Northern Delaware experiences its fair share of hailstorms. As a result, you might feel a sense of dread when you hear that tell-tale drumming on your roof. Because hail can cause plenty of roof damage, it pays to understand the types of damage it causes and how to prevent it. Here are our tips on protecting your Northern Delaware asphalt shingles from the ravages of hail.
What Type of Roof Damage Does Hail Cause?
Hail causes bruising and cracks that weaken the integrity of shingle seals. As a result, it’s easier for shingles to lift in high winds and even blow right off your roof. When this happens, your roof is exposed to rain, snow, and ice, leading to leaks that compromise the integrity of the remaining shingles.
Choose a Class 4 Asphalt Shingle for Your Roof
It all begins by installing impact-resistant shingles. Roofing materials rated as Class 4 are designed to withstand significant levels of impact, including hail. So how do you know Class 4 asphalt roofs will stand up to a hailstorm? They have to pass testing to withstand the impact of a 2-inch steel ball dropped from 20 feet multiple times. Examples of other shingles more likely to withstand hail include:
- Slate shingles: Slate roofs are beautiful, offering a unique look and texture and can last over a century. They also stand up to high winds and hail.
- Metal: Metal roofs offer an interesting architectural detail and are known to withstand hailstorms very well.
- Cedar: Cedar roofing is a natural material that also tends to stand up well to hail. To reduce the risk of damage, choose handsplit or resawn shakes.
Inspect Shingles in the Spring and Fall
Wind, wet, hail, sun exposure, pests, and falling branches can all cause roof damage over time. The elements take their toll year after year, even on the strongest roofs. The trick is to identify damage while it is still minor. Have a qualified roofer inspect your roof every spring and fall to look for signs of damage and make repairs before they become serious. The trick is to identify damage while it is still minor so your shingles maintain their integrity.
Maintain and Unclog Your Gutters
Clogged and damaged gutters contribute to shingle damage. The less effective your gutters, the more damage water runoff can cause. As a result, the seals begin to weaken, and your roof becomes more vulnerable to extreme weather, such as hail. If climbing a ladder every spring and fall sounds too dangerous, have your roofing company clean your gutters during your roof inspections.
Monitor Your Roof for Moss and Algae Growth
Depending on your home’s location, your roof can be susceptible to moss growth. Moss and other organic matter love dampness and shade. Therefore, if your roof has little sun exposure, it can increase the risk of organic growth. It is very damaging to almost all shingle types, including asphalt, leading to leaks and weakening of shingle seals. If you spot discoloration or can see actual moss on the roof, call the experts to remove it immediately.
Improve Attic Insulation and Ventilation
Poor insulation and ventilation increase the risk of moisture. If you don’t improve the insulation and ventilation in your attic, the moisture will lead to rot. An attic inspection will ensure you have adequate air circulation and insulation to reduce the risk of mold, wood rot, and eventual tile damage from the elements. Again, those damaged shingles won’t be as likely to hold up to the impact of hail.
As a bonus, proper insulation and ventilation also reduce the risk of ice dams. When warm air in the attic escapes through your roof, it creates snow melt that refreezes when it hits the uninsulated eaves. When this happens, it creates an ice dam that forces ice and water up against the shingles, lifting and separating them.
Re-caulk Your Flashings
Flashings are metal strips used to seal roof joints, valleys, and things like chimneys and skylights. Over time, flashing rusts, and the caulking used to seal the flashing becomes dry and cracked. This can lead to shingle and roof damage. Your roof inspector will spot caulking that looks a little worse for wear and re-caulk the flashing with rubber-free caulking.