What is Hail Damage to a Roof?

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Sarah R May 19, 2023

What is Hail Damage to a Roof?

Hailstorms are nothing new for some families, but have you ever wondered what hail damage to a roof looks like? Please continue reading to learn more about this natural phenomena’s impact on your roof system.

How Roof Hail Damage Looks Like

Hail storm damage to roofs varies from rainwater-related issues because hailstones are solid objects. Hence, you can see tell-tale signs of hailstorm-related damage more easily.


Roof shingles are not as sturdy as steel or iron, making them vulnerable to cracks because of high-velocity impact forces. It’s similar to throwing stones on shingles. You can create “fault lines” in shingles if the throw is forceful enough.

Broken or fractured roof tiles/shingles

In some cases, the roof tiles may shatter in pieces. Shingles might break apart, and the loose roof section falling off. A storm damage roofing company can see shingle specks on the ground during the roof damage assessment.


In mild to moderate hailstorms, impact forces might be insufficient to cause cracks in shingles. However, the solid object traveling at high speeds can still leave an impression on the roof’s surface. These impressions are dents, like pockmarks.

Cosmetic effects

Dents, cracks, and shingle fractures can undermine the roof’s integrity. Unsurprisingly, many hail damage roofing contractors classify these issues as functional damage. Roof leaks can occur, promoting water damage through this part of the house and adjacent structures.

On the other hand, cosmetic effects are superficial and don’t necessarily affect a roof’s ability to protect the house and its occupants from the elements.

Factors Influencing Hail Damage

The severity of hailstorm-related roof damage depends on at least four factors.

  • Hailstone size – Hailstones range in size from ¾ inches to about four inches. The larger the hailstone, the more severe and extensive the roof damage.
  • Hailstone shape – Some hailstones have a smooth nearly-round shape, while most are irregular (some with jagged edges). Roof damage due to irregularly-shaped hailstones is often more profound.
  • Wind speed – Two- to four-inch hailstones can impact surfaces at 44 to 72 miles per hour, causing shingles to crack or break.
  • Wind direction – Shingles can peel off their membranes if the wind blows sideways, causing the hailstones to pry open the shingles.

Fixing Hail Damaged Roof

Hail-related roof damage is repairable, depending on the extent or severity of the issue. Homeowners should consult hail storm damage experts to assess their roofing systems and evaluate if professional repairs are necessary.

Moreover, professional assessment can provide homeowners insight into insurance claims. It’s worth noting that insurers will cover functional damage but not cosmetic ones.


So, what does hail damage to roofs look like? Everything depends on your roofing system. You can expect dents, fractures, or cracks in shingles and similar roofing materials, but only cosmetic issues in other types. Contact us for roof repairs today!

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