Hail Exposure and Damage
The process of detecting and evaluating hail damage is subjective at best, and often everyone involved will offer a different assessment. Damage can range from large, highly visible dents and tears to almost undetectable indentations or invisible granule damage. However, even small amounts of damage can harm the surfacing material, leading to deterioration of the shingles months later. Normally, if a shingle indicates outward damage, the underlying components may be compromised and affected to some degree. On damaged roofs, the hail impact may affect the embedment of the granular surfacing in the asphalt top coating. This loosens the granules, potentially allowing the granules to separate from the coating layer and wash off the roof. Without the granule surfacing, the asphalt top coating is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from ordinary sunlight and will eventually deteriorate, exposing the fiberglass substrate and creating the potential for a leak.
On severe hail damage, the fiberglass substrate may be physically broken further, compromising the weather integrity of the shingle. Without visible damage there is no real way to be sure how much damage shingles have encountered. Outward damage may not appear until months or years later. In accordance with the terms of the Limited Warranty, there is no coverage for damage caused by hail. However, should the shingles be damaged by hail, there is continuing coverage for manufacturing defects. There is a definite distinction between a manufacturing defect and damage caused by hail. When evaluating hail damage, look for the following conditions:
Tears in the Shingle – Tears are normally worse on reproofs due to the irregular surface support. The main areas showing damage usually include hips, ridges, sides of dragon’s teeth, and butt edges of shingles.
Indentations in the Shingle – Indentations will be either round or half-moon shaped. Some damage may not be visible and will require you to feel for any indentations, or to break the bonds of the shingle and feel the backside for any irregularities.
Excessive Granule Loss – May be an indicator of possible damage. Check gutters or the ground around the house for loose granules. Accelerated granule loss will significantly reduce the life of the shingle.
Other Collateral Damage:
- Broken skylights
- Broken windows
- Tree or shrub damage
- Car dents
Hailstones vary in size, shape and hardness. They can create a random pattern of dents or depressions consisting of various sizes, shapes and depths. If you keep in mind the typical random pattern of hail damage when evaluating a damaged roof, you should be able to assess the situation properly. If you have any further questions regarding hail damage, contact your homeowner’s insurance company.
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