Hail Roof Damage: Protecting Your Home from Storms

Hail Roof Damage: Protecting Your Home from Storms

Are you worried about thunderstorms and hail roof damage? Hail can damage your roof materials, but there are ways to give your home extra layers of protection.

Hail and its dangers

While not all thunderstorms produce hail, particularly powerful, large thunderstorms often come with hail showers. Hail only occurs when a thunderhead cloud reaches high enough. Then, through a process called convection cell updrafting, the water droplets the storm carries are frozen. If these frozen drops are carried high enough and for enough time, they develop into lumps of ice that grow thicker and thicker until their weight, plus gravity, pulls them down to the earth.

The smallest hailstones are only 0.2 inches in diameter, which isn't enough to do much damage to the average house. However, in especially larger thunderstorms hailstones can grow much larger. Technically hail greater than 0.75 inches in diameter is regarded as being dangerous, but hail can grow as large as golf balls or in rare cases even larger. Keep in mind that hail can hit your house at as fast as 120 miles per hour in the right conditions.

Protecting your roof from hail

Two different parts of your roof are in danger from hail: the shingles or tiles on the top layer and the protective membrane or felt layer beneath. When it comes to traditional asphalt shingles, hail will rarely knock shingles to pieces — although it is possible to create small cracks and punctures in shingles which go unnoticed until months later when you discover water has been slowly seeping into the shingle material, destroying your shingles from the inside out.

Heavy hail can also hit the shingles hard to enough to start poking into the roof membrane beneath the shingles. This can create small cracks or holes in the membrane, which will eventually shorten the life of your roof and can also go unnoticed for long periods of time. Sometimes the damage is merely cosmetic, and other times it is more serious — the severity of the storm and the following months are both important factors.

If you live in an area where you deal with hailstorms, ask a roofing professional about the best materials to use for roof protection. A tough cover board with extra insulation and great rigidity can help resist hail damage, but this needs to be installed when the roof is first being built. Tougher membranes or additional layers may also help in subsequent projects.

Protecting your siding from hail

If you have shutters, close them during bad hailstorms to prevent damage to your windows. Closing blinds or curtains on the inside can protect your home if a window does shatter. After severe hailstorms, take a walk outside to look at your siding and windows for any signs of damage or sections that need to be replaced.

If your home has been damaged by hail or severe storms, contact the professionals at Findlay Roofing today.

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