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How to Determine if Your Home Needs a Hail Damage Roof Repair

With the increase in record numbers of severe thunderstorms and weather-related damage, the 2020 thunderstorm season in Calgary has hit record highs

Within the month of June 2020 alone, Alberta had experienced 13 severe storms. 

Only halfway through the storm season, Alberta alone has reported storm damage costs of over $2 billion. As well as, insurance companies dealing with more than 70,000 claims in the last month related to hail storms in Alberta. 

Many Calgarians are concerned about the damage to their home and are trying to determine if they need to hire a roofing company due to hail damage.

Read on the learn more about how hail can damage your roof, how the hail size is linked to the severity of the damage, and how to determine if you need hail damage repair.

What size hail will damage a roof?

Wondering what size hail will damage a roof or how much hail damage to replace the roof? There are three factors to consider when determining the severity of destruction caused by hail- the wind speed, the duration, and size of the hail. 

While wind speed and duration are difficult to measure, the size of the hail is the easiest indicator of damage. There is a simple size chart to understand how the size of hail will most likely cause the most damage. 

  • Nickel size or ¾ of an inch can cause minor damage to the roof when accompanied by stronger wind speeds. 
  • Quarter size or 1-inch hail size will most likely cause little to no damage to a roof. However, depending on the length of time that it’s hailing, the hail can cause damage to shingles granules. 
  • Toonie size or 1.25 inches, there could be minor damage to roofs and cracks in sidings
  • Walnut size or 1.50 inches can cause severe roof damage and dents in the wood. 
  • Golf ball size hail or 1.75 inches can cause dents in siding and exterior paint damage. 
  • Baseball size or 2.75 inches can create holes in homes siding and lift shingles.

One last factor to consider is how many hail storms has your home experienced? 

Recently in Alberta, some homeowners have experienced frequent small hail size storms. Though the hail is small, the repetitive hailing can result in substantial defacement.

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How does hail damage asphalt shingle?

Asphalt shingles are the most common and affordable type of roofing for Calgary homes. Asphalt shingles have a base that is made up of either felt paper or fiberglass, coated with a waterproof mixture of asphalt, mineral stabilizers, and limestone powders. The shingles are finished with granules, which give shingles weight and protect the underlying asphalt from UV damage.

Depending on the size of the hail, hail damage to asphalt shingles can consist of splitting, bruising, or displacement of granules.  

Displacement of granules is the most common impairment caused by hail. When these granules are misplaced, the shingles lose their protective coating and the underlying asphalt is now exposed to the harmful sun rays. 

Why does this matter? Well, when asphalt has direct sunlight exposure, the singles become vulnerable to the sun’s UV light degradation, causing accelerated cracking, edge damage, blistering, and water leaks inside the home.

Hard hail impact or strong winds can also cause cracks in roof shingles, which results in a bare spot in your roof. When shingles are cracked, the shingles can no longer effectively protect your roof from any type of weather. Cracks as small as an inch can allow damage inside your home and roof.  

How to Spot Hail Damage: Roof Inspection Guide 

Identifying hail destruction in your surroundings is pretty straightforward and obvious. However, roof damage can be harder to spot and not always the most visible, since it may not be seen from just looking at the roof from the ground up. 

Don’t wait until your roof deterioration becomes obvious and you see water damage inside the home to get a roof replacement. It’s important to keep your roof in the best condition to avoid structural decay.

Identifying three major signs of hail damage:

  1. Look for missing pieces of asphalt on the shingles – you can identify this when you see patches of the black substrate, where the granules have been compromised and parts of the shingle are no longer textured
  2. Check for bruised shingles- subtle dents caused by hail may not be visible to the eye, but you can find the damage by running your hand over the shingle for small divots and pressing on the dent to see if it has any give. If you find a soft spot, that’s an indication of hail damage. 
  3. Inspect your roof attachments-since damage to shingles is harder to see, sometimes you can determine the severity of damage by examining the metal accessories on your roof. Check dents in metal vents and cracks in skylight windows. 

If you’re still unsure of hail damage after self-inspection, don’t hesitate to book a roofing inspection. Better to be safe and proactive to prevent more costly damage. 


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