It’s sometimes hard to believe that little balls of ice could wreck your roof, but hail damage is a real thing – and a serious one. Dealing with a damaged roof after a hailstorm is enough to stress any homeowner. I’ve seen firsthand how much damage hail can do, and you need to act fast if it happens to you. Fortunately, this is where a good guide on hail damage roof repair comes in. You’ll learn what to look for, how to file an insurance claim and how to make sure the repairs get done right.

Many folks think they’re safe because they don’t see any holes, but sometimes the worst hail damage isn’t immediately visible. Think of it like this. A shingle is built with layers, and that top layer of granules acts like armor against the sun and weather. Even if a hailstorm doesn’t knock any shingles off your roof, the damage could weaken them over time. Trust me, even tiny cracks can let in moisture. That moisture leads to rot, mold, leaks… and that’s a whole other mess you don’t want to deal with.

Subtle Signs of Trouble

The telltale sign of hail damage? Dents in your gutters and vents. Do you know how those metal pieces are all around your roof? Things like vents, flashing, pipe boots… Hailstones whack them pretty hard. Keep an eye out for anything loose, cracked, dented, or missing. This means your shingles probably got a beating too. That soft metal is easier to damage than your shingles. If those pieces got hammered, you need to figure out if your roof also got hammered. If it’s bad enough, your insurance company may just cover replacing the whole roof.

Even something as small as losing those little granules off your shingles can become a problem down the road. They might be clogging up your gutters. You’ll likely find those granules down in your downspouts if you want to see them up close.

It’s important to remember that there’s a lot of roof damage out there that people blame on hail when it was something else altogether. This doesn’t help anyone when they are trying to get their hail-damage roof repair costs covered. The most obvious example is damage from regular wear and tear. Those shingles have been up against the elements for a long time, baking in the sun and getting hammered by rain. They naturally become more brittle and get that aged look. That isn’t hail. Blistering, cracking, granule loss… That stuff is just a sign of aging shingles. It could also be faulty manufacturing. Check for manufacturer defects first by looking for discolored or warped shingles. Sometimes those black divots will show up on your shingles because hail cracked them. This means water may be hiding beneath the shingle surface and slowly warping it.

When to Call an Expert for Roof Hail Damage Repair

Remember those water stains that suddenly appear on your ceiling? Yeah, those are never a good sign. They could come from a damaged chimney, but leaky roofs are a major culprit. If your attic is showing signs of leaks, don’t put off making a call. I always recommend finding a good local roofing contractor who has experience with hail damage repair and knows what the insurance companies are looking for. I’ve heard some companies will deny your claim just because you opened it in the first place. It’s like getting too many speeding tickets and getting dinged for it later on. It’s like that with home insurance.

Playing the Long Game with Your Roof’s Health

A little hail damage can quickly become a big problem if you wait too long to deal with it. You could end up with a hefty mold remediation bill. The cost of repairs from mold growth and indoor water damage adds up fast. Why risk it? Those compromised shingles become more brittle over time, too. A heavy rainstorm after a hailstorm is practically guaranteed to push water underneath, even if the hail didn’t directly do it. Get your shingles patched up quickly so your roof can keep protecting you. This could also mean you end up needing to replace your roof far sooner than you planned.

Your homeowner’s insurance will only help so much if you don’t keep up with routine maintenance. For example, an old roof may not be eligible for full coverage because it was neglected. Stay on top of any damage so that you’re prepared for anything.

Homeowner’s Insurance and Hail Damage Roof Repair

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will help with roof repairs or even replacement if a hailstorm hits. That said, filing a hail damage roof claim is all about being smart. Don’t forget to check if your insurance policy excludes wind and hail coverage and make sure you read the fine print before assuming everything is covered. Those insurance deductibles can sometimes be confusing.

Replacement Cost Value vs. Actual Cash Value

Let me explain Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value to you because I know insurance jargon can be confusing. Here’s what they mean.

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV): This basically means what your old roof is worth now. Think of it like a used car. As it gets older, its value goes down. ACV accounts for that depreciation and insurance companies only cover the current worth, not the cost of a brand new roof.

  • Replacement Cost Value (RCV): You got it – this one covers a brand new roof. No depreciation deductions. RCV will often have higher premiums, so factor that into your budget, but it gives you that extra peace of mind.

Remember that hurricane deductibles work differently. If you were to live in a coastal area, your deductible is probably tied to a percentage of your house’s value.

Don’t Let the Adjusters Underestimate Costs.

After you’ve filed your claim, an adjuster will swing by to look at the damage. He will determine how much hail damage your roof has. I want to be clear, this doesn’t mean he decides how much the repair will actually cost. I’d recommend getting a professional estimate from a local roofing contractor first so you have something to work with when dealing with the adjuster. There’s nothing wrong with showing the adjuster the needed repairs because your home is probably one of your most significant financial assets.

Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when checking quotes. It’s like Jon Roise from Capital Exteriors in Bismarck says, “It’s extremely difficult to know whether you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to contractor quotes.” Instead, he recommends focusing on the qualifications of the roofing contractors and finding a reputable one who will ensure you are getting all necessary warranties and can audit the insurance adjuster’s findings.

The Right Contractor for the Job

It is even more important to make sure you are hiring a reliable and trustworthy roofer who is willing to go to bat for you and explain to the adjusters what they are looking at and why their methods of finding roof damage were potentially faulty.

To sum it all up, when choosing a contractor for hail damage roof repair, make sure to:

  • Check if they have a valid roofing experience and expertise in your state.

  • Look them up with the Better Business Bureau. If they don’t have a clean record there, it’s probably best to find someone else.

  • Ask if they specialize in hail damage repair or just general roofing work.

  • Always check reviews from other customers. Are they trustworthy, honest, and experienced? That’s all you’re looking for.

  • Find a contractor who has your back and can explain things to you clearly.

  • Get everything in writing with itemized costs and a warranty on the repair work.

Make sure you call your insurance company before you sign anything so you’re on the same page. Be mindful, the insurance company wants you to choose the cheapest repairs. Most of these companies are for-profit, and some try to cut corners. Don’t be afraid to push back if you disagree.

Don’t Skip Those Small Repairs.

Just patching up a few damaged shingles on an asphalt roof doesn’t seem so difficult. I totally get why some folks go DIY for small hail damage repairs, but you should think long and hard before going up on the roof. Roof repair work can be pretty dangerous, especially after a storm when those shingles may be more brittle or loose than you expect. If the repairs look beyond something simple I suggest not delaying making that call. You want to find the type of roof hail damage insurance covers and know how much roof hail costs per square foot for your roof type. Those repair costs can rack up and vary depending on where you live. Insurance can sometimes only partially cover your expenses if you have an older roof too, but it depends on your policy. Here’s what it comes down to. Play it safe, read up on how to make a homeowner’s insurance claim for roof damage, get help if needed, and do your research.

A Roof Replacement Might Make More Sense Long-Term

Imagine that you are an insurance company. Your goal is to spend the least money possible, but you must balance that with homeowner’s needs. Your customers want long-lasting coverage, and they deserve a certain amount of protection and reassurance after experiencing a hailstorm. Sometimes the insurance adjuster will come out, like on Tom S’s customer’s home with a cedar shake roof in Colorado. The adjuster “found damage from 97 shakes on the left elevation, 91 shakes on the front elevation, 41 on the right elevation and 67 on the rear”. It gets expensive and impractical to replace such large areas on one roof, especially when your company knows that many of those shingles may break down prematurely anyway. Also, your rates might increase every time someone files a new claim. Some insurers see a claim as a sign that someone is more likely to have other claims, so their home becomes a greater liability.

To keep everyone happy, your adjusters have the authority to recommend a full roof replacement for some types of hail damage. This protects the insurance company against paying even larger bills down the line, while homeowners like you enjoy a perfectly installed new roof.

Is It a Hurricane or a Windstorm?

For many areas across the country, like those in “hail alley” in states like Texas , Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, or along hurricane-prone coastlines, those high winds can complicate any homeowner’s claims for hail damage. Even pea-sized hail, accelerated by 70 mph wind gusts, can leave dents in gutters, vents, and soffit flashing or even damaging roof decks on exposed peaks or slopes. So before an insurance adjuster even arrives to count hail strikes on a shingle roof, ensure your contractor uses more accurate ways to evaluate the damage. Roof blistering from excessive attic temperatures or mechanical cracking is often mistakenly identified as hail strikes. That is why there is a big push towards impact-resistant roofs, particularly with softer metals used on metal roofing systems or lighter asphalt shingles. Hail hits typically leave divots the size of a dime. It takes about ten hits across an entire roof side to get coverage for a new roof, so make sure your adjuster knows the difference.

Keep this in mind: in 2020, America had a total of 4,611 major hailstorms. Those little ice pellets have caused more than a billion dollars worth of damage nationwide each year since .

Insurance coverage for hurricane damage can get complicated. And, sometimes companies entirely exclude wind damage, which is a factor behind increased insurance rates along the hurricane-prone coasts.

Additional Insights from the Pros

It’s no secret that many roofing contractors get frustrated with how insurance companies handle homeowner’s claims after storms. You know what doesn’t help matters though? Hearing all those horror stories. Let’s clear the air. It isn’t fair to put every insurance company and every adjuster into the same “evil corporation” box. If an insurer finds evidence of neglect on a shingle roof, a flat roof, a metal roof or whatever roof type you have, do you think it’s unreasonable that your policy terms should dictate coverage? Some of those older roofs weren’t built for those brutal hailstorm conditions, but many homeowner’s policies require your house to be adequately maintained for complete protection anyway.

Why Cosmetic Damage Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Don’t underestimate those cosmetic dents. Hail damage that isn’t impacting a home’s safety right now could become a real problem later. I can’t tell you how many insurance adjusters use Cosmetic Damage Exclusions to try to justify only paying for partial repairs or even outright denying entire claims.

Here’s how it comes down. That dent in your siding isn’t going to cause immediate leaks but compromised siding won’t last as long. You paid for insurance for a reason. Do your research, take lots of pictures and don’t let those little dents get underestimated.

Making the Right Decisions for Roof Hail Damage Repair

Look. Dealing with roof damage of any sort can be stressful and frustrating. If you add in an insurance claim, those negative feelings can compound. But a little knowledge can go a long way towards putting your mind at ease and ensuring you get a new roof.

Final Takeaways for Navigating Roof Repair Costs

When I give advice, it boils down to common sense steps and not taking things too personally. Here’s what to keep in mind.

  • Act fast after a hailstorm. It’s a no-brainer.

  • Take notes, take lots of pictures, write everything down in detail, and keep it organized. The details are crucial to everything, and good record-keeping puts everyone on the same page about exactly what you’re looking at when explaining hail damage roof repair to an adjuster.

  • Document any temporary repairs with photos.

  • Think about tarping exposed areas so more damage doesn’t happen. Don’t do anything too drastic or costly because those additional repair costs may not be covered.

  • File the insurance claim. Most policies will give you some assistance with those unexpected repairs that happen after storms, although your home insurance premiums will probably increase as a result.

  • If the damage is less serious, reach out to a couple of trusted roofers for estimates first. They can meet with the adjuster to ensure your claim is adequately approved. Insurance may cover damage to the underlayment or deck boards, too. Ask for an itemized quote. It helps when discussing roof repair cost per square foot or even your replacement costs. It is best to be over prepared and more thorough.

  • You might even get lucky and find you are eligible for some homeowner insurance discounts because your current roof materials aren’t impact-resistant.

FAQs About Hail Damage Roof Repair

Should a roof be replaced after hail?

This depends on the amount of damage, age of the roof, and your insurance policy. Severe hail can damage shingles, leading to leaks. A roof inspection is the best way to know. It’s important to note that your homeowner’s insurance policy may even require a full replacement to prevent future, larger claims for the same roof.

How much damage does a roof need to be replaced?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. Factors like roof type, local building codes, and insurance policies come into play. Generally, though, widespread shingle damage, punctures, or compromised structural integrity will often trigger a replacement rather than just repairs. This protects the homeowner and gives insurers that peace of mind they love.

How much hail does it take to damage a roof?

That depends on wind speed, the age of your roof, and what kind of roof you have. Any hail that’s larger than a quarter has a good chance of causing damage, even to those more resistant metal roofs. Strong winds are another critical thing to remember when determining how much small hail can damage your roof or siding.

How to tell if a roof is damaged by hail?

Look for dented gutters, vents or flashing. Black dots on your shingles, especially when accompanied by cracks, splits or missing chunks, are usually another indicator of damage. Also, pay attention to any signs of water leaking inside, like water stains on your ceiling. In addition, I suggest paying attention to how those insurance adjusters walk around the house after they are done evaluating a roof. Many of them will scuff their shoes on an area where the shingles lost a lot of granules. Those scuff marks reveal the asphalt beneath, making those otherwise hidden hits far more obvious.


In the end, knowing the steps of a successful hail damage roof repair gives any homeowner a sense of reassurance and peace of mind that money can’t buy. Stay vigilant, pay attention to your home’s health and trust your gut.

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