During a hailstorm, hailstones will drop from 30,000 feet and reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour before they hit the ground, your car, your house or anything else. While most hail is pea- to marble-sized (¼ inch to ½ inch in diameter) large storms can produce large hail—in fact, the largest hailstone ever recorded in the U.S. fell in Vivian, SD with a diameter of 8 inches!
When these storms come through your area, sometimes the damage left behind is very apparent. A lot of the time it’s not, though, and you need a weather eye (sorry, couldn’t help it) to spot potentially serious damage. Here’s a rundown of places around your house to check for hail damage.
Signs of Hail Damage on the Roof
Your roof will take the brunt of the damage during a hailstorm, and there are some easy ways to tell if yours has been affected:
- Granules in the Gutters: Every hailstone impact on your roof has the potential to knock granules off of asphalt shingles, so if you see a lot of these granules collecting in your gutters, this is good sign that you may have hail damage.
- Dented Roof Vents: Roof vents are made of thin, lightweight metal—if you see dents in the metal or cracks in a plastic vent, it’s probably been hit by a big hailstone.
- Damaged Flashing: Any recent dents or other damage to flashing around the chimney, fascia or vents can indicate hail damage.
- Cracked or Broken Skylight: Skylights are notorious for leaks in the best condition. Even if it doesn’t look broken, check closely for hairline cracks, too.
- Dented or Split Wood Shingles: Hail that’s heavy enough will leave permanent dimples on wood shingles and may even crack them.
Curling Shingles: Shingles that have been hit by hail tend to age faster than shingles that haven’t—if you notice your shingles start to curl or crack before their time, call a professional inspector to get their opinion. Even if the hail damage is old, sometimes insurance will cover it depending on your plan.
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