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graphic with the quote "How Hail Can Damage Your Roof & Why Get Damage Fixed ASAP"

How Hail Can Damage Your Roof & Why Get Damage Fixed ASAP

If you have ever hefted a three-tab shingle, you know it is flexible, gritty, and sturdy. It is made of resilient, tough stuff. Try to tear it with your hands — you can’t. So how can hail damage a shingle roof? Should you, a Norwood-area homeowner, be worried about hail and your shingle roof? And just why does hail damage a roof, anyway? Rest easy! We will answer all your concerns about hail. 


How can tiny hail particles, little bits of water, do anything to a rough, tough shingle? We are roofers; we can help you with the math. Hail is frozen water, not liquid. Depending on the size, it hits with tremendous force. Even a little ½-inch diameter hailstone reaches a terminal velocity of 31 miles per hour

That’s fast enough to knock the gritty granules off a shingle. Fast enough to punch a depression in the shingle, crack the fiberglass webbing in the asphalt, and reduce the shingle’s water resistance. Larger hailstones do greater roof damage, including making the asphalt shingle spongy and unable to shed water. Hail damage leads to roof leaks. Roof leaks lead to:

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Decreased property value
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Ruined ceilings and walls
  • Uneven humidity
  • Destroyed furniture
  • Soaked carpets
  • Uncomfortable family members


Why does a tiny pellet of frozen water cause so much damage? If only a single pellet fell, your roof might be fine. But hail never falls in solo flight; it falls in horrendous hordes of thousands of fast-moving projectiles. It wreaks havoc across your entire roof, punching and smacking and tearing at the shingles.

Even minor hail damage (from pea-sized or smaller hail) can cause roof leaks. Larger hailstones can not only damage shingles, they can tear up underlayment and possibly splinter your sheathing (the layer beneath the underlayment beneath the shingles). 

Your shingles are not the only features of your Norwood-area home’s roof. You also have to consider roof vents for kitchen and bath, plumbing stacks, satellite dishes, and any other piercings (skylights!). All of these can be damaged or destroyed by a hailstorm. 

A typical kitchen vent starts as a hole cut into a perfectly nice roof. Then the vent is installed, and its edges are sealed with roof cement, mastic, or flashing. Shingles are overlapped to allow water to run downhill, away from the hole in your roof. Hail acts like a weedwacker, tearing up that flashing, ruining the mastic, damaging the shingles. Roof leaks can form around the vent, dripping into your attic and down into your kitchen. Insulation, drywall, and even your kitchen cabinets can be ruined.


This all sounds thoroughly miserable. That’s because it is! What can you do about it? We humans are not yet sophisticated enough to stop hailstorms, so you can only turn to your insurance agent and your reliable, nearby residential roofer for relief.

You must immediately contact your roofer and insurance agent after a hailstorm to get a remedy started right away. Delay works against you! Let your roofer assess the damage. Let your roofer work with your insurance adjuster on the scope of damage and the appropriate remedy. 

In many cases, hail damage to a shingle roof can be repaired by replacing badly scarred shingles with similar shingles, matching color as closely as possible. In some cases, a severe hailstorm may require full roof replacement

Your roofer will concentrate on the roof:

  • Shingles
  • Ridge vents
  • Roof vents
  • Gutters
  • Valleys
  • Flashing

Your insurance agent should include everything, not just the roof:

  • Automobiles
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Boats
  • Patio furniture, grills, and cookware
  • Air conditioning unit or heat pump

As with your roof, you cannot afford to delay repair or replacement of all the hail-damaged items on your property. Rust, mold, mildew, rot and insects can all begin when hail dents, dings, or destroys your possessions. 


While a dented grill may be easy to spot, roof damage from hail can be more subtle. You need a trained eye of a skilled roofer to detect the tell-tale signs:

  • Dimpled shingles
  • Gutters full of granules
  • Cracked or crazed shingles
  • Soft, mushy shingles

You may tell yourself you can find granules easily enough in a gutter, and that may be true. But you cannot tell yourself that you can safely walk on your home’s steep-slope roof. That is not true, and you should never risk your health or life on any roof. Leave post-storm roof inspection to a professional residential roofer. 

Own a home in the Norwood, Massachusetts area? Contact us today so we at O’LYN Roofing have the opportunity to work with you and demonstrate our superior roofing services. We are one of the very few roofers to handle slate, as well as low-slope and shingle roofing. Let us help you with all of your roofing needs.