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How Hail Storms Can Damage Roofing Materials & What To Do Next

Posted on August 12, 2022

Estimated Reading Time : 7 Min.

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How Hail Storms Can Damage Roofing Materials & What To Do Next

Hail storms can be a big problem in certain parts of the country. In some parts of the United States, such as the midwest areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin, these storms can be a big problem.

Hail storms can cause significant damage to your home and property. Hailstones may be small, but they slam into roofs and siding at high speeds, leaving dents that weaken the structure of your home or business. Hailstorms can also knock down trees and do considerable damage to vehicles and other parts of your property.

If you live in an area that experiences hail frequently, it’s important to know what to do when hail damages your property. In the following blog, we will share important information about hailstorms, the signs of damage caused by hail, and what your insurance can cover.

What Is A Hail Storm?

Hail is a type of precipitation that falls in the form of balls or chunks of ice. It forms when strong updrafts in a thunderstorm carry water droplets up into the atmosphere, where they freeze into balls of ice and fall to the ground. Hail can also be produced by other types of precipitation, such as snow and ice pellets. Hailstones can be anywhere from pea-sized to baseball-sized, and larger ones are more likely to cause damage to property.

Hail Vs. Snow?

Hail and snow are both frozen precipitation, and they can look similar. Due to this reason, many homeowners think that they are alike, but they are not the same and do have a few differences.

Snow forms when tiny ice crystals form in clouds and water vapor freezes. Snowflakes are known to have a geometric shape with six sides. On the other hand, hail majorly comes during thunderstorms and is circular in shape. Snowflakes are often too soft to damage your roof on impact, while hail can be hard and jagged on impact.

Hail Storm

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Are There Different Sizes Of Hail?

Yes, hail can come in any size. The size of a hailstone is typically measured by its diameter, although the size can vary depending on the amount of time it was in the atmosphere. The largest hailstone ever recorded was over 7 inches in diameter and weighed 1.9 pounds (878 g) in South Dakota. The smallest? Less than an inch in diameter. The speed at which hailstones fall can also vary, but generally hail falls between 30-60 miles per hour (mph).

Below is a description of the different sizes of hail that are common, and the effect they can have on your roof or property:

½ Inch (pea-size)

Hail that has a diameter of .5 of an inch is generally not very destructive. This type of hail is not very dangerous or damaging because its size makes it harmless to people and animals. Since they are smaller in size, they can reach the gaps easily. Also referred to as Pea-sized hail, these are not very common, and they are rarely seen in areas where large hailstones are more prevalent.

¾ inch (Dime)

From pea-sized hail, we now move to a bigger size, known as dime-sized hail. These do not cause much harm if your roofing system is properly maintained. However, this size hail can affect your roof if you have shingles that are already damaged or worn out.

1 Inch (quarter)

Hail that is 1 inch or larger can cause serious damage to your property. This hail can tear through your shingles and cause a loss of granules. This can dent other components of your home’s exterior, such as the gutters and siding.

1 ½ (ping pong ball)

Hail that is 1 ½ inch in diameter, or similar to the size of a ping pong ball, can be destructive. It can cause damage to shingles as well as the underlayment of your roof. Hail this size can damage metal or tile roofs.

1 ¾ Inch (a golf ball)

Golf ball-sized hail can cause severe damage to windows, cars, and roofs. It can also damage trees and power lines. If you experience a hail storm like this, it is important to have your entire property inspected for damage.

2 Inch+ (Tennis Ball)

If you live in an area that gets a lot of hailstorms, you might have already experienced tennis ball-sized hailstones. These are more than 2 inches across and can cause serious damage to roofing materials and vehicles, among other things.

Signs Of Hail Storm Damage?

Hail storms can be a nightmare for your roof, especially if you don’t know what to look for. The storm itself, which can last between 5 and 20 minutes, may not seem like a big deal. After the storm passes, you must quickly determine if your home has been damaged.

Here are some signs that you might have hail damage:

Damages To Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingles are a roofing material that is lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install. They are made from several layers of asphalt, fiberglass, or mineral-based materials. They are one of the most popular roofing materials, but due to their nature, they are also the most vulnerable to hail damage. Here are the damages to look for if you have an asphalt shingle roof.

Granular Loss

To determine if your asphalt shingles have suffered hail damage, you will need to look closely at their appearance. The most obvious sign of damage is granule loss, which happens when the hailstones hit your roof with such force that they break off small pieces of the granule surface. Granule loss can result in faster aging of the asphalt shingles. Make sure to check the gutters and downspouts for any granules residue after the hail storm passes.

Missing Shingles

If you see missing shingles, or even a few dents in your roof, it is likely the result of hail damage. Hail storms can cause shingles to fall off your roof, leaving gaping holes where water can seep into your home. If you see any missing shingles, you must have them replaced as soon as possible. Check for dents and gaps in the shingles.

Cracked Shingles

Another common type of hail damage to asphalt shingles is cracked shingles. Hail stones that hit your roof at high speeds can create tiny cracks in the shingles. These cracks may not be visible from the ground, but they can allow water to seep into your ceiling and walls. If the shingles are cracked, then their performance may be compromised.

Damage To Metal Roof

Metal roofs are made from metal sheets, which are attached to each other using screws or nails. The metal used in these roofs includes aluminum, galvanized steel, copper as well as zinc. A metal roof is highly resistant and provides protection against rust and corrosion. Despite being highly durable, it can get damaged during strong hail storms.


If you live in an area that experiences frequent hail storms, you are at risk of having your metal roof damaged by hail. Hail can cause dents and other types of damage that can make your roof less effective. How deep these dents go will depend on the intensity of the storm, as well as the size of the hailstone. For example, if the winds are strong, the damage can be more severe.

Damage To Tile Roofs

Tile roofs are one of the most beautiful roofing materials on the market. Tile roofs are made up of natural materials such as clay, concrete, or ceramic. Here are some of the damages that tiles can sustain during a hailstorm.

Breaking Of Tiles

One disadvantage tiles have is that they are susceptible to breaking under pressure. Usually, hail storms will break off tiles on the edge of the roof or in other areas where there are no gutters. Dropping one or two tiles is nothing to worry about, and is something that can be repaired easily. If you notice more significant damage, you should contact a roofing contractor right away. Chipping of the tiles is also a major sign of hail storm damage.

Holes In Tile

Hail can also cause holes in your tile roof. Holes like this will allow water into your attic, which can cause mold growth and other health issues for you and your family. You’ll want to patch these holes as soon as possible, so they don’t get worse and cause more damage.

If the damage is limited, then repairs might be enough. Some hail storms are so severe that they will leave your roof beyond repair, and you will need a new roof installed. If you are looking for advice about tile roof replacement, check out our following blog.


The good news is that if you have homeowner’s insurance and hail damage hits your home, you’re likely covered. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), over 90% of U.S. homes are insured against hail damage. If you’re one of the few who doesn’t have coverage, it’s important to get it as soon as possible—and don’t wait until after a storm strikes!

If you already have homeowner’s insurance and a hail storm damages your home you must file a claim with your carrier as soon as possible after discovering the damage (if there isn’t an emergency situation that prevents this). This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget when everything is so chaotic after being hit by a storm. When filing an insurance claims, be ready to provide documentation such as receipts for repairs or receipts from contractors hired by yourself or someone else who owns/rents out part(s) of the structure being repaired (if applicable).

Has Your Roof Suffered Hail Storm Damage? We Can Help!

Whether you’ve experienced hail damage or not, it’s important to understand how different types of roof storm damage can affect your home. If you think you may have been affected by a hail storm, then it is important to decide the next course of action quickly. Repairing the roof damage yourself is often not possible, and it can be dangerous as well.

This is why you should contact a professional roofing company such as Clear Cut Xteriors.

We have been serving the Midwest area for years, and we provide a variety of exterior home repair services. If your home has been damaged by hail, and you need assistance repairing your home, we are here to help! Our team specializes in hail damage repair, but we can also provide other services like roofing repairs, gutter repairs, and much more!If you need emergency roofing services, contact our team today!

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