If you live in a region that is prone to hail storms, then it’s important for you to know how to protect yourself from the devastating effects of these intense weather events. Hail can cause significant damage and costly repairs on your roof, so here are some tips on how to keep your roof safe during a storm.
The first step that any homeowner should take before a hailstorm approaches is to make sure all air vents, chimneys, skylights or other venting structures are covered with plastic sheeting or metal screens. This will prevent the damaging hail stones from entering into the building’s interior areas and causing destruction. If you have an attic space over your garage (and most houses do) then this would be another area where protection is a good idea.
Besides your roof, hail can also severely damage your gutters and downspouts. If you have a special type of gutter that is not manufactured from solid materials like metal, then the hail will go right through them causing leaks and other problems. The hail stones are hard enough to cause significant damage to these types of gutters so it’s best to replace them before hail season hits.
As for the roof itself, hail can cause damage by either denting or cracking tiles and shingles especially if your home is located in a hail zone where these weather events occur with regularity. If hail is able to penetrate the roof material then water will get inside creating leaks that lead to problems like mold and mildew growth, plus wood rot may ultimately set in as well at some point.
After hail has fallen on a building, it’s important that any broken glass from skylights and roof windows be swept up quickly and disposed of properly (in case there are sharp shards).
It’s also a good idea to inspect small hail dents in your roof as soon as possible. If hail stones penetrate the roof’s surface then water can get in and cause more serious damage to your home. A hail dent is difficult to detect by looking at it from the ground, but there are a couple of techniques you can use that will help determine if hail has penetrated your roof:
A hail dent often appears as a lighter colored spot on your roof caused by hail stones hitting the shingles at a faster speed than raindrops which impacts the color pigments within them. The best way to determine if this is present would be to climb onto your roof and look for yourself.
Another method of checking for hail dents involves placing ice cubes over several areas of your shingles or tiles where hail dents are suspected. (Regular hail stones will melt ice cubes much more quickly than raindrops, so this is another way to tell if hail has penetrated the roof.)
Turn Off the Power to Your Home Before Making Any Repairs
You need to turn off the electricity to your home by turning off the main breakers for each section of your house.
Use A Ladder and Wear Protective Gear When Working on The Roof
Hail can cause injury. Protect your eyes and face with goggles or a safety mask. Wear protective gloves to prevent cuts from hail stones and cover any exposed areas of your body for protection as well.
When stepping on the roof, wear work boots otherwise you will slip off due to hail melting on the roof surface making it slippery.
Use A Small Sledge Hammer to Remove Hail Dents
Sledging is an effective way to eliminate hail damage on your roof because it allows you to get close enough so you can use direct force in order to hit hard enough in order to break out hail dents leaving a smooth surface again. If there are more than one hail dent, then make sure that you repair them all as soon as possible so they don’t continue to deteriorate.
Repair Small Holes by Using Tar Paper, Metal Flashing, Or Putty
If hail has penetrated your roof, then you’ll need to patch them as soon as possible. You can use a product called hail stop which stops hail from entering the inside of your home. Since hail dents often occur where roof vents or skylights are situated it’s important that you repair all hail damage in this area so water does not leak into your house and cause other problems.
Taking Care of Big Hail Dents Requires More Work and Experience
If hail penetrates deeply on the surface of your roof, then you will likely need to replace parts of the shingles or tiles in order to make everything look properly again. In order for hail damage repairs to be successful, time is critical. The longer the hail damage goes unrepaired, the more damage will occur in the hail zone causing further water leaks and structural problems. For any hail-damaged roof repairs, it would be wise to hire a hail repair professional to evaluate your home’s hail damage and make necessary roof repairs before additional or worse damages starts to surface.
Awnings Can Prevent Hail from Damaging Your Roof
If you have an awning attached to the front of your house, then it may reduce the risk that hail stones will hit other parts of your house by offering them some protection. In general, though, most design areas provide little or no protection against hail storms due to their close proximity between two vertical walls which causes hailstones to bounce off and onto other surfaces. If hail is penetrating your roof, then it’s important that you repair hail damage as soon as possible to prevent further damages from developing.