What Is Hail Damage, and How Does It Affect My Pennsylvania Home

What Is Hail Damage, and How Does It Affect My Pennsylvania Home?

Hail damage is not something new to homeowners in Pennsylvania as they understand the ravages of hail storms and know how such storms can affect their homes. Reports in 2014 from The Weather Channel indicated that Pennsylvania came in seventh on a list of 10 states for insurance claims related to hail, so Pennsylvanians are well aware of hail damage and understand how it can affect a roof, areas outside a home, vehicles and other property. Additional weather related statistics indicate that hail has created billions in damages throughout America and is capable of creating widespread destruction.

So, if you live in Pennsylvania and own a home and are not sure about how hail can affect it, take a look at the information here, which will help you determine whether you need a roof inspection, roof repair or replacement because of hail.

What is Hail DamageWhat is Hail Damage?

Morrison (1999) defined damage to roofing as a diminution of water-shedding capability or a reduction in the expected long-term life of the roofing material.

Hail damage intensity can be affected by a number of issues. Several factors, such as the type of roofing materials used, the age of materials, the slope of a roof and the quality of construction and installation can all contribute to the degree of damage. Shingle layering also has an effect as does the size and shape of hail and the power and angle of its descent to a roof.

Functional or Cosmetic

Hail damage is also classified as functional or cosmetic. Functional damage has to do with the stability and longevity of a roof; whereas, cosmetic hail damage refers to any damage that does not interfere with a roof’s ability to carry out its function. A roofing inspector can help a homeowner determine the type of damage and can assist with any insurance issues as well.

Hail Size and Damages

Very large hail, baseball size and larger, causes the most damage to property but smaller hail can inflict destruction as well. Hail an inch in diameter and above can inflict damage on asphalt shingles, so there is no getting around the fact that hail can destroy shingles and many other roof coverings. When it damages a roof, a homeowner may not be able to completely verify the extent of damage that has occurred, particularly when a roof or items on a roof are viewed from ground level.

Traditional Shingles and Other Roof Coverings

Traditional Shingles and Other Roof Coverings

Hail damage to traditional asphalt shingles usually entails the loss of surface granules. Further damage can be harder to see and may take the trained eye of an expert to determine whether roof leaks will develop over time because of the impact made from even the smallest pieces of hail.

Whether your Pennsylvania home has asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, slate, clay or metal roofing, hail can damage any one of these coverings. Wood shingles can split while clay and slate can crack and gouge, and metal roofing can sustain impact dents. So, no roof is impenetrable when hail decides to make its mark but if there is any consolation concerning damage, hail indentation is easier to locate on metal roofing and other soft metal parts.

Inspect for Damage

It usually takes the expertise of a roofing specialist trained to see underlying damage caused by hail, but if you want to inspect your roof on your own, just be sure you have the right footwear, a steady ladder, a few chalk sticks to mark damage and any other safety gear to help prevent slips and falls.

The indicators or signs of hail damage include:

  • dented or dimpled gutters
  • dented or dimpled downspout or drain spouts
  • dented gutter screens
  • damage to vents
  • damage to shingles
  • damage to flashing and siding
  • damage to windowsills and casings
  • damage to chimney covers and other soft metal covers
  • damage to skylights
  • damage to air conditioners
  • other damaged outdoor items in close proximity to the home or roof

If you’re seeing the type of damages outlined here, and they are affecting your home or business, and you need answers as to how to repair the damage caused by hail, fill out the contact form on the our website and a representative will get back to you to answer your questions and consult with you about the options available to you concerning hail damage. Don’t let hail get in the way of further protecting and securing your Pennsylvania home and roof from any future damage.

Winter Preparation: Is Your Roof Ready For Winter?

Winter Preparation Is Your Roof Ready For Winter

You feel it coming, and you know there are plenty of chores inside and outside that need to be done before winter weather keeps you bound to your house, but one of the most important of all tasks rises above your head, and you know that means securing it before winter takes effect.

Between wind, rain, hail, snow ice and other inclement weather, you want to prepare your roof as best you can for any impending winter damage. Preventative maintenance is the key and there are steps you can take to stop leaks, debris accumulation and other problems that can keep you from getting to other important home “to do” lists.

Here are a few preventative steps that can prepare and protect your roof for winter weather.

1. Leaking, venting and flashing

Scouting for leaks, loose vents and inadequately sealed flashing are some of the first areas to tackle when it comes to roof winterization. Telltale signs of leaks can be observed from water spots on ceilings and walls and other places where water can get into a home. Shingles that are loose, warped, cracked or missing are often signs of roof damage as are vents that are not secured, and flashing that is detached. All of these areas signal likely problems that need to be addressed before winter arrives.

2. Stopping Leaks

Stopping leaks really needs to be a major concern when it comes to winterizing a roof, so pesky leaks don’t continue to cause problems when winter moves into second gear. If leaks are neglected, they can cause mold growth, insulation damage and make life miserable. You may be able to do a few precautionary measures on your own, such as taking care of simple leaks, shingles, flashing and drip edging replacements, but positioning yourself on a roof to attempt major repairs with leaks can be a risky proposition and should entail calling in a professional.

3. Cleaning Gutter and Downspouts

Debris seems to be a continual problem, particularly in late fall and early winter when it finds its way into gutter and downspout areas. When autumn winds stir up leaves and tree remnants, the loose debris plugs gutters to the point that moisture has nowhere to go and a roof suffers the consequences. All gutters and downspouts should be thoroughly cleaned, so any accumulated moisture and water has somewhere to go other than the roof.

4. Trimming Overhanging Branches

Once gutters and downspouts have been cleaned, any tree branches that overhang a roof area should be trimmed away from it so there is no chance of heavy snowfall or ice accumulating on the branches and limbs and causing them to break or snap and crash on the roof, or some other area of a home.

5. Inspecting your Roof

It’s hard to discover every little thing that can prevent winter weather from damaging a roof, whether it’s the source of a major or minor leak, the displacement of shingles, or deteriorating flashing and venting systems, overflowing gutters, and excess tree limbs, there is nothing disgraceful in inquiring about a roof inspection for problems that may go unseen. Professional roof experts are trained to see areas that others may not, and they can usually alleviate problems as they come across them. Just find a roofing inspection individual or team that is trustworthy and has the necessary experience to do the job.

Whether you simply want a roof inspection, winterization of your roof or have other preventative maintenance issues that need explanation, get in touch with the specialists at Tri County Exteriors. Fill out the online form and a roofing expert will provide you with the information you need to protect and ready your roof for winter.