There have been many homes in the Greater Mankato area from Mapleton to Minnesota State University damaged by recent hail and high speed winds. In southern Mankato, roofers and insurance adjusters have been overwhelmed with the amount of requests from homeowners. While siding repair and replacement is being made the majority of the damage appears to be roofing related. In the past 2 weeks, southern Minnesota has had some wild weather and unfortunately the season isn't over just yet. If you think you have had recent weather damage to your home it is highly recommended that you contact your insurance provider to determine whether this is the case. However, if you are looking to find out more information on what to look for on your own you have come to the right place. Please remember the tips contained in this article are provided for informational purposes and in hopes to confirm thoughts you may already have on damage to your home and do not replace proper training and experience by a professional inspector, roofer or insurance adjuster.
First in order to spot weather related damage more specifically hail damage to your roof you must understand some roofing basics. Because most roofs in our area consist of ashpalt shingles this will be the material that I will touch on. Asphalt shingles are composed of: a base mat which is generally fiberglass but can additionally be an organic material, fillers and granules. Fillers and granules are the small "rock like" surface of the shingles and are what provide the cosmetic appearance to the shingle. The granules additionally contain more than a cosmetic appearance, they protect the underlying base mat from weathering, UV exposure and provide fire resistance properties to the roofing system.
Now that you have a basic understanding of shingle composition you must understand that in order to truly identify hail damage you have to view the damage directly from the roof; walking on the roof. Please note that you should only perform this task if you truly feel safe climbing a ladder and walking the roof, proper safety should always be taken into consideration when this is performed.
Alright now that the disclaimer is out of the way, what do I look for? What you are looking to identify is bruises in the shingles. These bruises consist of areas that have the granules removed and have exposed the base mat below. Picture provided above. A bruise can be quite large generally as large as a golfball or softball and as small as a pea. When you have located a spot that has the granules removed and the felt paper or base mat visible it should look nice and black very similar to a newly paved asphalt driveway. This is the newly exposed base mat which can crack in the future due to UV exposure and additional weathering potentially causing issues such as leaking. This is why insurance companies find it vital to have even small amounts of damage replaced to ensure future occurences do not happen. Above is very good illustration of what hail damage may look like upon inspection.