What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof?

What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof?

Hail bigger than half an inch could possibly cause roof damage
Jul 3, 2023

A hailstorm has the potential to cause a lot of damage to anything outside, from cars to the roof of a house. Roof damage can be costly to repair, especially since it can result in water leaking into the house and resulting in water damage inside the house. Homeowners should know what to look for in a hailstorm so they know whether or not they need to assess for damage and contact their insurance company.

How much damage hail can cause to a roof depends on its size.

Pea-Sized Hail – ¼-Inch in Diameter

Hail the size of a pea, which is about a quarter of an inch, typically doesn’t do much damage. Hailstorms with pea-sized hail are typically mild hailstorms and may only last for a few moments before it turns into rain. As long as your roof is reasonably new and you’ve kept it in good repair, it should weather a mild hailstorm like this with little difficulty. If your roof is very old or if it is already damaged, however, then even pea-sized hail could be a problem because it could exacerbate pre-existing damage.

Marble-Sized Hail – ½-Inch in Diameter

Marble-sized hail is about a half an inch in size. Typically, hail of this size is also safe for most roofs. The exception is older roofs or roofs that have already been damaged by something else. Marble-sized hail can make already existing damage worse.

Dime-Sized Hail – ¾-Inch in Diameter

Dime-sized hail, which is usually about three-quarters of an inch in diameter, is where hail may start to cause damage to a roof. Any hail that is larger than a half an inch has the potential to cause damage, although the risk of damage increases as the size of the hail grows.

Quarter-Sized Hail – 1-Inch in Diameter

Hail the size of a quarter is about an inch in diameter. Hail of this size can potentially cause some damage. Typically this damage may be in the form of dents or even cracks on a roof. This type of damage should be reported right away. Even if the damage is mild, it can get much worse and more expensive to repair quickly if not addressed.

Golf Ball-Sized Hail – 1 ½-Inches in Diameter

Golf ball-sized hail can seriously damage a roof. It ranges in size from 1¾ inches to 4½ inches in diameter. If a storm has occurred and you see that the hail was in this range, you can expect damage to your roof and, if your car isn’t in a garage, your car as well. You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible so that they’re aware you’re making a claim.

The insurance company may need to send someone out to assess the damage, but you should also hire a roofer to give you a quote. This can help to make sure that your insurance company isn’t low-balling what they’re willing to cover. Then, it’s important to get any damage repaired as quickly as possible so more damage doesn’t occur.

What Does Hail Damage Do to a Roof?

Hail can have some obvious surface damage, including:

  • Cracks in shingles
  • Granule loss
  • Small divots
  • Bruises
  • Dents
  • Round black spots

Not all damage is easily visible, however. Sometimes hail can splinter the underside of a shingle. The surface of the shingle looks fine to a non-professional eye, however, so it may be difficult for a homeowner to detect the full extent of the hail damage.

What Should You Do if You Think Your Roof Has Hail Damage?

Man taking pictures of roof

The first thing you should do if you think your roof has been damaged by hail is to call your insurance company. You’ll also want to make an appointment for your roof to be inspected by a professional roofing contractor. However, unless you want to pay for the damage out-of-pocket, you’ll need your insurance company to approve any repairs. The insurance company will send someone to inspect your roof. However, it’s a good idea to hire an independent roofer for a second opinion on how much the repairs should cost.

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For informational purposes only.