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What Size Hail Will Damage A Roof?

Posted on January 30, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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What Size Hail Will Damage A Roof?

Are you a homeowner concerned about the potential damage hail can cause to your roof? You’re not alone. According to the NOAA Severe Weather Database, the United States experienced 4,437 large hail storms in the year 2022. Every year, multiple hail storms cause billions of dollars in property damage. While many of these storms produce baseball-sized hail or bigger, we’re here to tell you that even smaller-sized hail can cause significant damage to your roof.

Although hail can cause significant damage to roofs, most homeowners are unaware that their roofs have been damaged by hail until they see the effects of hail on their cars or lawns. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. 

In this blog, we will show you exactly what to look for when inspecting your home for hail damage. By understanding the potential impact of hail on your roof and knowing what to look for, you can take the necessary steps to protect your property.

hail storm damage
Hail Storm Damage

Size of Hail and The Extent Of Damage

Hailstorms can be destructive forces, and understanding the different hail sizes and their corresponding damage level can be crucial. When hail starts falling, it’s natural to wonder if your roof will be damaged and, if it is, to what extent. We will explore the different sizes of hail and their corresponding level of damage, so you can be better prepared for a hailstorm and know what steps to take if your roof is damaged.

Pea-Sized Hail (¼-inch) 

When dealing with this size of hail, your roof should fare well. However, if you have an older roof with existing damage, 1/4 inch hail could worsen the present damage. So, it’s important to use common sense and judgment before jumping to conclusions. If you have any doubts, it’s always a good idea to call in an inspector.

Marble-Sized Hail (½-inch) 

Marble-sized hail can also generally fall into the safe zone when it comes to damage. It’s important to note that while hail of this size may not typically cause damage to roofs in good condition, it’s important to remember that strong updrafts of wind commonly follow this type of hail. This may propel it to higher altitudes, causing potential damage to roofs that have existing vulnerabilities. So, the hailstones will generally be larger when you have extreme winds. 

At the same time, half-inch-sized hailstones might not be of much concern. Exercise caution and common sense if you hear thunder or see lightning in your area. If you have any doubt that there might be hail damage to your roof, call a local roofing inspector immediately.

Dime To Quarter-Sized Hail (¾-inch to 1-inch) 

If you notice hailstones larger than a quarter or an inch, it’s important to contact a reputable local roof inspector and your insurance agent immediately. This size of hail can cause dents and cracks in roofing material and in some cases, more significant damage. So, it’s important not to leave this unaddressed, as it can become an expensive and potentially dangerous condition to live in.

Golf Ball-Sized Hail (1 ¾-inch to 4 ½-inch) 

Hailstones that are larger than an inch or more can cause significant damage to your roof, car, and home. If you see a storm with this size of hail in the area, then damage has likely occurred. Contact your roofing insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss your options, and they may help you arrange for a roof inspector to assess the damage.

Golf Ball Sized Hail
Golf Ball Sized Hail

Factors that Affect Roof Damage from Hail

As you know, hail can cause significant damage to your roof. But did you know that several factors can affect the level of damage your roof sustains during a hail storm? We’ll be discussing four of the most important factors in this section, such as:

  • The type of roofing material
  • The age of the roof
  • The quality of the roof installation
  • The severity of the storm

1. Type Of Roofing Material

As you may know, different types of roofing materials have varying levels of resistance to hail damage. As we mentioned earlier, asphalt shingles are the most common and affordable type of roofing material, but they are also the most vulnerable to hail damage. On the other hand, metal roofing and tile roofing are more durable and can withstand larger hail sizes. However, it’s important to note that even the most durable roofing materials can be damaged if the hail is large enough, or if the storm is severe enough.

2. Age Of The Roof

Another factor to consider is the age of your roof. As your roof ages, it naturally becomes more vulnerable to damage. This is especially true for roofs that have not been properly maintained over the years. If your roof is approaching the end of its lifespan, it may be more susceptible to damage from hail, even if the hail is small.

3. Quality Of Roof Installation

In addition to the type of roofing material and the roof’s age, the roof installation’s quality can also play a role in the amount of damage caused by hail. If your roof is not installed correctly, it might be more prone to leaks and other types of damage. If you suspect that your roof was not installed correctly, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional to determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

4. Severity Of The Storm

Finally, the severity of the storm can also affect the amount of damage caused by hail. If the storm is severe, with high winds and heavy rain, it can cause more damage to your roof, even if the hail is small. In the event of a severe storm, it’s crucial to have your roof inspected by a professional as soon as possible to identify any damage and take prompt action to make necessary repairs.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, we want to remind you to regularly inspect your roof for damage, especially after severe weather. While hail can vary in size and severity, it is important to stay vigilant and address any issues as soon as they arise. To help you stay informed, we also recommend checking out our previous blog, “How To Tell If Hail Damage Requires A Roof Replacement.” This resource will provide valuable information to identify and address hail damage on your roof. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns or are in need of a professional roofing service, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team at Hepler Contracting LLC. With years of experience and a commitment to providing top-notch service, we are your go-to source for all things roof-related. Call us today, at (412) 694-8785.

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