The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Live in Hail Alley? How to Identify Roof Hail Damage and More

 July 3, 2019 |  Home Maintenance |  roof, ceiling, home exterior, mold, insulation

Chances are, you already know if you live in Hail Alley. This stretch of the U.S. extends from Texas to the Dakotas, covering wide swaths of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri and Nebraska. Hail storms in these areas can be strong and sudden, with the height of hail season occurring every year around June.

During a hailstorm, hailstones will drop from 30,000 feet and reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour before they hit the ground, your car, your house or anything else. While most hail is pea- to marble-sized (¼ inch to ½ inch in diameter) large storms can produce large hail—in fact, the largest hailstone ever recorded in the U.S. fell in Vivian, SD with a diameter of 8 inches!

When these storms come through your area, sometimes the damage left behind is very apparent. A lot of the time it’s not, though, and you need a weather eye (sorry, couldn’t help it) to spot potentially serious damage. Here’s a rundown of places around your house to check for hail damage.

Signs of Hail Damage on the Roof
Your roof will take the brunt of the damage during a hailstorm, and there are some easy ways to tell if yours has been affected:

  1. 1. Granules in the Gutters: Every hailstone impact on your roof has the potential to knock granules off of asphalt shingles, so if you see a lot of these granules collecting in your gutters, this is good sign that you may have hail damage.
  2. 2. Dented Roof Vents: Roof vents are made of thin, lightweight metal—if you see dents the metal or cracks in a plastic vent, it’s probably been hit by a big hailstone.
  3. 3. Damaged Flashing: Any recent dents or other damage to flashing around the chimney, fascia or vents can indicate hail damage.
  4. 4. Cracked or Broken Skylight: Skylights are notorious for leaks in the best condition. Even if it doesn’t look broken, check closely for hairline cracks, too.
  5. 5. Dented or Split Wood Shingles: Hail that’s heavy enough will leave permanent dimples on wood shingles and may even crack them.
  6. 6. Curling Shingles: Shingles that have been hit by hail tend to age faster than shingles that haven’t—if you notice your shingles start to curl or crack before their time, call a professional inspector to get their opinion. Even if the hail damage is old, sometimes insurance will cover it depending on your plan.

Signs of Hail Damage Inside the House
If you’re not quite ready to look around on the roof yet, there are some common things to check for inside your house that may indicate hail damage:

  1. 1. Water Stains on Walls and Ceilings: If a hailstorm’s come through recently and you notice new water stains appearing anywhere on walls or ceilings, you’ll want to have the roof inspected. Be sure to check in closets and other hard-to-reach areas, too.
  2. 2. Mold and Mildew: Moisture intrusion breeds mold and mildew, which you can generally identify by sight or by smell. New mold issues, especially when you haven’t had a problem with it before, can be good indicators of roof damage caused by hail.
  3. 3. Attic Drips and Wet Insulation: If your attic is accessible, head up there during a rain storm to check for drips. You can also wet the roof down with a garden hose if you’ve been experiencing a dry spell. Notice soggy patches of insulation? That another good sign of roof hail damage.


Call National Property Inspections today.
Find your local inspector today to schedule a full inspection of your home. NPI inspectors have the training, knowledge and expertise to document the condition of all your home’s major systems.

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