If you own a home in the Midwest, you know that hail is one of the most damaging weather phenomena we experience. Although damaging hail storms may not happen often, a single storm lasting only a few minutes can do thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. It’s no wonder that hail can be such a menace. Unlike rain or snow, a hailstone hitting your home is the equivalent of a rock being thrown at anywhere from 35 miles per hour to 117 miles per hour depending on the size of the hailstone. Though the damage is obvious when it breaks windows or dents your car, it may not be as obvious when it comes to roof damage. Here is what you need to know about the factors that go into hail’s effects on your roof and when you need to consider a roof replacement or roof repair.

Factor 1: Structures Nearby

There’s a reason why urban areas often experience less damage from hail than more remote locations. When there are buildings nearby that are higher than your home, they could offer a form of protection as the hail will likely hit these structures first. In addition, a number of nearby structures or trees can act as windbreaks, slowing the speed of the hail before it strikes your roof.

Factor 2: Density and Size of Hail

The larger the size and heavier the density of a hailstone, the more damage it will do to your roof. Even more damage is done when a large, heavy hailstone has sharp edges rather than being a smooth round ball. Smooth stones the size of a pea or smaller are normally harmless unless there is a huge amount of wind driving them. Stones that are the size of a nickel and larger, though, are a different story.

Factor 3: Wind

If you’ve even been in a hail storm, you know that it’s usually accompanied by high wind speeds. Wind can influence both the direction and speed of hail—either in a negative or positive way. If winds are blowing away from your home, the hail could be directed away and not pose much of a threat. If high winds are headed straight for your home, however, you could see a lot of damage to your roof as well as to your siding, windows, and other structures.

How Hail Affects Different Roofing Materials

The best time to replace your roof is often after a hailstorm. Why? Because the damage a strong storm can do impacts the integrity and appearance of your roof and waiting too long to replace it could cause a variety of problems. Knowing more about the appearance of damage on certain types of materials will help you determine if you need a replacement or if a few repairs might suffice.

Asphalt Shingles

Possible hail damage to asphalt shingles will usually look like black divots that golf balls make on greens. In many cases, the damage done to these tough shingles is cosmetic. If the divots expose the roofing felt, it’s a sign of an especially high-velocity hail storm and you should call in a roofing expert in the Omaha area to assess the damage.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Omaha roofs often come in the wood or shake style and these shingles are not as tough as asphalt. The impact of hail on these styles of roof are similar in appearance to when you miss a nail with a hammer and hit the wood instead. The impact could be orange or brown in color and splits could also be visible. If you see splits or tears, call in an expert.

Metal Roofs

It can be a little scary being in a building with a metal roof during a hail storm. The sound can be deafening, especially if the hail is large or hitting the roof with excessive amounts of force. While asphalt and wood roofs will show divots or splits after a bad storm, metal roofs will show dents and possible punctures. Some dents are merely cosmetic and don’t compromise the integrity of your roof, but it’s always wise to have a roofing contractor come out to do an inspection after a hail storm to determine if any repairs are needed.

Roof Repair or Replacement After a Hail Storm

There’s only one way to find out for sure if you need a roof replacement or repair after a hail storm: have one of our roofing experts come out for an inspection. Remember, ‘storm chasers’ are quite common after a major hail storm and you may have plenty of disreputable, fly-by-night companies calling or knocking on your door. Call A&A Roofing & Exteriors instead and have the peace of mind knowing you have a true expert assessing your roof who will always be there down the road.