Damaged roof shingles in Arlington Heights, IL

Shingles and shakes can get damaged from heavy hail storms, resulting in water leaks and interior damage. But how severe must the storms be to inflict significant damage and what can homeowners do to avoid costly repairs?

Gauging the Potential Danger

Hail ranges in size from tiny pebbles to massive chunks as large as oranges and softballs. In order for a
hail storm to inflict significant damage on the average asphalt shingled roof the hail stones should be about the size of a golf ball. Depending on the density and shape, smaller stones can also dent and destroy your roof. Hail that falls with considerable speed is also powerful enough to damage shingles.

Most major hail storms consist of larger stones that can easily punch holes in asphalt shingles of any age. And it seems like storms are growing in intensity every year.

Three Types of Damage

Hailstones wreck asphalt shingles in three different ways. The first problem creates leaks almost immediately, while the other two will present a significant problem several months after the storm.


Look for the following signs to determine how hailstones have damaged your asphalt shingles:

  • Immediate Damage to the Top Layer of the Shingle – larger, sharp hailstones can tear into the upper layer of your asphalt shingles, ripping off the protection and allowing water to penetrate through to your roof deck.
  • Cracked Shingle Mat – fast falling or dense hailstones can actually crack the mat of your asphalt shingles, which inevitably results in water leakage. The damage is not visible from a distance; small crescent-shaped black lines will appear upon close inspection.
  • Shingle Bruising – small hailstones can bruise the upper layer of your shingles, pushing asphalt granules down into the shingle. With exposure to rain and UV rays, those granules will rapidly disappear and the shingle will deteriorate beyond repair. Leaks appear about six to twelve months after shingle bruising.


It’s difficult to predict the weather, and you cannot adequately protect your roof from extreme weather like hail or severe winds. The best way to avoid hail damage is by keeping your roof in good condition.

Have a hail damage repair contractor in Arlington Heights IL inspect the shingles on a regular basis, and take care of any repairs promptly and professionally. Pay attention to any evidence of moisture inside your home as well.

Invest in high quality architectural asphalt shingles when replacing your roof. These thicker products are denser and provide greater protection against top layer damage, cracked mats and shingle bruising. A good quality shingle costs more initially, but will save you time and hassles later on.

Talk to your insurance company about the extent of coverage in your current policy. Storms often result in multiple claims around your area, and some companies can be difficult to deal with. Be clear on what type of coverage you currently have against hail damage. If necessary, upgrade your policy now before any damage has been done.

Hail storms can cause significant and costly damage to asphalt shingles, resulting in roof leaks and expensive repairs. Keep your roof in peak condition, invest in quality products and have the roof inspected if you suspect hail damage. Nature can deal a heavy blow to your asphalt shingle roof with hail stones of various shapes and sizes.

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