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How Are Roofs Damaged by Hail?

Author: Tobias H. Gillot
by Tobias H. Gillot
Posted: Jun 15, 2020
hail fall

If you live in Colorado, you've probably experienced a hail storm before. In fact, outside of Colorado, the only two other states that experience hail as frequently as Colorado are Wyoming and Nebraska.

You may not think twice about hail if you're living in an apartment — but if you own your home, you're probably much more invested in the damages your property could sustain in and after a storm. Here's everything you need to know about how roofs can be damaged by hail and what to do following a major storm.

First, of all: What is hail?

Put in its simplest terms, hailstones are formed by rain droplets freezing during upward drafts in a thunderstorm. As they continue to be blown about in an updraft, the hailstones can grow in size when they join with other freezing droplets of water. There are two reasons that hail falls from a thunderstorm's clouds. The first reason that hail may fall from the sky is if the wind dies down, while the second reason involves the weight of the hail becoming too much for the updrafts in the atmosphere to support.

How can hail harm my home?

Hail can fall at speeds anywhere from nine miles per hour to over 100 miles per hour depending on how much it weighs and how fast the winds of the thunderstorm are. The size of the hail, as well as the force at which it leaves the atmosphere, are two major factors in what kind of damage your home might sustain as a result. Smaller hailstones are generally less than one inch in diameter, while medium-sized stones are between one inch and (approximately) two inches. Larger hailstones are above two inches in diameter, with some stones reaching staggering sizes of four inches or more in diameter. Amazingly, the world record in South Dakota of a hailstone with a diameter of eight inches was recently outclassed in the late 2010s by newly-christened "gargantuan hail" in Argentina.

Heavier pieces of hail can crack windows, damage the siding of your home, dent cars, and wreak havoc on your roof. The bigger the thunderstorm, the more likely it is that hail will damage your home. Especially if your home's roof is older or hasn't been properly taken care of, larger hail can cause all sorts of problems, denting your gutters, breaking off shingles, and even breaking through weaker parts of your roof. It's also worth noting that the damage from hail can cause divots and indentations for water to pool on your roof, putting it at risk of sustaining future complications because of the weather.

What should I do after a hail storm?

If your house has been damaged by hail, it's crucial that you take the necessary steps in order to get your home fixed as quickly as possible. Particularly in regards to your roof, it's of the utmost importance that you address any problems as soon as you can since they could develop into much bigger issues if left untreated.

The first two things you should do after a hail storm are to call your insurance company and call a roofing company. There are many Denver roofing companies to call upon if you live in the Colorado area and need help with your roof. In fact, a good deal of companies offers free roof inspections in order to help you figure out the extent of your damages as well as get a new roof. It's also worth noting that sometimes a new roof won't be necessary, but that other aspects of your roofing system, such as gutters, may need replacing. This is why it's always a good idea to go with a full-service roofing contractor who can help with all elements of storm damage repair.

About the Author

A freelance writer with a BA in English from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Author: Tobias H. Gillot

Tobias H. Gillot

Member since: Oct 23, 2019
Published articles: 24

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