Colorado lies right in what is known as "hail alley", the most common area for hailstorms on the continent, and we're in hail season. The largest recorded hailstone in U.S. history fell on July 23, 2010 in Vivian, South Dakota, measuring 8 inches in diameter and weighing 1.94 pounds! It doesn't take basketball-size hail to cause damage though, in fact hail larger than 1" can cause damage. In Colorado we see an average of 7-10 of these storms per year, so it's no wonder the "storm chasers" show up here every spring and set up shop!
How do you know if your roof has been damaged by hail??
The first and easiest step is to look around. If trees, shrubs, plants, or cars are damaged there is a chance your roof may be damaged. If you have a shingle roof, check gutters and downspout outlets for mineral granules. Hail storms dislodge the small particles that form the surface of asphalt shingles, and while impact fractures to the shingle itself may not be easily spotted, the loss of this protective layer leaves the shingle more vulnerable to damage in the next storm. If you see large mineral deposits in gutters or on the ground near outlets, have leaks, or suspect hail damage for any reason, it's time to call Turner Morris! We can quickly and safely determine if an insurance adjuster should be called on to help you begin the claim process.
Hail damage to shingles
If your building has a flat roof, the most obvious sign of hail damage might be buckets everywhere catching water from roof leaks! But...hail can damage a single-ply roof without causing a total failure, leaving a roof vulnerable to the next weather event. Professional roofers can see the slightest indications of failure, and may even take a sample of the roofing sheet to determine if there is cracking on the under-side of the membrane that could compromise performance in the next storm. The systems most vulnerable to hail damage are white single-ply sheets that are a few years old. These sheets can become brittle as plasticizers are "baked" out, leaving them more likely to fracture when hit with a hailstone traveling 60-80 miles per hour or more.
If your roof is metal, EPDM (rubber), or tar-and-gravel, it will typically weather a hailstorm without damage. But hail and heavy rains can result in clogged drainage from storm debris littering your roof, causing leaks that are easily avoidable with a little "housekeeping". It is important to have your roof inspected AT LEAST annually for any repairs or maintenance necessary to prevent leaks and damage to your building. Even if your roof is relatively new and under warranty, most manufacturers require inspections annually and after major weather events in order to ensure continued compliance. Turner Morris is dedicated to helping you maintain your valuable roof, and we are happy to schedule annual inspections as well as storm damage evaluations. So if you haven't had your roof inspected lately, call Turner Morris today and have one of our professionals come out and take a look!