When a claim for storm damage is filed,,whether it be wind or hail the insurer knows the date,size of hail and location or wind speeds a.k.a wind reports.Technology has been greatly improved when it comes hail strikes on a roof system and the effects there of.The testing labs know the effects of a hail stones size,shape and density.The ol' golf ball in a sock routine is easily spotted as intentional damage.
To have a desaturation test performed on a roofing material suggests that the damage is questionable.Generally when these damage by "Strikes" are filed it has been some time since a storm has rolled through the area or the adjuster insists there isn't enough damage or collateral damage to warrant a full roof replacement.
However a reinspect typically will do the trick if there is legitimate damage.But if the 2nd adjuster turns it down as well the next step for the homeowner or contractor is a desaturation test.
I have seen circular strikes from baseballs and softballs but golf balls do different type of visual damage that's not a complete circular strike as say like a golf ball in a sock.
Once again if a desaturation test is performed its because either the adjuster(s) don't believe there is enough damage for a full roof replacement.Several scenarios come into play when a desaturation test is issued.Prime example is Joe homeowner files a claim for storm damage,,,but Joe is a new policy holder and the insurer believes the damage was caused by a storm that's prior to the date of coverage.