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What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?

May 22, 2023
What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?

Turbulent weather has made headlines this year. For example, snow in regions that have never seen snow, unseasonable tornadoes forming in multiples, as well as flash floods, record temperatures, and hail the size of baseballs. Simply crossing your fingers during extreme weather won’t safeguard your home or yourself. However, staying vigilant and aware of any damage caused by heavy rain, strong winds, or hail after a storm can be your best resource in preventing further damage that could lead to leaks and a weakened roof structure. Are you curious about what hail damage looks like on a roof? Keep reading to find out!

What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?

Hailstorms can inspire fear in the bravest homeowner. This ball of ice is one of the most common causes of roof damage. And because hail and high winds go hand in hand, your home can get hit by two destructive forces from the same storm at the same time.

Hailstones can range anywhere from one inch in diameter to the world’s largest hailstone. This behemoth fell in the U.S. on July 23, 2010, in Vivian, South Dakota, measuring eight inches in diameter and weighing almost two pounds. But it doesn’t take hailstones of this size to damage roofs and other parts of your property.

One-inch hailstones can cause dents and dings that undermine the structural integrity of your roofing system. To determine the size of a hailstone, compare it to the diameter of these familiar items:

  • Pea = ¼-inch
  • Marble = 1/2-inch
  • Dime/Penny = ¾-inch
  • Nickel = 7/8-inch
  • Quarter = 1 inch
  • Golf Ball = 2 3/4 inches
  • Tennis Ball = 2 ½ inches
  • Baseball = 2 ¾ inches
  • Teacup = 3 inches
  • Softball = 4 inches

There is a direct correlation between hailstone size and the amount and type of damage it exerts. Hail size, density, shape, as well as the velocity and angle of its descent make a difference in the amount and severity of the damage hail will cause. As you can see from the following information, some roofing systems can withstand damage from hailstones less than two inches in size, some, however, are impacted by one-inch stones.

Roof Type & Hailstone Size

  • 3-tab organic asphalt shingles – 1 inch
  • 3-tab fiberglass asphalt shingles – 1 ¼ inches
  • Cedar shingles – 1 ¼ inches
  • Fiber-cement tiles – 1 ¼ inches
  • Flat concrete tiles – 1 ¼ inches
  • Heavy cedar shakes – 1 ½ inches
  • 30-year laminated shingles – 1 ½ inches
  • Built-up gravel roofing – 2 inches
  • S-shaped concrete tiles – 2 inches

Now that you have a sense of hailstone size and its potential for damage, here are common signs of hail damage on asphalt, composition, and wood shingles.

Damage to Asphalt and Composition Shingles

  • Random damage, no pattern
  • Black hail hits
  • Granule loss, weakening the roof
  • Shiny look to asphalt and/or mat
  • Soft spots

Damage to Wood Shingles

  • Random damage, no pattern
  • A split in the shingle
  • Impact marks or dents along the splits

How to Prepare Your Property For Hailstorms

While protecting your property from hailstorms may seem out of your reach, there are a number of things you can do to be prepared.

  1. Repair any existing damage before hailstorm season (May-August).
  2. Clear any debris off your roof and out of gutters and downspouts.
  3. Cover windows, glass doors, and skylights with drapes, blinds, or window shades to reduce the impact of flying, broken glass, and debris.
  4. Upgrade your roof and windows to impact-resistant versions.

Hailstorm season has just started, so we have several months to cross our fingers that we have a mild storm season. Be vigilant and prepared so that you can minimize the damage caused by these weather hazards this summer.

What Are the Experts Saying?

Aaron Delay, Commercial Roofing Sales Executive, says, “The most valuable advice I can offer to business owners following a hailstorm is to choose a contractor that you trust and who has a solid reputation for working with you and helping your property to return to pre-storm conditions.”

Cole Gustafson, a Residential Roofing Sales Executive at McKinnis with over ten years of experience in the roofing industry, has seen his fair share of hailstorms. He adds, “By selecting a reliable contractor, homeowners can be better equipped to handle the unpredictable nature of hailstorms. At McKinnis, we understand that dealing with insurance can be overwhelming for property owners during such a stressful time, and we are here to help you navigate through the process and provide support. In fact, McKinnis has been in business for over 42 years; therefore, we have the right staff to help you with your claim from beginning to end.”

If you want to be better prepared for the unpredictable nature of hailstorms, ensure that your property is protected, or learn more about what hail damage looks like on a roof, don’t hesitate to call McKinnis Roofing & Sheet Metal, the storm experts. Our team of experienced, professional roofers can guide you through the process and help you protect your property from hailstorms.


Start now to get your roof ready for the next storm. If you are in need of a roof inspection, roof replacement, or windows, siding, and gutter work, give us a call today at 402-426-2644, visit our website at, or fill out our contact form. Our Omaha roofing and exterior experts are highly trained and always ready to help!