Does hail always do damage?

I have to go to my Brothers camp this weekend to look at some work. He said they got heavy hail this week. How often does hail cause damage to a roof ?

Is it only in certain cases that it does ??
Does insurance cover when it does ??

It depends on many circumstances.

Read this study first:

Then this document:

Also, RidgeWalker has a very good document on his website:

Now, here are some key points to become knowledgeable about from a report I wrote for a hearing:

The Property Loss Research Bureau, (PLRB); and various hail damage assessment protocol publications authored by Haag Engineering Company, (Haag); and by Jim D. Koontz & Associates Roof Consultants, (Koontz), and Asphalt-Shingle Roofing, published by Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, (ARMA); and the National Roofing Contractors Association, (NRCA), from Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Roofing Technology, “Hail damage to roofing: Assessment and classification, and also from the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association, (MRCA), roof care 101, Storm Damage.â€Â

If you can see obvious impacts on the shingles were the hail hit and it broke the matting or base of the shingle the insurance company needs to pay for replacement of either the whole slope, the damage areas, or in most cases the entire roof.

If you look at the plane of roofs and see no impact marks it doesn’t always mean it doesn’t have hail damage. A good adjuster will look very closely at the roof and rub spots that look like they may have been hit by hail. If the granuals fall off easily more than likely it’s an impact.

Fresh hail can take weeks and even months to show impact hits.

Insurance companies estimates can very from provider to provider. The same can be said about adjusters.

Most home owners will have full replacement coverage while some will only have partial replacement, with a certain age limit as to when a full replacement is no longer covered.

I guess what I was gettin at was does normal small hail hurt anything ?? Or is it large hail that does the most damage…


You’ve received some great reference sources from others here. Adding my opinion…

Commonly, even pea size hail can damage composition shingles when the hail is hard, (verses being soft/slushy), and hit’s hard by high wind push, and the volume is fairly substantial.

Surface pitch is also a factor. Hail slamming into a 7:12ish pitch (or less, or more), and glancing off an opposite side of the roof can reveal blatant and/or subtle-to-zero damage on some sides verses the others.

Should it be that the granular component is “scoured/blasted” off, that form of component damage is damage. Some in “the [insurance] industry” want ones to believe that the granular component is simply cosmetic, or aesthetic, however they do protect the asphalt from UV degradation allowing it to live out it’s life/performance expectancy, and also provide a degree of thermal transfer barrier.

Do a water test…Take a water hose or gallon of water up on the roof and saturate a affected suspect area. Subtle hits and scoured / abraised areas can stand out with the water showing asphalt exposure.

Do the same thing on a side that was not affected as much, and compare the visual results.

Keep in mind too that product age, shingle color, time of day, weather/lighting conditions, eyesight quality, experience, and personal integrity, all factor into observable or hard-to-discern damage being accurately accounted for.

A first for me, in 17 years of wind/hail work, is that SPF systems can “pop loose”, via large cluster hail impact, from the (built-up) substrate they are attached to.

The impacted areas are actually releasing at specific points on two foam systems that are approximately 8-9 years old, and in very good shape.

After performing a 8"*12" core test on one cluster hit, it was observed that the non-impacted points are still solidly bonded just inches away from the direct hit point.

Has anyone else experienced such specific large hail damage to a SPF system ?

I tell home owners who had lots of small wind driven hail that there roof was basicly sand blasted. Yes hail did take life out of the shingle but in most cases the hail didn’t leave enough of a “puck” mark to indicate a direct hit which is what adjusters need to total out roofs.

Last Spring had a hail storm were the biggest hail was nickle size. There were a few feet of hail in the driveways of the homes were the roof line was. Most of the homes got new roofs although most of the adjusters never took pictures of the roof as most didn’t do test squares. The hail was straight out of the South and it was enough to damage drip edge on eaves.

Same type of hail this Spring and it’s been about 50/50 getting new roofs. Of course we’ve had some really large hail in other areas this year.