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What does hail damage look like?

 

This could be one of our most asked questions and/or misunderstood topics.  Many homeowners are under the impression they can see hail damage from the ground.  Some believe they roof should be leaking if it has hail damage.  The fact is that most hail damage cannot be seen from the ground.  It requires a full roof inspection with careful observation of the entire shingle surface.  As you can see below, the shingles were hit by falling hail, knocking off the granular surface. The granulars actually protect the shingle from UV rays.  When granulars go missing, the asphalt below (seen in the scuff area), will begin to prematurely degrade.  This shingle degradation over time can  reduce the life of the roof and lead to leaks over time.

 

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What is not hail damage? If you look below, the shingles look somewhat similar to the shingles seen above. They both look scuffed up right? The truth is the photo below shows mechanical damage also known as foot traffic, or damage that was done during the original installation.  This would not qualify as hail damage. The two photos appear to be similar because both have granular loss, but only the top photo qualifies as hail damage.  As you can see, it is important to have a proper inspection performed because hail damage may be undetected by the untrained eye.

 

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The first thing most insurance adjusters look for is evidence of hail on light metal objects.  This could be metal vents, gutters, or apron flashing along the roof.  Below shows a metal vent that has evidence of hail damage.

 

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