Replacing Your Roof Due To Hail Damage

April 10, 2011 | Filed under: Articles, Roof Repair

Spring 2011 has started off like a lion in many areas of the country. In fact, some of the most severe weather has been in areas that normally don’t see hail and tornadoes to this great of an extent. States like North and Saouth Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Iowa, and Wisconsin have been hit especially hard.

Unfortunately, when a severe hail storm hits, it can put a homeowner into the position of having to make a roofing decision many years sooner than they anticipated. Then it gets even more complicated when “storm chaser” contractors come into town to make a bunch of quick sales paid for by insurance.

After a hail storm, it’s important to take a little time to set the criteria for your new roof. Yes, you need to move fairly quickly but not at the expense of making a bad decision. Therefore, when choosing a new roof after a hail storm, I would suggest keeping the following things in mind:

1) Focus on locally owned and operated contractors who have been around awhile. You want the option of service after the sale and that can be difficult with an out of town “storm chaser” contractor. You want the contractor who knows that, years from now, they may run into you at the grocery story, school, church, etc.

2) Talk to your insurance company specifically about whether they suggest, and will pay for, having your old roof removed rather than install the new roof over it.

3) Seek out products that are aesthetically complementary to your home. Now is the time to change the look and feel of your home for added beauty and value.

4) Consider ways to make your home more energy efficient at the same time. Consider a cool or reflective roof. Consider ways to add a radiant barrier to your roofing system as well as ways to increase the ventilation in your attic.

5) Plan for the reality that this may not be the last time that your area experiences severe hail. Roofs with Class IV Impact Resistance ratings are the most resistant to hail damage but — this is important — keep in mind that only new products are tested for that rating. Some products may test very well when they are new but with age they become brittle and less flexible, making them more prone to hail damage. Metal roofs are one product which resist hail when they are new and resist it equally well as they age.

6) If you consider a metal roof, keep in mind that metal roofs which have greater texturing have built-in resistance to hail and, as an added bonus, will also hide or mask any small indentations which may occur from a severe hail storm.

7) Before you have your roof replaced, have an inspection done of any masonry work that butts against or protrudes from the roof. If you have tuckpointing or other repairs that are needed, it is best to do those before the roofing work is completed.

If you are facing a hail-related roofing decision, take the time to slow down and make a wise decision which accomplishes as much as you possibly can with your new roof and which saves you from future worries and problems.

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

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4 responses to “Replacing Your Roof Due To Hail Damage”

  1. David says:

    Can a metal roof be installed over the old asphalt or fiberglass shingles?

    • toddmiller says:

      David, that is a good question.

      The low weight and rigidity of metal roofing encourages installation over existing shingles. Now, that said, if there are any structural or decking issues, those need to be addressed first. Also, you must adhere to building codes which in many places prohibit more than two layers of roofing.

      Please understand that the more heavily textured metal roofs are better at going over old shingles and spanning over any unevenness in the roof surface without telegraphing that unevenness through the new roof. This would includes the metal shingle, shake, and tile profiles.

      Also, I always suggest a new layer of underlayment beneath the metal roof, even if the old shingles are left in place. I also interpret the International Residential Code to require underlayment even over the old shingles.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. christi says:

    what kind of underlayment should we use? Our house is a old farm house. we have asphalt on, it’s about 7years old but ok shape. They are working on our house now we wanted a metal roof 26g. But they have put up some and there is unevenness in the roof. We don’t like it. We told them to stop until I could get home tonight. They told me it would be fine right on top of the asphalt shingles because the roof was in good shape. Now I don’t know what to do. I don’t see how they can take what they have done already and somewhat still use it and it look good. Please help

    • toddmiller says:

      Christi, the underlayment requirement is based upon building code in your area and also what the roofing manufacturer calls for. Generally, a layer of synthetic underlayment is used with ice and watershield if required by code.

      Is there any chance the unevenness you are seeing is from unevenness in the roof decking rather than from the unevenness of the old shingles?

      Is there any chance you can send a photo to me at

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