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Hail Storm Season is Here! What Does This Mean for Homeowners?

Hail On Roof

Hail storm season is officially here! In the United States, hail storms become more common from May until August. As experts in storm damage restoration, we are very knowledgeable about the effects of hail and how it can present a significant problem for homeowners during the spring season. 

What is Hail? 

Hail forms when thunderstorm updrafts carry raindrops upward into the extremely cold atmosphere. They grow by being coated with liquid water that freezes onto the surface.

If the water freezes instantaneously, the hailstones will be cloudy. If it freezes slowly, the hailstones will be clear.

Hail falls in response to gravity when it becomes heavy enough to overcome the updraft.

The speed at which they fall depends on hailstone size, friction with the surrounding air, local wind conditions, and how much they have melted since forming. Here are the expected falling speeds based on hailstone diameter:

  • Smaller than 1 inch: 9 – 25 mph 
  • Between 1 inch and 2 inches: 25 to 40 mph 
  • Between 2 inches and 4 inches: 44 to 72 mph 
  • Larger than 4 inches: 100 mph 

Knowing how quickly hailstones can fall, it is no surprise that these can cause significant damage to homes & other property! In addition to this, hailstones only need to be around one inch to cause damage substantial enough to warrant a home insurance claim. 

How Does Hail Cause Damage? 

Hailstones can result in dents in anything in their path, including your roof! Depending on the severity of the hail storm, it is possible that it will leave dents in shingles, siding, and gutters. 

The dents in shingles can leave the asphalt layer underneath exposed, which leaves your roof vulnerable to other weather elements. 

While the impact of these dents may not be evident immediately, in the weeks and months after a hail storm, these damaged shingles can become brittle or cracked. This results in leaks and can become a major problem if left untreated! 

How Can Hail Damage Be Identified? 

After a hail storm, we highly recommend reaching out to Aspen Exteriors to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection. Hail damage is not always visible from the ground, and because most home insurance policies require a claim to be made within one year of the damage taking place, it is important to know whether or not your roof was affected by the storm right away!

While we suggest a professional inspection, there are several indicators that your roof has been damaged by hail that you can spot without climbing onto your roof, so if you spot any of these, we recommend giving us a call immediately: 

  • Dents on your gutters or downspouts. If these have any dents, it’s likely your roof has been affected to some degree, too. 
  • Dents to other metal items that were left outside around your home, such as your mailbox or your grill. If these have any dings, it could be a sign that your shingles also have dents! 
  • Granules from your shingles in your gutters & downspouts. 

Record-breaking Hail Storms 

Did you know that in the United States, we’ve had several storms resulting in over one billion dollars in damages each? 

According to Weather Underground, the costliest storm in recent history took place on April 10, 2001, and had the largest effect on the St. Louis area. In today’s money, it resulted in over 2.5 billion dollars in damage. 

The largest hailstorm recorded in the United States was found in Vivian, South Dakota in July 2010, and was eight inches in diameter – similar to the size of a standard volleyball! 

Needless to say, hail should not be underestimated! It is a powerful weather force that can be very dangerous. 

We Are Here to Help 

Spring is made for vacations, warmer temperatures, and spending more time outdoors. The last thing you want to be worried about as a homeowner is roof damage caused by a spring hailstorm! 

We are here to ensure a smooth process so you can get back to what spring & summer are all about. If you’ve recently had hail in your area, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-866-68-ASPEN to schedule your free inspection.