As we discussed in part 1 of our two part series on hail, damage done to the roof by hail may not always look usual and can often be confused with other issues. A big key characteristic to knowing whether or not you have hail damage is in the way the individual shingles are damaged.
How Hail Damages a Shingle
Any professional Bryan roofer will tell you that an indication and sign of hail damage is broken shingles still held in place. What we mean is that the edge of the shingle tends to chip off and away from the rest of the shingle. It does not matter if the shingle is old, new, soft, brittle, cold, dry, or wet; the shingle breaks towards the edges because it is not secured there normally. Even though the center of each shingle will be hit by hail, the center tends not to break, but rather stay in place.
Another sign to look for is cracking of the material of the shingles. This cracking effect is a result of impacts on the roofer, another indication of hail damage.
How Does Insurance Feel About Hail Damage
Insurance companies always try to mitigate issues for their customers. One of the many ways insurance companies do that is by adopting common standards to reflect that damage. A common standard that insurance companies often use is 10 nicks in a 10ft by 10ft square area, in order to consider a roof, a “complete loss”.
The age of the roof is also a factor. A lot of times a roof older than 5 years, with significant damage to its shingle or foundation, is often considered for a complete loss and a total replacement. While this is the norm for some companies, you should always check with your specific insurance provider on what they consider damage and how they measure it.
A word for the wise when self-diagnosing your own roofing issues; a nick is not necessarily the tell-tale sign you should try to find. Nicks can arise from a number of different issues, bad materials, and damage done by animals, damage from falling debris, and numerous other things. A common scam in the industry is to use a hammer to create marks or nicks on the edge of roofing shingles to make it appear as if there were hail damage. Reputable Bryan roofers and insurance companies already look out for these types of issues and will alert a home owner of suspected foul play.
Why Hail is Such a Big Deal, for Home Owners and Insurance Companies
Most hail size is actually very small in diameter and light in weight. It also does not cause very much damage to a roof. However, when the hail size is big enough and enough mass has been accumulated in the development process (see part 1 for full detail), damage will occur. It is important to note that damage usually occurs gradually, over time, from a mixture of heat, water, and cold. After a big, the shingle will lose most of its protecting granules.
Granules on shingles are not meant necessarily to provide traction to the roofing contractor or even for the color and styling of the shingle. The individual granules provide UV protection from the sun and keep out hazards like ice, wind, and rain from penetrating deeper into the shingle and below, into the home. Naturally, this small leak, which is not very noticeable, over time will cost all parties involved significantly more in repair costs.
Schulte Roofing is a professional Bryan roofer, servicing the Bryan-College Station, Brazos Valley, and the greater Houston areas. If you are unsure as to whether or not your roof might have hail damage, call Schulte Roofing to schedule a quick appointment.