Can Hail Damage Your Roof?

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Can Hail Damage Your Roof?

Given the current temperature and weather conditions in Queensland at the moment, there is a high chance we could face more hailstorms.

We all rush around, moving cars under cover and closing windows at the onset of a storm. Yet, thinking of the roof is often forgotten.

Did you catch the footage of hail damaging a tiled roof in the Springfield area recently? In a couple of mere minutes, mango-sized hail smashed through tiles, then gyprock, destroying a lounge room.

Hail can dent metal roofs, (like how your car takes a battering in a storm), and can crack and smash tiled roofs. This can be catastrophic if water leaks occur from the cracks.

Dents in metal roofs caused by hail may not seem like a big problem. However, they can cause structural weak points. Water can pool in the dents and cause corrosion.

Cracks can occur in tiled roofs, which can be tricky to detect. The problem may go unnoticed for some time, perhaps not until the water starts dripping into your ceiling cavity! It is best to get a professional roofer on the job after a significant hailstorm.

Generally speaking, larger hailstones cause the most damage, but don’t underestimate the small stuff! Even small, pebble sized hail stones can damage your roof. Likewise, small leaves and twigs blown about by a storm can easily block downpipes. We often hear of cases where blocked gutters and downpipes have then caused an overflow in the ceiling, and led to internal water damage! This is obviously not a good situation, as repairs can add up, with costly re-plastering and re-painting.  Best to abide by the old saying, ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’.

Following a storm, it is good idea to walk around the property. Inspect for any damages that may have occurred and get onto them straight away, to prevent any associated leakage problems.

The age and condition of the roof also affects the likelihood of it being damaged by hail. A roof that has been neglected in terms of maintenance, will undoubtedly be weaker in a hailstorm.  This can be easily countered by regular cleans and inspections.

The intensity and direction of the wind during the storm will also impact the scale of hail damage. High winds will heighten the angle of impact, causing more damage to the roof and gutters.

Different roofing materials can influence the extent of the damage too. Steel gutters are the most sturdy during a hailstorm, but still not impervious. If your gutters are made from aluminum or copper, they can be dented by hail. If you have a gutter guard or screen, it is best to have it inspected for tears/holes following a storm. Likewise, if your home has skylights – assess the dome, diffuser, shaft, and flashing for any cracks, damage, or leaking.

On tiled roofs – a telltale sign that water is going where it shouldn’t be, is the presence of algae and moss. This may indicate cracks in the tiles. If you suspect your gutters or roof has been damaged by hail, it is best to get it assessed by a professional.

It is also a good idea to download the free SES Assistance app, if you haven’t already, to gain piece of mind ahead of more unpredictable weather forecast for this coming summer.

Most importantly, stay safe and enjoy the holiday season! We look forward to working with you to achieve your property maintenance goals in the New Year.