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What Size Hail Will Damage My Roof?


November 14, 2019

 What Size Hail Will Damage My Roof?

It’s a good idea to check for hail damage after any hailstorm and especially when the hail is particularly large, as the larger the hail, the greater the potential for damage. 

Small hail, even up to about ½ inch in diameter, probably won’t do much damage, if any. Still, if you notice even a few missing granules from a shingle, you need to look into it. It takes a lot of force to knock shingle materials loose, and once those granules are gone, that shingle is at greater risk to develop leaks and other problems.

When the hail is an inch in diameter or more, you need to be concerned for your property.

Signs of Hail Damage

Check for dents in any metal surfaces on your roof, as well as cracking and bruising of your shingles. Missing granules are another warning sign that needs to be addressed.

For more detailed information on typical hail damage on a roof, check out this article:
Does My Roof Have Hail Damage?

When to Fear Hail Damage

For asphalt shingles, which are the most common roofing material for residences, hail with a diameter of an inch or greater has the potential to damage your roof. Sometimes, this is referred to as quarter-sized hail.

Other types of roofing materials such as cedar shingles, slate and concrete may be able to withstand hail a little better, but even the most durable roofing materials are in jeopardy when hail reaches an inch and a half to two inches in diameter.

It’s easy to understand why hail is so dangerous. Hail is ice. When countless 1” ice balls are pelting your house, your roof, siding, windows and everything else on the exterior is susceptible to damage.

The larger the hail, the more dangerous it is. To get scientific for a moment, the acceleration of gravity is constant, but the force of impact for a hailstone increases as its mass increases. Absurdly large hailstones (comparable to a tennis ball or baseball) can fall at almost 100 miles per hour.

When to Check for Hail Damage

It may sound obvious, but wait until the storm is over to check for hail damage. Keep your family inside until you’re sure the hail is finished, even if the hail is small. If it can dent your roof, think of what it can do to your head.

If you have hail damage, get it looked at by an expert right away. We’re happy to give you a complete roof inspection and can also assist you in filing an insurance claim. There’s not much you can do while the hail is falling, but if you take care of any of the damage it leaves behind right away, your roof will last a lot longer.