a car. But did you know that hail can damage your Atlanta roof, too? Although hail damage on a roof may look harmless on the surface, the consequences can be severe. Knowing how to detect hail damage and what to do about it can help you prevent water damage and avoid costly repairs.
Inspecting Your Atlanta Roof For Hail Damage
Hail can do plenty of damage to your roof without punching a hole through it. That's what makes hail damage so deceiving. Unless you look for it, you may never know it is there until it's too late.
There are two signature marks of hail damage when it comes to your roof. First, look in your gutters for mineral granules. If you find granules in your gutters, that means something has forced them off your shingles. If you've had a recent hailstorm, that something could be hail, and you need to take a closer look at your shingles.
Hail damage on shingles usually appears as irregular-shaped bare areas across your roof, where hail has knocked the mineral granules off and exposed the underlying black asphalt.
Confirming Hail Damage On Atlanta Roofs
Hail damage is fairly obvious to insurance adjusters and experienced roofing contractors. But for the inexperienced eye, shingle blistering and animal damage can be mistaken for hail damage.
The main difference between blister damage and hail damage is shape. Shingle blisters are formed when trapped moisture inside a shingle (due to poor roof ventilation or poorly made shingles) gets heated, vaporizes into steam and expands into a bubble shape. With enough heat and moisture, these blisters break through the mineral granule layer and expose the asphalt layer of a shingle. The exposed asphalt due to a burst blister has a circular footprint, as opposed to the odd/irregular shape that hail damage leaves.
Animal damage, on the other hand, can look very similar to hail damage. When an animal, such as a squirrel, decides to dig through your roof to seek food, it can scratch the mineral granules off your shingles. The outline of the exposed asphalt can take on a variety of odd shapes, similar to hail damage.
The best tool for telling the difference between animal damage and hail damage is routine inspections. This allows you to have a reasonably good idea of your roof's condition at any time. If you know what your roof looked like a few months before a storm, and you find new damage immediately after a hailstorm, then you can reasonably conclude that hail damage has occurred.
If you haven't performed regular roof inspections, there are other things to look for that can help confirm hail damage. First, get a roof inspection done as soon as possible after the storm has passed. Then, closely examine the color of any exposed asphalt. If it is black, the damage is relatively new and may have been caused by impacting hail. If the exposed asphalt is gray or cracked, the sun and heat have aged the asphalt; this indicates the damage probably occurred several months ago and was not caused by the recent storm.
The other way to confirm hail damage to your shingles is a bit of common sense. Look for other signs of hail damage around your roof and home. If you find dents on your roof vents, car or other property, it is more likely that the shingle damage you have seen is due to hail.
Why Is Hail Damage On My Atlanta Roof A Problem?
Hail damage on your roof is a serious matter because it shortens the life of your roof and increases the chances of water damage in your home. By removing mineral granules from your shingles, hail removes a vital part of the defense system from your shingles. The exposed shingles age more rapidly, are more vulnerable to further damage, and more likely to develop cracks and leaks.
How Can Hail Damage On My Atlanta Roof Be Repaired?
If you suspect your Atlanta roof has suffered hail damage, the most important thing to do is contact your insurance agent to schedule a roof inspection. If a second opinion is required, try to hire a professional, independent home inspector who has nothing to win or lose if hail damage on your roof is verified.
There is no doubt that hail damage presents a serious condition that should be repaired immediately. The fact that insurance companies authorize complete roof replacements due to hail damage is a testament to the severity of the problem.
If you have additional questions or concerns about hail damage, we invite you to contact us today. Findlay Roofing is pleased to provide you with free estimates for roof repairs or a roof replacement, and we are ready to work with you and your insurance company to make sure your roof is repaired professionally, reliably and beautifully.