Tips To Avoid Hail Damage And Leaks
Even a minor hail storm can cause major damage to your roof. Some damage is immediately visible, such as torn shingles or roof punctures. Other types of damage is not as readily noticeable, such as compressed shingles that are weakened to the point of allowing a slow leak. If hail has damaged your roof, the following tips can help you choose a more hail resistant option.
Tip #1: Consider reinforced asphalt
Asphalt shingles often take the greatest beating in a hail storm, but if you simply prefer these shingles or are stuck with them due to HOA or local restrictions, there are more durable options. Opt for a reinforced asphalt shingle. These look just like regular asphalt shingles, but they have a reinforced fiberglass core. They may also feature asphalt that is coated in a polymer, which will further increase their durability.
Tip #2: Consider a more hail-hearty alternative
If you are tired of asphalt, then there are alternatives that may perform better in hail. Metal panel roofing usually won't develop a leak after a hail storm, but there may be appearance issues since the hail can leave permanent dents. Metal shingles, especially if they are textured, withstand hail without major appearance problems. Slate tiles are also a good option, but avoid clay as they can be easily chipped.
Tip #3: Always remove the old shingles
It can be tempting to simple install the new shingles over the old to save time and money. Unfortunately, this can increase hail damage, since the quality of the old roof cladding can't be inspected before new shingles are applied. The excess roofing nails in the old cladding can also lead to a higher chance of leaks.
Tip #4: Plan for regular inspections
Checking your roof for potential problems at least once a month can also help you avoid hail damage. You are mainly watching for loose or damaged shingles, which could be ripped off in a hail storm and lead to a leak. Fixing a single torn or broken shingle now can save you from a major roof leak later.
Tip #5: Inspect after every hail storm
On top of regular inspections, you need to inspect the roof after a hail storm – no matter how small the hailstones or brief the storm. First, check that the metal flashing in roof valleys and around roof structures is in good condition. Next, look for visibly damaged shingles. Finally, check for compression damage. This will look like shinier or brighter spots on shingles where the hailstones struck, or it may be apparent from an increased amount of gravel in the gutters from the roof.
If you suspect you have hail damage or want to upgrade your roof, contact a roofer in your area.