How does Hail Affect Composite/Asphalt Roofing Shingles?

Generally, damage can be seen as indentations and/or fractures on the shingle’s surface. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness and create a random pattern of dents or depressions. If this is not evident, look for indentations on metal flashings, gutters & downspouts, A/C fins, chimney caps, or even skylight flashings. After some time, clusters of granules may come off (at the point of impact) in a random pattern and expose the asphalt.

  • Granule loss at points of impact, which may be accompanied by surface depression. Loss of mineral granules as an immediate or gradual consequence of storm damage can lead to the asphalt coating being directly exposed to the elements. This may lead to accelerated aging of the shingle. Therefore, granule loss is NOT just cosmetic damage, and “sugaring” — the process of adding loose granules to damaged shingles with asphalt cement — is not a permanent solution. 
  • Cracks in the granule-asphalt surfacing, which may radiate outward from points of impact. Cracks may be present especially if high winds blew the shingles back. 
  • Exposed fiberglass mat, where hail shattered the granule-asphalt surfacing causing it to break away from the fiberglass mat. 
  • Fractured fiberglass mat, which may or may not be immediately visible. A fractured mat may result in tears radiating out from the points of impact. Furthermore, hidden damage to the mat may later develop into cracks and tears in time as the shingles age. 
  • Loosening of the self-seal strip. This damage may or may not be immediately visible and may weaken the seal integrity, creating the possibility of future shingle blow-off.

John Ludwig

John began his roofing career in the roofing industry working at ABC Supply Co before joining Rhoden Roofing in 2010.

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