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Why Does Hail Become So Damaging?

Most hailstorms never product the type of hail that can damage roofs, break windows, destroy cars, and even hurt people. However, every once in a while a damaging hailstorm rolls through an area, and the damage to both people and property skyrocket. While hailstorms typically last less than 30 minutes in most areas, if the hail forms properly, that’s enough time to cause damage in the multi-million to billion-dollar range. Let’s look at why hail becomes so damaging.

So, Why Does Hail Become So Damaging?

Hail is formed in the updraft of thunderstorms. This updraft carries rain into the coldest areas of the storm, freezing it into balls of ice. This can occur several times before the hail becomes heavy enough to fall through the entirety of the storm and make contact with the earth below. The more times that small ball of ice gets pulled through the updraft, the harder and stronger it becomes, causing damage when it gets dense enough and makes contact with a roof, car, or item.

Combine a hard, dense, ball of hail and the rate at which it falls to the ground and you have a speeding object that can cause massive damage under the right circumstances. This is how roofs in particular get damaged. While hail does need to be larger to cause significant damage, depending on where the hail hits, it can make holes through roofs or break windows.

Hail can come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s typically smaller than a nickel and circular-shaped. Hail has been known to grow in size, up to a grapefruit, and cause significant damage to not only property but people caught in the downpour. Concussions have been known to happen from baseball size hail and larger, which means that if it’s hailing in your neck of the woods, you should seek cover. Even when it’s hailing small pieces, enough of these hits can cause damage and harm.

Hail is an odd weather phenomenon and it’s hard to predict just when and where it’ll show up.

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How to Protect Your Roof From Hail Damage

Hail damage can seriously damage cars, windows, roofs and just about anything caught in its path. Even people can be hurt, and potentially hospitalized, if pelted by hail in a severe storm. If you live in a part of the country that sees hail frequently, you need to be aware of the conditions that cause hail and properly safeguard your roof from potential damage.

Tips to Protect Your Roof From Hail Damage

Roofing is not meant to be a do-it-yourself job. If you know how to replace coverings, it’s one thing but if you don’t, you should contact a roofing expert. If you’re not sure your roof is up to par when dealing with potential roof damage, have a roofer come out and inspect your roof. From there, they can give you details on what products work best for your roof and the area you live in.

If you opt to replace your roof, you want to ensure they have at the minimum a Class 4 rating. Class 4 rating means that during testing of the product, it did not crack when hit by a two-inch steel ball. While this isn’t foolproof, it can go a long way to prevent damage during a hailstorm. Also check with your insurance policy covering hail damage, it may require you to have a specific class of roof covering.

Tips to Protect You During a Hailstorm

During a hailstorm, you want to stay inside. Hail itself can cause bruising, depending on its size. You want to stay away from all windows and skylights in heavy hail, because hailstones can cause the glass to shatter. Close your blinds, drapes and other window coverings to help absorb the glass if it does break due to hail.

After the hailstorm, you want to look at your roof. In some cases, you’ll see potential damage. In others, you won’t. If you’ve been hit by a severe hailstorm, have a roofer come out and look at it. That way you know for sure whether you need to take steps to fix your roof before the next storm. Ignoring potential hail damage can have long-lasting consequences for your roof and home. If you’re in the Denver roofing market, Roofcorp can offer you a free roof estimate after any hailstorm.

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What Is Hail?

Hail is one of the biggest threats to any roof. When a hail storm comes in, you need to make sure to check your roof when the skies clear. Hail is a type of solid precipitation. Hail primarily occurs in warmer temperatures rather than its often confused counterpart sleet. Sleet and hail are confused for one another but sleet occurs when it’s cold and hail occurs when it’s warm.

How Is Hail Formed

Hail is a type of water ice. Its diameter can range from 5 mm to 15 centimeters depending on the weather conditions. Most thunderstorms create a variety of hail but most of it melts before it reaches a roof or the ground. When hail does strike, it can be loud, unnerving and depending on where it hits, it can be very damaging to cars, roofs and even people stranded out in it.

Weather satellites, radar detection and other storm chasing methods have developed ways to determine where hail will strike and the potential consequences of such a storm. While this isn’t foolproof, it can be a warning sign for those looking to prevent damage and seek shelter before a bad hail storm hits. Everything from air flow, friction, wind and other conditions can make it difficult to pinpoint exactly when and how a storm will hit an area. Predicting hail storms isn’t a concrete science, yet.

What Is Hail Damage?

Hail damage occurs when hail strikes an object and causes some sort of lasting issue. Hail damage can occur to human beings, animals and objects, such as roofs or cars. Roofs and cars are particularly susceptible to hail damage because they’re left out in its path.

Hail damage to a roof can cause significant issues for a home owner, especially if left unattended. Once hail damage occurs, your shingles, vents and even gutters can begin to leak or create drafts. The longer these issues go on, the more problems they can cause down the line requiring you to get your roof repaired or replaced. This adds up quickly and as soon as a hail storm is over, you should use our guide to look for hail damage. If you suspect hail damage, but aren’t quite sure, contact us today for a free estimate.

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How to Spot Hail Damage

Hail damage is one of the biggest threat to any roof. Whether you own, rent or our vacationing, a hail storm can be a dangerous weather event. While most hailstorms are minimal in scope, size and damage, an intense hailstorm can break windows, dent cars and destroy a roof. We’ll show you how to spot hail damage after a storm so you can get your roof repaired before it becomes a bigger issue to handle.

Spotting Hail Damage

The best way to spot hail damage after a storm is to get a ladder and look at your roof. While you can use a pair of binoculars as we’ve suggested in the past for looking for roof damage, it’s easier to inspect a roof via ladder. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, we can come out and do a free inspection for hail damage so you can know for sure.

Before you begin, the three major signs of hail damage are:

  • Missing chunks of asphalt
  • Bruising in shingles
  • Cracking on shingles

The first step is to check roof vents, flashing and valleys to see if any dents are present. By the time you check the roof, hail may not still be sitting on it so until you get up close and look around, you may not realize the extent of damage.

After checking the above, look at the ridge cap. This is the area of your roof most prone to damage from hail because it’s being hit directly as opposed to being sideswiped during the storm. Next, check the shingles. You want to examine the entire shingle and not just the edges for dents and chips.

You’re looking for any missing pieces, exposed asphalt (which is what holds the shingles to the roof), along with any dents or chunks lost from your roof’s shingles. If you press against the shingle and notice any give, it can also be a sign of hail damage or some other type of impact damage and deterioration.

If you’re not sure if you roof has hail damage or not, you can check yourself or hire a professional to come out and do an inspection. If you suspect any type of damage from hail, don’t delay. The quicker you discover if you have damage, the sooner you can get your roof repaired.