How Much Hail Damage Constitutes an Entire Roof Replacement?

March 12th, 2024
Roof with hail damage and chalk markings from inspection

If you reside in an area prone to seasonal storms, hail is a common weather occurrence. But have you ever wondered how much hail damage is necessary to replace a roof? This is a critical question homeowners often wonder after their homes bear the brunt of a hail storm. 


Understanding the severity of the damage helps in making informed decisions about whether to repair the existing roof or replace it entirely.


Upon inspection and review of your insurance policy, if you find that the damage caused by the hail storm to your roof is beyond repair, it may be time to consider an entire roof replacement.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to understand hail damage better, or you’re staring at the aftermath of a hail storm, this blog will provide you with insights from the basics of hail damage to filing an insurance claim.


Infographic for Leverage roofing about the signs if hail damage

Roof Repair vs Roof Replacement

Depending on your roof type, hail damage can affect it more intensely. As a rule of thumb, if the damage is localized and does not harm the structural integrity of your home, a repair might be all you need. If the structural integrity is compromised, your roof is leaking, or there are multiple dents/punctures spread around the roof, a full roof replacement may be in order. Lastly, upon reviewing your insurance policy, if you find that the damage caused by the hail storm to your roof is beyond repair, it may be time to consider an entire roof replacement.


If you are unable to determine if you need a new roof or a repair, a professional roof inspection is the best course of action.

Understanding Roof Hail Damage

Hail happens when raindrops get pushed up high into really cold parts of the atmosphere, freeze into balls of ice, and then fall to the ground. They can be violent, and unpredictable, and can cause significant damage to your property, chiefly, your roof.


Smaller hailstones might cause minor, mostly cosmetic damage. However, larger hailstones can result in more severe structural damage to your roof, impacting its longevity. 


Impact on Different RoofsHail on the roof. Summer storm. Hailstones the size of cherries. Large hail is lying on the roof.

The extent of damage hail can inflict upon your roof significantly depends on the type of roofing material and the age of your roof.


Asphalt Shingle


Hail impacts can leave dark spots or expose the roof felt. After a hail storm, you might notice dents or bruising on your asphalt shingle roof.


Metal Roofs


Metal roofs tend to fare better under hail. They might incur dents but rarely puncture unless the hailstones are exceptionally large. Metal roofing is considered the most durable as they do not crack or split.


Wood Shingle


For wood shingles, hail damage can be evident in splits or cracks along the grain with sharp edges. Wood shingles are most likely to lead you in the path of a new roof replacement when damaged by hail.


Cosmetic Damage vs. Extensive Damage


A pile of large hail on the ground

Not all hail damage is the same. While cosmetic damage affects the surface, leaving dents, bruises, or removing granules (in the case of asphalt shingles), it doesn’t often affect the functional integrity of the roof. Extensive damage, on the other hand, compromises the roof’s durability and may lead to bigger issues like leakages or structural instability if not addressed in a timely manner.


With a comprehensive understanding of how hail affects each type of roof, you can take the first step in identifying possible roof damage after a storm and preventing minor damage from morphing into significant damage.

Inspecting for Hail Damage 

Aside from the visible damages, hailstorms can lead to less obvious structural damage. Regularly inspecting your house, specifically your roof after a storm, can identify these early signs of damage. It can help estimate the severity of the damage and determine the next course of action – whether a minor repair job will suffice or a roof replacement is in order.

Signs of Potential Hail Damage on Different Roof Types

  • Asphalt Shingle: Look for dents or bruising where granules are missing. If there has been exposure of the underlying felt, it indicates significant hail damage.
  • Metal Roofs: Dents are more visible on a metal roof. Even minor dents must be inspected for potential breakages in the roof’s protective coating to prevent rust formation.
  • Wood Shingles: Cracks or splits in the wood, particularly along the grain, can signal the presence of hail damage.


Calling for a Professional Inspection

While a preliminary home roof inspection can help you identify obvious hail damage, hidden damages that are not readily apparent may go unnoticed. For a more thorough evaluation, it is always wise to call in a professional roofing contractor. They are equipped with the requisite knowledge and experience to assess the state of your roof accurately and can help guide your decision regarding necessary repairs or roof replacement.


By staying vigilant and proactive in assessing your roof after a hailstorm, you can address potential hail damage before it evolves into more severe damage. Bringing in a professional for a more detailed inspection ensures that all potential issues are identified and appropriately addressed on time.


Roof Shingles damaged and in need of repair

The Insurance Process for Hail-Damaged Roofs

Once you’ve assessed the damage from a hailstorm, you might find yourself navigating through the process of dealing with your homeowners insurance. Understanding the parameters of your insurance policy, engaging in an informed conversation with insurance adjusters, and filing an insurance claim can be daunting. This section will help you navigate this process.


Different insurance providers offer distinct types of homeowners insurance with varying levels of coverage. While some policies might cover partial repair costs, others might shoulder the expenses of a full roof replacement. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and understand its terms related to hail or storm damage.


Interacting with Insurance Adjusters


Your insurance company may send an adjuster to inspect the hail damage claim on your roof. A roofer’s presence at this step can be beneficial – the adjuster gets professional intel on the extent of the damage and the cost of necessary repairs. This can expedite your claim process and ensure that your claim’s calculation is accurate.


Filing an Insurance Claim


Once the extent of damage is known, file a claim with your insurance provider. Detailed documentation of the damage (including photos and a professional inspection report) can strengthen your claim. Remember to consider both repair and replacement costs. For severe hail damage leading to a roof replacement need, consider the costs of discarding the old roof, labor costs for installation, and of course, the cost of the new roof. 


Roofer installing new asphalt shingles

Full Roof Replacement & Repairs with Leverage Roofing

Getting hit by a hailstorm can be daunting for you and your home, especially your roof which often bears the brunt of the storm’s wrath. By understanding hail damage, carrying out diligent inspections, and navigating insurance claims, you can effectively protect your home from further damage. When the damage is beyond repair, look no further than Leverage Roofing for your roof replacement needs. With our expertise, we can transform a stressful situation into a well-managed project with a roof built to weather the future.


Once a roof replacement or repair decision is made, it’s crucial to have a reliable and skilled team on your side to ensure the job is done right. Locally owned and operated, Leverage Roofing has years of experience serving the Carolinas. At Leverage Roofing, we work directly with your insurance company for weather damage claims, including hail damage, to ensure the process is smooth and stress-free. 


No matter whether you need a full roof replacement or just a roof repair – Leverage Roofing is capable of handling your needs. Our professionals are dedicated to carrying out the necessary work promptly, allowing you to get back to your everyday life with minimal disruption.


Call us or request a free inspection today for all your roofing needs!