Severe thunderstorms are most common in Georgia during March, April, and May. Severe thunderstorms may make a second appearance in September and October. However, according to the National Weather Service, severe thunderstorms can and do occur at all times of the year. When it comes to storm damage, we usually focus on wind. Technically, a severe storm is any storm with winds that gust over 58 mph. That kind of wind can definitely have a significant effect on your roof. But another measure of a storm severity has to do with hail. Any storm with hail over 1 inch in diameter is also considered severe, with or without the high wind gusts. Since hail can fall out of the sky at up to 100 mph, it’s not surprising that roof damage from hail can be a real concern during a severe thunderstorm.
What Causes Hail That Can Damage a Roof?
In a severe thunderstorm, strong updrafts carry water droplets high into the sky. Eventually, the water reaches an altitude where the temperatures are below freezing, and the water turns to ice, which falls as hail. If the winds are high enough, multiple water droplets can be smashed together before they freeze, creating larger hailstones. In general, the more violent a storm is and the higher the winds, the larger the hailstones can become.
Hail can be extremely damaging to your roof. After a hailstorm you should do a regular inspection of your roof, so you can quickly determine damage from hail and other issues. You should also inspect your roof at least once a year, regardless of the weather.
What to Do After a Hailstorm
Inspect the roof immediately after the storm. This will help determine if you need to submit an insurance claim for repairs. It also allows you to look for potential leaks. Inspect your roof gutters, too. If they contain mineral granules after a storm, hail, rain, and wind likely knocked them off of your asphalt shingles. If you are there when the storm hits, record details such as duration, the size of the hail, and the direction of the wind. After the storm, call Eagle Watch Roofing, your local Newnan roofer, to do a professional inspection.
Take photos of any damage you find. If you see mineral granules in the gutters and on the ground, take photos of those, as well. This will help your insurance company determine the damage that has been done. It also helps your roofing company get an initial idea of the work that needs to be done before they do their own inspection. A qualified professional will be able to find damaged areas that you may have initially overlooked.
Don’t try to repair the roof yourself. You could end up causing more damage. If you do, your insurance company might not cover it. If the work wasn’t performed by a professional, they’ll likely blame you, not the weather. Call a licensed roofing professional to repair or replace all areas that have been damaged. A professional will make sure the job is done correctly, and you won’t have to worry about future leaks or other issues from the hail storm.
What Does Hail Damage Look Like?
For asphalt shingle roofs, hail damage typically consists of radial/circular areas of granule loss. This damage can affect the future performance of your roof shingles, as well as their lifespan. If the damage is not severe, it may take time for it to cause problems. But severe hail damage to shingles needs to be dealt with immediately to avoid leaks and further trouble down the line. Severe damage exists when a shingle or shingles is punctured or fractured by a hailstone impact. Don’t wait after a storm. Deal with the damage immediately, and call in the professionals.