Summer is the most wonderful of seasons, but it can be a little weird where the weather is concerned. You’re enjoying your yard one minute, and then a crazy summer storm sweeps through. And then there’s hail. How on earth do we get chunks of ice on the roof in the middle of summer? A short blast can do way too much damage to our homes and cars. But what is hail? And how can we prevent and identify hail and thunderstorm damage to our roof?
What Is Hail?
It seems strange to see balls of ice falling from the sky during the warmest time of year. But Mother Nature can be eccentric. Hailstones are formed when thunderstorm drafts carry raindrops way up into the atmosphere where it gets extremely cold even in summer. Those raindrops freeze, and then they get heavy and fall back to the ground as hail. That’s why hail is associated with summer thunderstorms. Hailstones are usually bigger than sleet and can range from pea-sized to golf-ball-size or even larger. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the largest hailstone in the U.S. was 8 inches in diameter and weighed two pounds. Hail storms don’t usually last long but can do a lot of damage in a short burst.
Will Hail Damage My Roof?
Smaller hailstones aren’t likely to hurt your roof. However, when hail reaches one inch in diameter, it has the potential to do some damage. And remember, it’s not just the size but the speed at which they fall. Usually, larger stones fall faster. According to NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, hailstones measuring an inch or more can fall at speeds of 25 to 40 mph. And larger stones can reach 70 mph or more. Depending on wind conditions, hail can also land at an angle, so in some cases, homeowners see damage to siding along with roofing.
How Can I Prevent Hail Damage to My Roof?
Hail and storm-resistant roofing is trending as homeowners look to prevent hail damage before it happens. Look for Class 4 rubberized shingles with the industry’s highest impact resistance rating. CertainTeed is a top producer of sturdy, attractive Class 4 shingles. They’re tested for hail resistance and look terrific with gorgeous slate and wood styles.
What Are Signs of Roof Damage After a Summer Storm?
After a powerful summer storm, many of us take a walk outside to try to assess the impact. But it can be hard to tell what’s happening on the roof. Here are a few things to look out for if you suspect roof damage:
- Look around: if you have larger hailstones on the ground or see damage to your cars, there’s a good chance your roof may have seen an impact too.
- Look for missing shingles (usually from strong winds).
- Look out for leaks. Leaks in the attic or walls can be a sign of damaged or missing shingles.
- Strong winds can cause dark lines in overlaid shingles when shingles flap and rub against each other.
- Large hailstones can cause cracks or round indentations in shingles.
Is Roof Damage a Concern? Call in the Pros
The problem after a hailstorm or thunderstorm is that we usually can’t tell the full extent of damage without getting on the roof. This can be dangerous to do on your own. And many of us wouldn’t really know what to look for once we got up there. That’s why it’s best to have a professional roofing contractor do an assessment. We know exactly what to look for and how to find the best solution when something’s wrong.
DryHome is one of the Northern Virginia region’s most trusted contractors for storm damage repairs. We’re a preferred contractor with several major insurance companies and know how to work with them for the best results. We’ll give you an accurate damage assessment and work with you to make a plan for repairs. We can also suggest long-term solutions to help prevent future storm damage. There’s so much fun to be had this summer. Let’s focus on the sunny days and let DryHome handle things when the weather gets wild.