Every year in the United States millions, sometimes even billions, of dollars are spent by the insurance companies to repair damage caused by natural events. Damaging storms are not unusual, they are happening all of the time. Relative to roofing, damaging events will be associated with wind (straight-line winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) and/or hail storms. The type of damage each of these events causes is very different but each of the events results in the roof to no longer be an adequate waterproof covering over your home.
The information below will introduce and explain why these events are damaging to your home and hopefully answer the common question of, “Why is my insurance going to pay for a new roof?”
Hail storms can occur any time throughout the year but they are most likely to be severe from April to July and again in September and October, basically in spring and fall. These events will usually occur in the afternoon or early evening hours and are more likely when there are large temperature differences between the highs and lows for the day. These temperature differences are contributing factors in creating volatile upper level winds that will circulate the hail stones back up into the atmosphere multiple times until they become heavy enough to fall to the ground.
Small hail stones (pea, marble, even quarter size) don’t cause much damage unless high winds are pushing them and increasing their speed and force of impact. The likelihood of the hail causing damage increases significantly when the hail stones are greater than 1” in diameter. These hail stones will damage roofs, dent cars, break windows and siding, dent garage doors, damage fencing, destroy trees and flowers, and even kill people if they are caught in the storm with no protection.
Specific to roofing
If your roof is metal, the damage will likely be cosmetic, not creating a leak problem but it is still damage – besides who wants a roof that looks like Swiss cheese? Other roofs like wood, tile, or slate, will almost definitely have cosmetic damage from a severe hail storm but there is also the possibility of the hail cracking and breaking the individual roof pieces creating the possibility of water to enter the house over time. The most common type of steep slope roofing is asphalt shingles and they are also the most vulnerable to hail damage. Hail damage to a roof is the most misunderstood type of damage because it is not obvious to the untrained eye and it usually cannot be seen from the ground. But, hail damage to your roof is very real and very serious to the safety of your home. This is why Tuttle Contracting recommends every homeowner have their home and roof inspected by a storm damage professional after any severe event like a hail storm.