What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof

Last updated on June 15, 2023

Discover the various hail sizes that can cause significant damage to your roof and how to protect your home from these destructive elements.

Hailstorms can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare, especially when it comes to potential damage to their roof. While some hailstones may look small and harmless, others can be as large as baseballs and cause significant damage.

As a roofing expert, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of hail on roofs. So, what size hail will damage a roof? In this article, we’ll explore the different sizes of hailstones and their potential impact on your roof.

By understanding these factors, you’ll be better equipped to protect your home from any future hailstorms that come your way.

Understanding Hail Damage

roof hail damage
Insurance Adjuster marked hail damage on a insureds roof.

Hail damage is a common problem that homeowners face, especially in areas prone to hailstorms. Hailstones can cause significant damage to your roof, leading to leaks and other issues if left unaddressed.

Understanding the extent of hail damage is crucial for any homeowner looking to protect their property from potential harm.

When it comes to assessing hail damage on your roof, there are several factors you need to consider. The size and density of the hailstones are two critical factors that determine how much impact they will have on your roofing material.

Wind speed during a storm can also affect the severity of the damages.

It’s important not only to identify visible signs of physical damages but also underlying problems such as weakened shingles or cracks in tiles caused by repeated exposure over time.

Hail Size Classification

The National Weather Service (NWS) classifies hailstones based on their diameter. According to NWS, pea-sized hail has a diameter of 1/4 inch while golf ball-sized hail measures about 1-3/4 inches in diameter.

Hail that is larger than two inches is considered severe and can cause significant damage not only to roofs but also other parts of your home.

It’s important to note that even small-sized hailstones have the potential for causing harm when they accumulate or fall at high speeds during a storm. Therefore, homeowners should take all necessary precautions regardless of how small or large the size classification may be.

Understanding how different sizes affect roofing materials will help you identify any potential damages after a storm passes through your area.

Roofing Material Vulnerability

Some roofing materials are more vulnerable to hail damage than others, and this can affect the overall durability and lifespan of your roof. For instance, asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly used roofing materials but they tend to be more susceptible to hail damage compared to metal or tile roofs.

Metal roofs have become increasingly popular due to their durability and resistance against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, and even large-sized hailstones. Tile roofs also offer excellent protection against impact from large-sized hailstones due to their thickness.

Wood shingle roofs may look aesthetically pleasing but they are highly vulnerable when it comes down  to withstanding severe weather conditions like heavy rainfall or high-speed winds that often accompany a stormy day.

Slate is another durable material that offers great protection against extreme weather events including large-sized hails stones; however slate is expensive compared with other types of roofing material which makes it less common among homeowners.

Types of Roof Damage

The most common types of hail damage include dents, cracks, punctures, and granule loss. Dents are the most visible type of hail damage that occurs when a hailstone hits the surface of your roof with enough force to create an indentation.

Cracks occur when a hailstone causes fractures in roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or tiles.

Punctures are another type of damage caused by larger-sized hailstones that penetrate through the roofing material into the underlying layers or decking beneath it. Granule loss is also prevalent in asphalt shingle roofs where small pieces from its protective layer get knocked off by large-sized hails exposing it to further weathering.

Asphalt Shingle Damage

Hailstones can cause dents or cracks on the surface of asphalt shingles, which may lead to water leaks and other issues if not addressed promptly. In some cases, hail damage may even result in missing or broken shingles.

If you suspect that your asphalt roof has been damaged by hail, it’s essential to have a professional inspection as soon as possible. A qualified roofing contractor will assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate repairs or replacement options.

It’s worth noting that not all types of asphalt shingle roofs are created equal when it comes to withstanding hailstorms. Some manufacturers produce impact-resistant shingles designed specifically for areas prone to severe weather conditions like hurricanes and tornadoes.

Metal Roof Damage

However, even metal roofs can sustain damage from large hailstones. The extent of the damage depends on various factors such as the size and speed of the hailstones, roof age, and maintenance level.

When a metal roof is hit by a large enough hailstone at high velocity, it can cause dents or punctures in the surface. These dents may not seem like much initially but over time they can lead to rusting or corrosion if left unaddressed.

It’s essential to inspect your metal roof after any significant storm event that involves hailstones larger than 1 inch in diameter. A professional roofing contractor should be called upon for an inspection if you’re unsure about what signs of damage look like on your specific type of roofing material.

Tile Roof Damage

Hailstones can crack or break tiles, leading to leaks and water damage inside your home. The extent of the damage will depend on the size of the hailstone and its velocity upon impact.

In some cases, tile roof damage may be visible from ground level. Look for broken or missing tiles as well as cracks in individual tiles or along mortar lines between them.

However, it’s important to note that not all tile roof damage is immediately apparent.

If you suspect that your tile roof has been damaged by a recent hailstorm, it’s best to have a professional roofing contractor inspect it thoroughly. They can identify any hidden damages that could lead to bigger problems down the line if left unaddressed.

Wood Shingle Damage

However, they are also vulnerable to hail damage. When hailstones hit wood shingles, they can cause cracks or splits in the wood, leading to leaks and other issues.

One of the most significant challenges with repairing hail damage on wood shingle roofs is matching the new materials with existing ones. Wood naturally weathers over time, which means that even if you find replacement pieces that match your current roof’s color and style when installed initially after some years it will not be an exact match anymore.

If you suspect your wooden roof has been damaged by a recent hailstorm or want to ensure its protection from future storms, it’s essential to have a professional roofer inspect your roof for any signs of damage regularly. They will assess whether repairs or replacements are necessary based on their findings.

Slate Roof Damage

Hailstones can crack or break slate tiles, leading to leaks and other issues. The extent of the damage depends on the size of the hailstone and its velocity upon impact.

In some cases, a single hailstorm can cause enough damage that entire sections of a slate roof need replacement. It’s important to have your roof inspected by a professional after any significant weather event involving hail.

If you suspect that your slate roof has been damaged by hail, it’s essential to address it promptly before further problems arise. Ignoring even minor cracks or chips in your roofing tiles could lead to more extensive water infiltration over time.

A reputable roofing contractor with experience working with slate roofs will be able to assess any potential damages accurately and provide recommendations for repair or replacement as needed.

Identifying Hail Damage

After a hailstorm, it’s essential to inspect your roof thoroughly for any signs of damage. Some common indicators of hail damage include dents or cracks in shingles, missing granules on asphalt shingles, and dented metal surfaces.

It’s also important to check other areas of your home that may have been affected by the storm. This includes gutters and downspouts which can become clogged with debris from the storm.

If you’re unsure whether your roof has sustained any hail damage after a severe weather event, it’s best to call in a professional roofing contractor who can conduct an inspection and provide recommendations on necessary repairs or replacements.

Remember that even small amounts of hailstones could cause significant harm over time if left unaddressed.

Roof Age and Hail Damage

Older roofs are more susceptible to damage than newer ones, as they have already endured years of wear and tear from the elements. If your roof is over 10 years old, it may be time for an inspection by a professional roofing contractor.

During the inspection, the contractor will assess any existing damage on your roof and determine if there are any weak spots that could make it more vulnerable to future hailstorms. They will also check for signs of aging such as cracks or missing shingles that can compromise the integrity of your entire roofing system.

If you live in an area prone to frequent hailstorms, consider investing in impact-resistant materials when replacing or repairing your roof. These materials can withstand larger-sized hailstones without sustaining significant damages compared with traditional roofing materials.

Preventive Measures for Roof Protection

One way is by installing impact-resistant roofing materials that have been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM). These materials are designed to withstand high winds and large hailstones.

Another way is through regular maintenance of your roof. This includes inspecting it at least twice a year, especially after severe weather conditions such as heavy rain or windstorms.

Any signs of wear and tear should be addressed immediately before they become bigger problems.

Trimming trees around your home also helps prevent potential damage from falling branches during storms. Cleaning gutters regularly ensures proper drainage during heavy rainfall which reduces the risk of water damage on roofs.

Consider investing in storm shutters for windows if you live in an area prone to severe weather conditions like hurricanes or tornadoes. These shutters protect not only windows but also doors from flying debris that could cause significant property damage including roofs.

Hail Damage Insurance Coverage

It’s essential to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and understand what is covered in the event of hail damage. Most policies will cover repairs or replacement costs for damaged roofs caused by hailstorms.

However, it’s important to note that some policies may have specific exclusions or limitations on coverage related to hail damage. For example, some insurers may only provide coverage if the size of the hailstones exceeds a certain diameter.

To ensure you have adequate protection against potential roof damages from future storms, it’s crucial to review your policy with an experienced agent who can help you understand any limitations and exclusions that could affect your claim.

Understanding how much protection you have under your homeowner’s insurance policy is critical when dealing with potential roof damages caused by severe weather conditions such as large-sized hails.

Roof Repair Vs Replacement

The answer depends on the extent of the damage and the age of your roof. If your roof is relatively new and only sustained minor damage, repairs may be sufficient to restore its integrity.

However, if your roof is older or suffered significant damage from a hailstorm, replacement may be necessary.

When deciding between repairing or replacing a damaged roof, consider factors such as cost-effectiveness in terms of long-term value for money spent; potential future damages that could occur due to an aging structure; insurance coverage options available for both types of work (repair vs replacement); and hiring reputable contractors who can provide quality services at reasonable prices.

It’s important not to delay making this decision because delaying repairs can lead to further deterioration over time which will ultimately result in more expensive replacements down the line.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor

While some homeowners may be tempted to tackle the repairs themselves, this can lead to further damage and costly mistakes. A reputable roofing contractor will have the necessary experience and expertise in identifying and repairing hail damage on different types of roofs.

Before hiring a roofing contractor, do your research by checking their credentials such as licenses, insurance coverage, certifications or awards they’ve received from industry associations. You should also ask for references from previous clients who had similar work done.

It’s important that you get multiple quotes from different contractors before making a decision so that you can compare prices and services offered. Don’t just go with the cheapest option; make sure you’re getting quality workmanship at an affordable price.

Hail Damage and Property Value

If you’re planning to sell your home, potential buyers will likely inspect the roof for any signs of damage caused by hailstorms. A damaged roof can lower the overall value of your property and make it less attractive to buyers.

On the other hand, if you’ve recently replaced or repaired a hail-damaged roof, it could increase your home’s resale value. A new and sturdy roofing system is an attractive feature that many homeowners look for when buying a house.

It’s important to note that insurance companies may also take into account any previous claims made due to hail damage when determining premiums or coverage options for future policies.

Protecting your roof from hail damage not only ensures its longevity but also helps maintain or even increase the value of your property in case you decide to sell it in the future.


What size hail will cause roof damage?

Hail of 1-inch diameter or larger can cause roof damage and warrant an insurance claim.

What size is hail damage?

Severe hail damage typically results from hail stones that are at least 3/4 inch in diameter, with large hail stones ranging from 3/4 inch to 1 3/4 inches in diameter causing minor damage.

Will marble size hail damage a car?

Yes, marble size hail can damage a car as hail of any size holds the potential to cause damage to a vehicle.

What is the best roof to withstand hail?

The best roof to withstand hail is metal roofing, as it provides durability and longevity, making it highly hail-resistant.

How can homeowners assess and prevent potential hail damage to their roofs?

Homeowners can assess and prevent potential hail damage to their roofs by regularly inspecting for damage, addressing minor issues promptly, and considering impact-resistant roofing materials.

What are the common signs of hail damage on different types of roofing materials?

Common signs of hail damage on various roofing materials include dents on metal roofs, broken or cracked tiles, or granule loss and bruising on asphalt shingle roofs.

What steps can be taken to repair a roof after it has been damaged by hail?

After hail damage, repair a roof by assessing the extent of the damage, selecting appropriate materials, and proceeding with professional repair or replacement services.