“How can you tell if your roof has hail damage?” This is a common question among worried property owners particularly when a hailstorm has just passed.

Hailstorms are one of the costliest and most destructive natural calamities. No one should never underestimate the power of tiny hail pieces that pierce through the roofing surface. According to studies, about 95% of hailstones are the size of a golf ball or even smaller. Regardless of their size, they can cause serious problems to your properties. They fall at around 100 mph in speed which is equivalent to a baseball thrown from a major league pitcher. Just imagine that much weight and force.

Factors Affecting the Type and Degree of Damages

The extent of hail damage differs from one event to another. The aftermath may vary because of several factors. There are the things that determine the fate of your roof when a hail hits your area.

Wind Speed and Direction

summer rain with hail falls on the roof

Strong winds accompanied by hail can damage your roof covering.

The wind’s speed and direction vary from one place to another. Due to these changing variables, the severity of wind impact that carries hail is also affected. The stronger the impact, the higher the chances to damage the roofing (and other parts of the property).

Roofing System

Roofing materials have their own characteristics that can also determine the level of hail damages. While most roofing systems can withstand hailstorms, they do absorb the impact differently. For instance, wood shakes may crack, clay tiles may break, asphalt shingles may have dents, metal roofs may have slight punctures, and so on.

Roof Age

Your roofing’s condition can tell whether it can fare well with hailstorms or not. As expected, an aging roof is definitely more susceptible to hail damages than a newer one.

Location and Positioning

Your home’s location also has a participation in determining the level of hail damage. For instance, you are located in an area surrounded by tall trees. There’s a barrier to shield your property. Hence, the damage could be minimal.

How Can You Tell if Your Roof Has Hail Damage?

Now that you are already aware of the things that will determine the gravity of hail damage, it’s time to identify the real signs.

Sometimes, it can get confusing if it’s just a normal wear and tear damage, or if it is indeed caused by hail. Let us help you answer the question, “How can you tell if your roof has hail damage?”

Below is a checklist of things you need to visually inspect to see if there are damages. This will help you assess the situation. It’s also important to take note of what you see as you can use these pieces of information when you report to a reliable roofing contractor.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Units (HVAC)

HVACs are common in residential properties. Even if they’re not a large as the ones seen in commercial properties, they can still give out clues.

The damage is not just seen on the roof itself. Hence, glance through the external parts of your air conditioner or heater to see if it sustained damages. If it has scratches, dents, or visible abrasions that are unusual, then it’s likely hail damage.

Gutters and Downspouts

If there are severe hail damages, the dents on gutters and downspouts are obvious. However, for minor cases, look out for pieces of hail that may be blocking the gutter system. You may also find asphalt granules in your gutters or chunks of wood if you have a cedar shake roofing.

Siding and Windows

A residential window damaged by hail.

Here’s an example of how hailstorm can damage your window. It may leave permanent marks and holes.

Peek through your siding and windows. Spot signs of impact like scratches and dents which are common after a hailstorm. Do not attempt to scrape off or wipe the cuts as it may create more damage to this particular area. What you can do is to document areas where you can find these obvious signs.

Other External Areas

Another way to tell if your property is suffering from hail damage is by looking around. Go and check other parts of the house including the fence, deck, terrace, garden, etc. Try to find traces of hail and signs that it absorbs hail impact (dents, scratches, or scrapes).

Damaged commercial building walls and windows due to a hailstorm

If you own commercial buildings, it’s easy to spot visible damage on the walls and windows.

Roof Shingles

This is tricky because not everyone can access the roof. Yes, we included this part on the checklist because the main hail shock absorber is the roof. There will definitely be tell-tale signs seen on the roof which are important to note.

Here are the things to look out for in your roofing:

  • Missing or broken shingles. If the wind intensity brought by the hailstorm is too strong, it can tear up parts of your roof. Brittle and old roofing systems are prone to this as they tend to lose their staying power over time. If you spot bald spots on your roofing surface, it’s probably hail damage.
  • Soft spots. Your roofing regardless of what material it was made of should be hard and sturdy. Damp and soft spots on your roof is another tell-tale sign of hail damage.
  • Dents, deep cuts, etc. There are damages that are difficult to spot especially if you are not trained to do so. As a homeowner, try to look for the most obvious signs like dents and punctures that look unusual. There are marks as well that do not have any specific directions. If you are unsure about the look of your roofing after a hailstorm, better to call your roofing partner immediately.
Contractor on ladder with cell phone figuring out hail damage repair costs for customer.

A licensed and well-trained roofer can perform hail damage inspections and give you accurate recommendations.

Safety reminder: Don’t immediately climb up the roofing surface after a hailstorm has passed. Perform visual inspection as much as you can. If you have to climb up, make sure you wear the proper gears (helmet, gloves, etc.). Rest the ladder against a sturdy wall and see to it that the floor is free from any obstruction. For your overall safety, consult a professional roofer first.

Final Thoughts

How can you tell if your roof has hail damage? It’s not too complicated after all. The wisest move to make if you start suspecting hail damages is to call a local roofer. Licensed roofing companies are trained to perform hail damage inspections to determine the appropriate repair or replacement services that you need. They also have the right tools and equipment to confirm the hail damages.

Yes, you may visually inspect your property but there may be damages that are not privy to ordinary eyes. Always prioritize your safety and the health of your home by seeking professional advice.

Need further hail damage assistance? Let the Contemporary Exteriors, Inc. team guide you and solve your roofing problems. Contact us 847-458-2906 at and receive a free storm damage consultation.