Hail storms can come on suddenly, causing damage to your roof.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with the dents left behind by rocks of hail.
What other damage can be caused by hail stones?
Hail can damage roof shingles, causing cracks so that water penetrates the roofing material and enters the home.
If you have some DIY experience, you might want to repair the damage yourself. Here’s how to go about it, and we’ll also explore tips on how to prevent hail damage in future.
How To Repair Hail Damage To Your Roof?
There are many different ways in which hail can damage your roof. Some of these can be repaired by you as the homeowner, but more extensive damage should be done by a professional roofer. Let’s take a look at some damage you can repair yourself with the right tools.
If shingles on your roof have been cracked by hailstones, you can replace them. Of course, if you only have to replace a few shingles, then this is a doable roofing repair. Here’s how to fix a cracked shingle:
Apply a bead of thick roof sealant underneath the crack in the shingle.
Press the shingle down to make it stick, then apply a second bead of the sealant on top of the crack.
With the use of a putty knife, spread the sealant.
If your shingles have more extensive damage, such as large cracks or splits, it’s better to replace them. To do so, you should remove some of the shingles surrounding the damaged ones to make it easier. Here are the steps to follow.
With the use of a pry bar, carefully pull up a shingle that’s close to one of the damaged ones to separate it from the adhesive. You should see the nails that are underneath.
Slide the pry bar underneath the shingles around where there’s damage. Work around the nail so you can pull it up.
Carry on loosening the nails and adhesive, working your way closer to the damaged shingles.
Loosen the adhesive underneath the damaged shingle, then lift it up.
When installing the new shingle, place it in the same position as the existing one.
If the shingle has an adhesive strip on the back, remove its covering and push the shingle firmly into place. Insert nails to secure it to the roof.
Note that many shingles you purchase come with pre-cut holes for nail installation.
How To Fix Dents In A Metal Roof
If you don’t have roof shingles but a metal roof instead, you can go ahead and fix some hail damage yourself. Note that if the metal panels of the roof have been split or cracked, they will have to be replaced. If you’re only dealing with smaller dents, then you can repair these. Here’s how.
Start by sanding the dent surface with fine-grade sandpaper. This removes rust.
Insert a stud into a stud welder nozzle and plug it into an extension cord, so you can reach a power outlet. Hold the stud welder firmly as you push it against the dent’s center. Note that the electrode needs to be resting firmly against the surface.
Next, pull the trigger and hold it for a second before releasing it. Lift the stud welder to see that the tip of the stud has been welded to the roof. Unplug the welder.
Place the end roller of your slide hammer over the welded stud’s tip on the metal roof. You want to hold the end handle and twist the roller in a counter-clockwise direction so that you tighten it around the stud.
With one hand on the center handle of the hammer and one on the back, you should pull the center handle towards the back – this hammers it against the back handle. This motion will pull up the dented area of the metal surface.
Now, slide the hammer’s center handle down and gently tap it against the roller so that the stud can be released.
Put the carbide blade of a reciprocating saw against the stud. Cut through the stud. This will ensure that its surface and the metal roof are even.
Now you can go ahead and grind down the stud. Use a metal grinder as this will make it have complete contact with the surface of the metal.
Finish off by applying a layer of repair putty that’s suitable for metal over the stud. Use a putty knife to make application easier. This step is important to protect the metal from bad weather conditions in future, and it will prevent any leaks from forming.
How To Repair Hail Damage In PVC Roof
If you own a PVC roof, its membrane can become cracked from hail damage, even though this membrane is highly resistant to punctures. For small damage, you can repair it yourself. If the damage is extensive or the seams are separating, you should enlist the help of a roofing professional.
To repair minor fractures and cracks, you will need a PVC repair kit. To apply it, follow these steps.
With an 80-grit sanding block, scuff the roofing area and remove any dirt.
Open the primer that’s in the repair kit and apply it with a paintbrush. Let it dry.
Cut a piece of the seam tape in the kit – make sure it’s about eight inches longer than the gap you want to repair.
Peel the paper backing on the tape and position it so that each end extends about four inches beyond the hole. Press it securely.
If you’re dealing with a puncture in the PVC roof, make sure you center the piece of tape over the hole and press it firmly.
Roll it outwards, from the center and use a rubber seam roler to ensure that the tape will fasten to the roof securely. This also removes air bubbles.
How To Prevent Roof Hail Damage In Future
While you can’t always completely prevent hail damage, especially if your region is susceptible to bad hail storms, there are some important things you can do to prevent some damage from hailstones and minimize their effects on your roof.
Regularly inspect your roof for any signs of wear and tear. If you already have cracks in the roof or loose shingles, these will experience worse effects from hailstones, which is why it’s essential to repair any damage as it occurs. This gives your roof more protection against harsh weather conditions.
Cut back surrounding trees. During a storm, it’s not just hail that can damage your roof – it’s also branches from surrounding trees that can fall on it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to cut back the branches of surrounding trees to prevent them from ending up on your roof and damaging it.
Think about creating wind barriers. There are structures that can help to minimize the force of the wind hail storms put on your roof, so consider having these within close proximity to your home. They include structures such as fences, trees, and high walls.
What is the best roofing material to protect against hail damage?
A rubber roof is one of the most resistant materials. It has excellent impact-resistance, therefore protecting your home against the damaging effects of hail.
How large does hail need to be in order to cause roof damage?
Although you might assume that hail has to be large to cause roof damage, the truth is that even hail stones that are smaller than one inch can be damaging.
Can hail damage gutters?
If your roof’s been damaged by hail, you should inspect your gutters. While these are usually made out of aluminum and can withstand ice and rain, if the hail has been strong enough it can dent or damage them.
If your house has been thrashed by a severe hail storm, you know how disheartening it can be, especially if you inspect your roof afterwards and can see some damage.
While more serious roof issues might require you to replace the entire roof – which is probably best done by the professionals – you can repair some of the hail damage yourself, as we’ve seen in this article.
To keep your roof safe in future, we’ve featured some important tips to guard against hail damage.
James Weldon is a professional roofing contractor with many years of experience on the job. He does not only handle large projects and provide excellent services for his company’s many clients; James Weldon also dedicates his spare time to teaching others useful tricks of the trade. Using BuildCampus as an avenue to reach many roofers and aspiring roofing contractors, James Weldon continues to provide high-quality educational posts and buying recommendations for anyone who visits the website.