Understanding hailstorms and their effects on your roof are necessary to ensure your home is adequately protected and that it will remain valuable for years to come. The roof is an integral part of any structure, as it is the primary protector (along with walls) from the elements of Mother Nature. Choosing the correct roof to shield you and your family and valuable memoirs within your home is as important as the home itself. The roof you choose should be able to withstand your local climate and the weather that frequents your area. For those of you in Colorado, today, we will focus on how hail storms affect your roof. If you are looking for a local, professional roofing company in Denver, Colorado, look no further than Roofing Systems. Let’s talk hail storms and your home.
- What is Hail?
- How is Hail Formed?
- Types of Roof Damage Caused By Hail Storms
- What Factors Affect the Severity of Hail Roof Damage
- Evaluating Roof Condition
- Free Roof Inspection in Denver, Colorado
Why is it Important to Understand How Hail Affects Your Roof?
Denver, Colorado, is one of many cities located along an area of the country called “Hail Alley,” which spans from southwestern Texas up to South Dakota. In Denver, you can expect 9 hail days on average each season. Hail season spans all of summer, from May to September. As a homeowner in this area of the country, that is a significant amount of potential damage to your investment. Understanding how hail storms affect your roof in Denver, Colorado, allows you to better protect your home. In turn, protecting yourself and your family.
What is Hail?
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. Hailstones, which make up hail, are balls or lumps of ice. Hailstones may vary in diameter from the size of a pea to the size of a grapefruit! It is formed when rain is carried up to higher, colder areas of the atmosphere while in a thunderstorm’s updraft. Hail greater than an inch in diameter, or golf ball-sized hail, can cause damage to buildings, cars, livestock, and, you guessed it, the roof shielding you. Hail storms often arrive swiftly, with presence, and without much notice. If you ever find yourself in a hail storm, seek shelter immediately or pull over your moving vehicle once it is safe to do so. Hail can injure you, leaving scratches, bruises, or even welts.
How is Hail Formed?
Those who live in the Great Plains or along the west of the Rocky Mountains are pretty familiar with hail. For new homeowners in Denver, Colorado, let’s quickly recap on the nature of hail to better inform roofing decisions.
Hail is formed from supercooled water. An incredible phenomenon in nature takes place. This supercooled water appears most frequently in Earth’s upper atmosphere. It can retain its liquid form despite going below average freezing temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Supercooled water can freeze after encountering ice crystals, dust particles, or raindrops.
Cumulonimbus or thunderstorm clouds are the birthplace of supercooled water. Within the clouds, ice particles begin to form from supercooled water. The ice particles free fall towards the bottom of the cloud because of Earth’s gravitational pull. However, the ice particles are quickly forced back up by rapid, powerful updrafts of air occurring within the clouds. (What’s a storm without wind, am I right?)
In the upper regions of the thunderstorm clouds, more supercooled water is found and freezes upon contacting ice particles. This causes layers of ice to form around supercooled water. This process repeatedly happens until small bits of ice become large enough to be considered hailstones. When these hailstones become too heavy to be lifted by updrafts of winds, they fall to the Earth’s surface in the form of hail.
What Factors Affect the Severity of Hail Roof Damage
The key factors that affect the amount of roof damage that may be received from a hailstorm are as follows: the size of the hail, the speed of the wind, the direction the wind blows, the materials used on the roof, the age of materials and the slope of the roof. These determinants can be compiled to indicate the best type of response, to repair or a complete replacement of your roof after a severe hailstorm. Aged or weakened roofs impacted by hail damage tend to have more roof leaks and other issues.
Hail storms cause billions of dollars of damage to residential and commercial properties each year. Understanding the factors that affect the severity of hailstorms will ensure you can prepare and respond accordingly to hailstorms and their aftermath.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for your free inspection, give Roofing Systems a call today. Our team of experts is always standing by and would be happy to assist you in any way we can.
Types of Roof Damage Caused By Hailstorms
Hailstorms can cause considerable damage to roofs. The storm damages most found after hailstorms are granule loss, cracked shingles, exposed fiberglass mat, fractured fiberglass mat, and weakened seal strip. Let us quickly go over what to look for when evaluating roof damage.
Granules are small compact particles of a substance primarily made from crushed stone and minerals. This sandpaper-like part of the shingle is vital to your protection from the elements, as it helps waterproof your roof. Granule loss may be evidence of an aged roof and may lead to accelerated aging. Examine the gutters and downspouts around your home in the aftermath of hailstorms to see if you have any losses of granules.
A roof’s ability to protect those below it from the weather depends on the quality of the shingle. Heavy hail falls, or fierce winds can shift shingles and cause damage. Cracks, exposures, or tears in the shingles may be caused by hailstorms. Though all of your shingles may be in place, damaged shingles leave your roof with vulnerabilities. Once shingles are cracked, a roof should no longer be considered effective in protecting from the weather. Cracked shingles should be replaced, even if it seems like a minor repair.
Exposed Fiberglass Mat
Shingles are most commonly laid upon the foundation of a fiberglass mat. When hail falls at high speeds and the impact damages a roof, shingles can be shattered. Enough shattered shingles may cause surfacing to break away and expose the inner foundation, or fiberglass mat, to the elements of nature. Repairing or replacing a fiberglass mat is a more significant undertaking than repairing or replacing a few shingles.
Fractured Fiberglass Mat
This type of damage may be difficult to detect with an inexperienced and untrained eye. Points of impact from hailstorms can result in fractures in exposed fiberglass mats. Fractured fiberglass mats can be identified by a crack radiating out from the center of an impact point.
Weakened Seal Strips
The shingles on the roof are held together by seals. High winds and hail can weaken the strength of the seal for your roof’s shingles. This can loosen shingles, making them more susceptible to being blown off and further damage to the roof. Damage incurred can lead to leaks and cause other shingles to fall into disrepair.
Roofing Systems is Denver’s Trusted Roofing Contractor
Roofing Systems has over a decade of experience in the storm damage repair business within the Denver metro area, repairing hail damaged roofs in Colorado since 2010. We know which damage indicators to look for and the elements you will experience in Denver, securely protecting you and your property and keeping you safe. The team at Roofing Systems is honored to have been recognized as a premier service provider in the Denver construction industry, delivering outstanding customer service to every client.
Roofing Systems is a complete exterior restoration contractor in Denver, Colorado. Whether you are looking to repair your home’s roof, siding, or even the gutters, our skilled professional contractors at Roofing Systems are here and ready to help you. We provide roof repairs, roof replacements, siding repair and replacement, gutter repair and replacement, and painting services for residential and commercial properties alike in the Denver metro area.
Free Roof Condition Evaluation in Denver
The process of evaluating roof damage has never been more straightforward than with our team of storm damage repair experts. Suppose you are in the Denver metro area and think your home has recently been damaged by a hail storm or other element scenarios. In that case, it is crucial to find a trusted roofing professional with exceptional levels of integrity and workmanship. At Roofing Systems, we will guide you through the process and can work directly with your home insurance company, so you do not have to play the role of the middle man. If you are looking for a professional roofing contractor in the Denver, Colorado area, reach out now to schedule your free roof inspection. Roofing Systems is happy to provide you with a free estimate and walk you through our inspection findings. We are Denver’s trusted professional roofing contractor.