Roof Damaged By Hail?

March 3, 2012 | Filed under: Articles, Roof Repair

Unfortunately, severe spring storms are upon us and those storms often include one of your roof’s worst enemies – hail. Hail storms damage countless roofs each year. It is not unusual in some very hail-prone areas for homeowners to have their roofs replaced several times within the same decade due to damage. And, adding insult to injury, insurance companies are increasingly looking for ways to minimize their exposure for replacing roofs due to this weather related issue. This is accomplished through pro-ration and other strategies.

A homeowner’s concerns regarding hail damage are exacerbated by the fact that the cost to re-roof a home keeps increasing regularly. In fact, it has been my experience that roofing costs, regardless of the material, double about every ten years. To a large degree, this is attributable to installation labor costs which tend to increase over time even faster than material costs. When you add all of this together, it makes sense for homeowners to make wise roofing decisions and choose products that will last a long time, even if a hailstorm hits your area. Seeking a hail-resistant roof is in the best interest of all property owners.

Many roofing materials resist hail damage when they are brand new but, as they age, they are more prone to cracking, splitting, and spalling when struck by hailstones. This journey toward being more prone to hail damage starts the moment that most roofing materials are installed but seems to get considerably worse when the products reach around five years of age. This tendency toward damage exists with asphalt and fiberglass shingles as well as wood shingles and shakes, clay and concrete tiles, composite and plastic materials, and even slate. When these products are damaged by hailstones, their integrity and ability to protect your home diminish considerably. Hail damage can lead to roof leaks and other issues. Roof leaks, of course, can lead to damages inside your home as well as to dangerous mold and
mildew in your attic.

The ideal choice for homeowners, I feel, is roofing materials which do not split or crack under impact. When roofing materials split or crack, water is able to enter them. That water begins a process of deterioration which is unstoppable. If the roof is not replaced soon, interior leaks and other damage occur. And, unfortunately, homeowners who live in hail-prone areas know that, after a storm, they may wait many months before a contractor is able to replace their roof. Additionally, many of the contractors who offer their services are “storm chasers” whose workmanship may be of questionable quality.

The one roofing material which does not typically crack or split due to hail is metal. Metal roofs usually create a strong and lasting impenetrable shell that provides unmatched protection for you, your home, and your belongings. While metal roofs can sustain cosmetic damage under severe hail, they will continue to protect your home and keep it watertight. This means that, even if your roof does need to be replaced, you will not experience costly interior damages or resulting mold until the work can be done.

Many homeowners have also chosen metal roofs which are heavily textured such as metal shake and shingle profiles. They find that these profiles, due to the strength that builds into the metal when it is formed, will resist impact damage. Additionally, if indentations do occur, they will often be hidden by the already random formation of the product. In many cases, the appearance will not be objectionable at all, saving the homeowner from the costly and messy re-roofing process.

If you have questions about choosing a hail resistance roof or if perhaps your roof has been hit by hail and you’re not sure what to do, email me at and I will do my best to help you.

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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