During this time of year and over the next several months, Houston and the surrounding area will experience moderate to heavy hail. As usual with this area, we expect hail almost year round. The reason we see hail so often in Bryan roofing is due to the warm air coming off the Gulf of Mexico and the wild temperature swings we always see.
It Takes Two: Warm and Cool Air
When water vapor compacts itself enough (via atmospheric pressure) it will form a water droplet, very small in size. This water droplet will follow naturally forming updrafts and down drafts, while inside of a formed cloud. Updrafts, as one might imagine contain warm air, which carries the droplet up in altitude, in a process very similar to how a hot-air balloon climbs altitude. Conversely, downdrafts contain cool air, causing a rapid fall.
When a water droplet forms, its weight, by way of gravity and barometric pressure, will cause it to fall from the sky to the ground. However, when a droplet encounters another updraft on its way down to the ground, it gets carried back to the top of the water forming system, adding new water, freezing, and falling once again. This process actually can be repeated many times, which is what lends to the size of individual hail pellets. The larger the hail pellet is in size, the more times it has undergone the formation process.
Most hail is small in diameter. However, the largest piece of hail to be reported was 7.0 inches, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Agency. In northern parts of Texas during this past weekend, pellet sized hail was reported widely. This was due in particular to the warm air and warmer temperatures coming from the gulf that we saw last week.
Hail Damage Clues
As with all of our recommendations after a storm, a visual inspection is needed to determine the effects and whether or not your roof has been hit by damaging hail. For asphalt shingles, you will likely see loose granules in your gutter, down spots, or ground around the outskirts of the roof. Metal roofs, especially older ones or ones that are not made with a strong enough material, will tend to show small dents or pings in the lining. It is important to note that with metal roofing this can be common and does not necessarily denote an issue with your roof. Tile roofing tends to crack, but stay relatively in place. Of course, this is null if you also have high winds during a storm.
Another clue to possible hail damage is uneven wear. Just like sandblasting a wall, when hail forms high in the sky, it can pick up enough size, velocity, and mass to damage almost any roof at any pitch, slope, or angle. The roof will appear worn, with missing granules (asphalt roof) on shingles in which hail landed.
Unusual Wear Patterns
Wear patterns tend to follow specific paths of degradation. Just as you would imagine a car accident scene investigator, Bryan roofing contractors, recreate the original damage when we inspect your roof. This helps us determine the cause and degree of damage as well as helps us provide you with a solution that will help prevent hail damage. If you are unable to ascertain the extent of damage to your roof shingles or would feel better entrusting your roof to a professional Bryan roofing company, contact Schulte Roofing. For those that wish to learn more and brave some “Do-it-yourself” tests, come back later this week for some easy tests that you can do right at home.