If a strong summer hail storm has just swept through your region, when it is safe to do so, you'll need to complete an inspection of your roof. Strong hail storms often cause damage to residential roofs. The sooner you identify any damage to your roof, the sooner you can submit a claim to your homeowner's insurance and find a roofer who can repair the damage.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind when inspecting your roof for hail damage is to be safe. Wait until the storm has passed. If the hail storm brought rain as well, you may want to wait a day or two for the rain to evaporate and the hail stones on top of your roof to melt. You should never inspect your roof during dangerous weather conditions.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes with good traction when you inspect your roof. You should not inspect your roof in flip-flops or other types of summer shoes. You should probably see if someone can hold the ladder steady for you while you climb up, just to be extra safe. Be cautious and aware of your surroundings while you inspect the area.
Look Out For These Signs
While you are inspecting your roof, you may notice general wear and tear up there. However, the four issues listed below are generally considered by most roofing contractors and insurance companies to be signs that the damage to your roof was caused by hail.
Just like your skin, your roof shingles can become bruised. You will notice small depressions in your shingles that are about the size of the hail storm that hit your house. It can sometimes be hard to spot these depressions with your eyes alone. If you are able to safely, kneel down and touch your shingles. You should feel the depression. The depression may also feel a little spongy because it may have rubbed off granules from your tile.
Circular Shaped Cracked
In addition to creating indents in your shingles, hail can also cause circular shaped cracks. When the hail hits your roof, it can break through the granules on your shingles, and go through the substrate and crack the layer underneath all of that.
All those little specks of material on your tile are officially referred to as granules. Under the granules the surface is usually black. This surface is referred to as the substrate. Hail storms can often rub granule off your tiles and expose the substrate.
If you can see substrate that looks old and weathered, the recent hail storm most likely did not cause this damage. Over time, the granules on your roof tend to wear away on their own.
On the other hand, if the substrate that is exposed is shinny and looks pretty fresh, that is a good sign that the recent hail storm caused the damage.
If you notice one or a combination of these signs, you need to get a roofing professional like those at Georoulis Roofing & Construction out to your house as soon as possible, to confirm that the damage to your roof was caused by the hail storm. Then, you need to contact your homeowner's insurance company, and file a claim to help you pay to fix the damage.