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How Hail Affects Your Roof
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How Hail Affects Your Roof

Now that it’s springtime in Virginia, we’ve already had our share of wild weather for the year. Although hail isn’t a common occurrence, when it happens, it can wreak havoc on your roof. When we think about the worst kinds of hail damage, most people think of large, golf-sized hail. But the truth is that any size of hail, no matter how small or large, can take its toll on your roof, often leaving less obvious damage that’s just as serious as missing shingles.

At Just Roofing in Hampton, we’ve seen firsthand the damage hail can do to Southeastern Virginia’s residential and commercial roofs. Here’s what you need to know about hail and its impact on your residential roof.

Why Hail Occurs

Hail may be rare, but it most commonly accompanies heavy storms, forming in cumulonimbus or storm clouds. When a thunderstorm hits, winds can change rapidly, causing updrafts. Hail is the result of small droplets of water combining with air particles like dirt and dust. They are lifted up high into the atmosphere above freezing level, where they quickly turn to super-cooled balls of ice. Eventually, the ice becomes too heavy for the wind to carry, and when this happens, hail falls to the ground rapidly, denting cars and roofs alike in the process.

Hailstone Size

Although hailstones can technically become baseball-sized or larger, it’s much less common to see these supersized hailstones. Larger hailstones tend to occur when they fall slowly due to the severity of the storm, allowing more water to freeze to the ball before gravity pulls it downward.

The type and severity of the damage caused by hail aren’t necessarily tied to its size alone. These are a few factors that can impact the amount of damage to your home, car, roof, or other property:

●        Density of hailstone

●        Wind speed and direction as well as changing wind conditions

●        Durability of materials hit by hail

●        Condition and age of materials damaged

Determining Roof Damage

Even if your roof doesn’t appear visibly damaged, it’s important to get a storm inspection as soon as it’s safe after the storm has passed. Minor damage is often less visible to an untrained eye. However, points of infiltration and structural weakness can occur, allowing moisture to get into your home that can lead to mildew or mold in the future.

Additionally, minor damage is usually an opening for more serious problems down the road. However, addressing these issues early on can help you prevent more costly repairs due to unidentified damage.

A roof repair team can inspect your roof and look for the following signs of damage:

●        Lost or missing shingles

●        Obvious discolorations due to hail damage

●        Asphalt shingle granule loss

●        Soft or shiny spots on your roof

●        Water inside the attic

●        Impact marks

Repairing Damaged Shingles

If it seems like the hail damage to your home is minor, it might be tempting to overlook or put off roof repairs. But a soft spot, dent, or minor shingle damage can gradually begin to wear the protective coating away, leaving your roof’s underlayer vulnerable to damage. Typically, a roof with minor hail damage will start to see more severe problems within a few years.

Minor damage is also much more affordable to repair than serious water infiltration and damage to the underlayer or structure of your roof. It also helps to prolong the life of your roof and avoid the need for premature roof replacement due to an unexpected roof collapse.

Working With Your Insurance Company

Working with your insurance company is a task few homeowners look forward to. But it’s important to call your insurance agent as soon as possible after a hailstorm and begin filing your claim or find out about your deductible. This can help you get your claim started right away and prevent unnecessary complications. 

Typically, homeowner’s insurance policies require homeowners to maintain their roofs to avoid serious damage or roof collapse. Most insurance policies will not cover damage if the homeowners are negligent in keeping up with roof repairs, so it’s important to maintain your roof even when there’s no hail. It’s a good idea to consider an annual roof inspection as part of your regular yearly household maintenance.

Your Trusted Source for Hampton Residential Roofing Repair

At Just Roofing, we’ve served homeowners in the Hampton area for more than four decades, and we understand firsthand the importance of good roof maintenance. If you take good care of your roof, it will be there for you when you need it. That’s why it’s also important to keep up with wear and tear due to regular sunlight exposure and seasonal changes over time.

If your roof has been damaged due to hail or storms, we can help you put together an estimate for your insurance company to simplify the claim and repair process. To schedule your residential roof inspection, call us at 757-310-3873 or contact us online to learn more about roof replacement options for your home.

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