What Size Hail Can Damage Your Roof?

A Hail Damaged Roof
Hail Damaged Roof

Spring in the South may bring beautiful weather, but it also bring storms and with those storms in many cases, hail. Hail are pellets of frozen rain that fall in showers from cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds.  These pellets can range in size from small grain-like pellets to larger pellets up to softball sized chunks of ice.  Although the softball sized variety are rare, hail is oftentimes large enough to cause damage, especially in high winds.

So what size hail should a homeowner be concerned with?

Generally, hail sizes less than an inch (quarter sized) don’t present much of a danger and aren’t of much concern. In fact, as there are so little reports of any trouble with smaller hail (3/4 in or dime-sized), the National Weather Service changed it’s criteria for hail related alerts from 3/4 inch to 1 inch in 2010.

Depending on the materials of your roof and quality, homeowners generally don’t need to worry about quarter-sized (1 inch) hail. Although fragile or cheaper materials may be damaged, especially during high winds, most healthy roofs can withstand these onslaughts without trouble.

At one and a quarter inches, hail may damage cedar shingles, flat concrete tiles, fiber cement and 3-tab fiberglass roofs but for most other roofs, even this size isn’t much of a concern, but if the storm is especially strong and windy, some damage could occur.

Once hail gets to be golf ball sized (1 1/2 inches), anyone in the affected area should be concerned about hail damage as at this size damage is likely to occur to even heavy wood shakes and solid higher-end roofs. If your home is hit by hail this size a prompt inspection by a professional roof contractor should be your next step.

Larger than 1 1/2 inches ( 1 3/4 to 2 inches or more), you should definitely have your roof inspected as soon as you can as it is likely your roof (and other things) was damaged on some level. The highest end roofs can withstand up to 2 inch hail and 130 mph winds, but outside of hurricane and other high storm areas, these materials are less common.

So the bottom line is, hail under 1 1/2 inches shouldn’t be much of a concern for homeowners with healthy roofs but should the hail be larger or if you notice damage, call Atlanta Roofing Specialists at 770-419-2222 for a free roof inspection and have it fixed before it becomes a larger headache.

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