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Identifying Hail Damage to Your Roof

Weather can be unpredictable and turbulent weather—especially hail—can damage shingles and cause other devastating roof hail damage to your home. Contractors should explain to homeowners how hail can affect shingles and what they should watch out for when selecting the right shingles for storm-prone areas around Albuquerque.

A manufacturer’s warranty typically will not cover roof hail damage — however, you should review the details of the warranty covering your shingles in order to determine whether any such coverage is available.

Factors in Hail Damage to Your Roof

The following are some factors that affect the type and degree of roof hail damage that may be impacted on your shingles by a hailstorm, as well as a guide on how to identify hail damage to different types of shingles and roofing materials.



During a hailstorm, wind direction and wind speed can vary. Changes in wind conditions can affect the location and severity of hail impacts.

size and density

Size & Density

The size of the hailstones can affect the degree of damage, if any, to your property. A hailstone can be as small as a pea, or as large as a softball. Most hailstones do not have smooth edges, which can impact the type of damage they cause as well.

building materials

Building Materials

Building materials absorb hail impacts differently. For example, hail can cause dings in aluminum siding, gutters, or asphalt shingles, whereas it can crack vinyl siding or wood shakes. Alternatively, softball-sized hailstones can be dense enough and strong enough to puncture a roof. Additionally, the age and condition of a roof could affect the degree of damage your roof can incur.



The position of neighboring structures and natural barriers, like tree cover, landscaping, fences, or adjacent homes can reduce the ability of hail to cause damage to your roof.


What are the most common types of damage?

While it is possible to replace individual storm-damaged shingles, latent damage to the surrounding shingles caused by a storm can be difficult to assess. Because of the potential for the surrounding shingles to also have experienced storm damage, complete roof replacement is sometimes recommended for the long-term performance of these hail damaged roofs. If the damage is confined to one plane of the roof, replacement of just the damaged roof plane may be possible. If individual shingles are being replaced, any nails that were removed from surrounding shingles must be replaced and the surrounding shingles must be resealed by hand for the best results. Hail damage to your roof can create long terms problems and further damage to your home if not dealt with properly the first time. At Xpress Roofing and Construction, we will always be fully transparent with you about what the job needs to keep you and your home safe and will discuss all of the options available to you.

Do we need to replace several individual shingles or does the entire roof need to be replaced?

The following items are ways that you can identify if the roof hail damage on your home is significant enough to possibly warrant a roof replacement. When these elements are not present, you may not require a new roof. However, we strongly recommend speaking with a local roofing professional before making your final decision. At Xpress Roofing and Construction, we offer free consultations, so you can speak with a professional and get peace of mind without having any financial commitment.

  • 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 during the hail storm.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.


What size hail can damage a roof?

Damage potential varies depending on several factors including roof type, roofing material quality, installation methods, shingle layers, roof slope, wind speeds, etc.

However, there are some guidelines you can generally turn to. If your roof contains one layer of common asphalt shingles, it usually takes a 1′′ or above diameter hail stone to cause roof hail damage.

Roofs with multiple shingle layers may be damaged by smaller hail stones, due to a softer support surface directly under the top shingle layer.

When referring to hail sizes, here are a few common objects to compare to hail stone diamater:




Pea = 1/4-inch


Marble = 1/2-inch


Dime or penny = 3/4-inch


Nickel = 7/8-inch


Quarter = 1 inch

golf ball

Golf Ball = 11⁄2 inches

tennis ball

Tennis Ball = 21⁄2 inches


Baseball = 23⁄4 inches


Tea cup = 3 inches


Softball = 4 inches