There were 3,763 major hailstorms in the United States in 2021. The Minneapolis area had 98 reported hailstorms between August, 2021 and July, 2022 alone. State Farm paid over one-quarter billion dollars to Minnesotans whose homes and vehicles were damaged by hail in 2020 – and State Farm is just one of many insurance providers.
We think you get what we’re not so subtly hinting at: If you own a home in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, hail is very likely to damage its roof. It’s just part of the price you have to pay for our beautiful summers.
And if you think hail is the only threat Minnesotan roofs face, think again! Our state’s weather treats homes to violent winds, torrential downpours, heavy snowfalls, baking heat and biting cold – none of which favors shingles.
As soon as vicious weather clears, you should immediately go outside to inspect your roof for storm damage. Every minute counts, as detecting storm damage early may prevent the need for even costlier repairs than are already necessary. Furthermore, your insurance provider may decline to compensate you for exterior repairs if you did not take reasonable steps to mitigate the damage.
Without further ado, here is how to inspect your asphalt shingle roof for storm damage.
No roof is worth getting injured over. We expect you’ll wait for the storm to clear before going outside. But once the weather improves, stay wary of and avoid downed power lines and other electrical hazards, as well as any flooded areas. Also look out for branches, ice dams or pieces of your house that may fall on you.
If you use a ladder to take a closer look at your roof, make sure you also observe professional ladder safety protocol. If you would rather keep both feet firmly planted on the ground, you may instead examine your roof through binoculars.
Look for Damaged and Missing Shingles
Several weather events can damage and remove shingles. Hailstones as small as 0.7″ in diameter can damage old shingles. Hailstones 1″ and larger can entirely wipe out a newly installed shingle roof. Class H shingles can withstand wind speeds as fast as 150 mph, although weaker and older shingles are far less resilient against strong gusts. Even regular exposure to rain and sunlight will gradually weaken shingles, which is why you want to pay close attention to your roof even if a storm hasn’t recently passed.
Missing and cracked shingles both indicate you need a Twin Cities roofing contractor, pronto. But not all signs of storm damage to shingles are quite so obvious. Even if they are only slightly curling, blistering, buckling or otherwise out of place, those shingles are no longer effective at sealing out rain and meltwater.
If a large branch is resting on your roof, there is an excellent chance it struck there with enough force to damage the underlying shingles. Next, if a large branch has appeared on the ground next to your home, inspect the area of your roof where it may have struck and bounced off of. If that branch left behind an indentation, those shingles are in immediate need of replacement.
Hailstones may cause serious yet nearly invisible damage to asphalt shingles. If you’re able to access your roof, look for dark circles on shingles and gently press against them with your fingertip. If those circles are soft enough to yield easily to the touch, they are nearly certainly the product of hailstone impacts.
Hail and other heavy precipitation may have loosened and removed your shingles’ protective asphalt granules. If your shingles appear shiny, that indicates the weather has stripped them of their essential outermost layer. Alternatively, you may find an abundance of asphalt granules in your gutters or the ground surrounding your downspouts. Recent and significant granule deposits are a glowing indication that your shingles are in need of prompt replacement.
Look for Other Types of Damage to Your Home’s Exterior
When a roof has become damaged by a storm, it will make no secret of that fact. But you must also look for other types of damage to your home’s exterior and surroundings. Fixing these problems is important, and their presence also indicates that your roof has likely sustained damage as well.
- Gutters. Look for dents and other deformation in your gutters. Your roof and your foundation can both receive extensive damage when gutters do not effectively channel water away from them.
- Vents. Roof vents provide air circulation, preventing moisture from building up in your attic. If a storm has rendered a vent inoperable, the underlying attic is at risk of black mold colonization.
- Windows. Naturally, broken glass is a serious problem. But you must also pay attention to any cracks that have formed where the window frame meets the siding, as well as any weather stripping a storm may have torn loose.
- Deck and patio. When a storm has damaged these resilient horizontal surfaces, it’s a foregone conclusion that it treated the nearby roof just as roughly.
- Attic and ceilings. Don’t look outdoors for every sign of potential roof damage. If your attic contains water, that indicates your roof is no longer capable of doing its job. Likewise, water stains on your ceilings or interior walls provide clear evidence of roof failure.
Hire a Twin Cities Roof Contractor
Many signs of roof damage are subtle enough to evade detection by an amateur. If you believe the latest big storm has damaged your roof – or over a year has passed since your last professional roof inspection – then we welcome you to contact Angell’s Construction today!