Hail is one of the most common sources of roofing damage, and it's an event that's unavoidable for homes in storm-prone areas. While you can move your car to shelter during hail storms, your home's roof will have no choice except to take the full brunt of the onslaught. Depending on wind conditions and the size of the hail, damage can range from cosmetic to catastrophic.
In some cases, repairing your roof after a hail storm may be the most cost-effective option, such as when facing minor damage on a relatively new roof. However, other situations may necessitate a full replacement. If at least one of these three scenarios applies to your home, you should consider a full roofing replacement instead of spot repairs.
1. Your Roof Is Over 20 Years Old
The lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof will vary depending on your local weather conditions and how well you maintain it. Still, many will last around twenty years, with architectural shingles lasting slightly longer. If your roof is already past this critical threshold, it may already be showing early signs of severe wear and tear.
Hail damage can stress an old roof, causing additional granule loss and weakening brittle or loose shingles. While you should still have a qualified roofer conduct an inspection first, hail damage to an older roof will likely make replacement a more urgent priority. Replacing your roof now will help save you from leaks or other problems that develop from the effects of hail on a weakened roof system.
2. You Have Extensive Damage
One of the telltale signatures of hail damage is its random and widespread pattern. While other forms of roofing failure, such as blisters, may only occur in localized areas, hail damage will usually cover most of the roof. The damage may only be cosmetic for light hail without heavy winds, and you may not need to take any action.
However, widespread damage from heavier hail is a more serious concern. Hail can knock granules loose and "bruise" your shingles, weakening their connection to the roofing underlayment. Widespread issues such as these will reduce your roof's ability to withstand weather, potentially resulting in premature failure. A replacement will keep the next storm from causing even more damage to your home.
3. Your Roof Is Leaking
Although there are limitations on how long you have to file an insurance claim for hail damage, some states allow up to two years for you to report this damage to your insurance company. In other words, you don't need to decide on a roofing replacement immediately. However, you should carefully monitor your roof for problems following hail damage.
If you notice leaks or even an unusual amount of granules shedding from your roof, you may want to contact a local roofing company like Wortham Brothers Roofing for a thorough evaluation. A previously solid roof that shows these symptoms following a hail storm likely suffered severe damage. A replacement will often be the best solution to restore your roof to its previous state.