How Much Hail Damage is Needed for a Roof Replacement?

How Much Hail Damage to Replace Roof

Hail is one of the most damaging elements to a roofing system. While there are hail-resistant roofing materials like slate and metal, no roof is invulnerable. Facing a hail storm can be nerve-racking, and you may wonder how much hail damage is needed to replace a roof

It’s a valid consideration, especially if the hail reaches a certain size. If you are pondering this question, pat yourself on the back. At the very least, it means that you are thinking long-term. In the following post, Roofer’s Guild reviews the hail damage claims process and how much damage is required for a complete roof replacement. 

Types of Hail Damage

Living in a hail-ridden region makes you acutely aware of its damaging impact. Between 2000 and 2013, insurance companies paid 54 billion dollars for hail damage. In addition, policyholders made an estimated 9 million roofing damage claims during that span.

Roofing hail damage is no joke, and while many people are concerned about their cars in a hail storm, your roof can take a pounding too. But how exactly does hail damage a roof? First, let’s look at some of the most common forms of hail damage:

Hail Storm

Hailstorms can prompt various types of damage to a roofing system, including those listed below

Impact Damage

A lot of times, hailstones are small enough to cause slight damage that isn’t apparent immediately. These types of damages come from impact damage. However, even small hailstones can dent or ding your roofing shingles. These minor dents compromise the structural integrity of the shingle and leave the roof vulnerable to leaks.

Puncture Damage

In severe hailstorms, softball-sized hailstones can be large and heavy enough to puncture a hole in your roof! Of course, this is only possible in severe hailstorms and usually only happens to old roofs, but it is certainly possible.

Melting Hailstones

Melting hailstones constitute a significant concern for flat roof owners but may also impact pitched residential roofs. The sun will eventually melt if hailstones are allowed to rest and settle after a hailstorm. 

Melted hail can create roof line water pooling which is never a good thing. The water in these little ponds can easily find its way into the roof’s decking, spur mold growth, or, worse, rot out your rafters.

Gutter Damage

One of the biggest challenges for homeowners after a hail storm is hailstones that make their way into the gutter. Not only are hailstones dense, but once they melt, they can overload your gutters and cause them to collapse. 

If your gutters collapse, it can compromise the leading row of your shingles and leave the entire roof system vulnerable. 

Factors That Influence Full Roof Replacement Claims

Every insurance company is different, and every insurance adjuster will inspect your roof differently. Multiple factors make a difference as far as your roof goes too. Some of the primary roofing considerations an adjuster makes when examining your roof include:

Insurance Claims Service

The roof’s age, material, and condition will determine whether you receive an insurance claim

Age of the Roof

A newer roof will stand up better to hailstones than an older roof, so one of the first things that adjusters consider is the damaged roof’s age.

Roofing Material

As we mentioned at the top of this post, some roofing materials prevent hail damage. For instance, slate is one of the most robust roofing materials you can have on your roof. Therefore, the adjuster will consider the roofing material when deciding whether to repair or replace your roof. 

Missing Shingles

The condition of your roof is also critical. One of the first things an adjuster will look at once they get up on your roof is missing shingles. 

Granule Loss

Most American homes have asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are made with a top layer of stone granules that provide protection to the shingle and your roof. However, in a hail storm, these granules can get knocked loose and compromise the efficacy of the shingle. 

So an adjuster will also look for granule loss on the shingles and displaced granules on the ground around the perimeter of your roof. 

Roof Repair vs. Replacement After Hail Damage

The next thing an adjuster will consider is whether or not the hail damage warrants a repair or complete replacement. If the hail damage is moderate, the adjuster will recommend repairs. 

What we mean by moderate damage is one or two impact marks on both sides of your roof. If there are only a couple of impact marks on either side of your roof, the adjuster will likely recommend a repair. 

So what warrants a complete roof replacement after a hail storm? First, an adjuster will generally test out your roof’s 10′ x 10′ square span. Next, they will inspect this swath of roofing and look for hail impact marks. Usually, if the adjuster finds 7-10 such impact marks in the test area, they recommend a complete roof replacement. 

Again, it’s important to remember that every insurance company, policy, and adjuster has different guidelines and ways of doing things. The criteria for a roof replacement may be different for you based on your policy, your insurance company, and even where you live. 

Final Thoughts

The hail damage needed for roof replacement varies by insurance adjuster and depends on factors like roof age, materials, and climate. Sometimes, the adjuster will recommend repairs over replacements because they deem the damage minor enough to prevent replacement. Contact a professional roofer if you are concerned about hail damage.