Hail is a common weather occurrence in Kansas City in the spring. And as anyone who has lived in the Kansas City area for long knows, hail stones can range in size from tiny, pea-sized stones up to large baseball-size stones that can cause major damage. While hail stones can damage anything they come into contact with, roofs are especially vulnerable.

When hail stones strike the shingles on your roof, they knock off the protective granules, leaving bare, damaged spots. These damaged areas are exposed to UV light and weather, causing them to degrade and become prone to leaks if they are not repaired soon after the damage. These leaks can, in turn, lead to even bigger, more expensive problems down the road.

It’s important to inspect your roof as soon after a storm as possible if you suspect hail damage so you can address damage as soon as possible. Acting fast will also make it easier to provide data support if you need to file an insurance claim. If you are home during a hail storm and suspect damage, take time to jot down details about the storm, including the date and time, the duration of the storm, the wind direction, and the size of the hail. It’s a good idea to take photos of the hail stones or even collect some and store them in a plastic bag in your freezer.

Hail damage can be difficult to detect from the ground. However, there are some things to look for when attempting to determine if you have hail damage to your roof. Some of these can be seen from the ground, while others may require going up onto your roof. Depending on the height and slope of your roof, this may be a job best left to a professional roofing contractor. Signs of hail damage include:

  • Your shingles are torn, dented, cracked, or missing.
  • Your shingles are missing granules.
  • Your gutters, which were clean before the storm, are now filled with granules.
  • There is damage to the metal components on your roof or home exterior, including gutters, downspouts, siding, roof vents, flashing, or metal valleys. These metal areas will show dents and possibly indicate the size of the hail.

If you see indications of hail damage to your roof, contact a reputable roofing contractor, like Pyramid Roofing, for an inspection and estimate. While your first reaction might be to call your insurance company, this can work against you in some cases. Once you call your insurance company, it is considered a claim, even if you end up only having minimal damage that is less than your deductible. By getting an estimate from a roofing contractor first, you can decide if it is worth filing a claim or if it would be better to pay out of pocket to avoid having the claim on your insurance record and risk higher premiums down the road.

While responding to hail damage in a timely manner is important, it is not an emergency situation. Leaks from hail damage typically take several months before they become a leak. Take your time to find the right roofing contractor and avoid storm chasers.