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How to Detect a Storm Damaged Roof

Storms are a feature of our spring and summer seasons. With high winds and hail a common occurrence it is hard to tell if your roof has hail damage unless you are familiar with the tell-tail signs to look for.

Hail is a type of precipitation that occurs when air updrafts (upward air currents) in thunderstorms carry raindrops into the upper-level clouds where temperatures are below freezing. A small particle of ice forms around some type of nucleus. It could be a tiny ice crystal, the spec of dust, frozen raindrop or something else.

The frozen ice particle then drops within the cloud back below freezing temperatures, where it picks up more moisture from raindrops and water vapor. Eventually, it gets caught in another updraft and freezes again.

The stronger the updrafts, the longer a hailstone circulates up and down… growing larger and larger until gravity no longer allows it to remain lofted.

At that point, the hail falls toward the ground, where it can inflict damage on people or property.

Tell-Tale Signs Of Hail Damage on a Roof

Without getting on the roof it is impossible to determine the extent of hail damage on a roof from the ground, there are some tell-tale signs that can and help determine if there may be more damage on your roof.

The presence of one or more of these may indicate a situation where the homeowner needs a full roof replacement instead of a simple roof repair. Here are a few things to look for. This is not always the case, but many times, if a roof has significant hail damage up top, the gutters will have some impact damage. This above picture shows a heavily dented gutter, but be on the lookout for small impacts as well.

Look for damage to siding and windowsills/casings

You can also check the home’s siding and windowsills/casings for dents, dings or other signs of impact. These are places where, if there’s significant damage to the roof, there will most likely be damage to these things as well. Look also at any other exposed metal surfaces, like metal fascia on the roof eaves for signs of hail damage impact, even if it looks like a faint ding.

Look for damage to air conditioners or other outdoor items

As we’ve discussed, it’s important to check every area of the home for hail damage. We’ve done the roof, gutters and sid, ng, but there’s another area to check… the air conditioner. In addition to offering a quick glance sign of further hail damage on the roof, a damaged air conditioner may qualify for insurance replacement.

As an inspector, it’s your job to make sure you make note of everything that was damaged on the homeowners property. This could be a shed, patio cover, porch, decking, anything that the insurance may cover.

Look for damage to decks or painted wood surfaces

Decks and other painted surfaces surrounding the home may have sustained hail damage. If you see chipped paint, it may be the result of hail impact. For more tell-tale signs of hail damage, check out this big checklist of items that point to roof hail damage. Do not climb on your roof if you are unsteady on your feet. Let the experts at TRS do a roofing inspection if you suspect your property has been impacted by hail damage in Oklahoma.