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Contrary to popular belief it doesn't have to be chilly, icy, or snowy outside for a hail storm to occur. As it turns out, a majority of hail storms in the United States actually occur between the months of May and September. Coldness is still a factor at play in hail events, but only relative to the temperature at the height of the cloud-layer. Hail begins to form in storm clouds when the clouds sit at a temperature at or below freezing. Just because it's nice and warm outside, does not mean that it's just as warm higher up in the sky. Read on to learn about some little-known facts about hailstones, how they can damage your roof, and most importantly, how to deal with the damage.
1. The United States averages over 5,000 reports of large hail every year. To offer some more perspective, there is an average of only 1,000 reports of tornadoes each year.
2. Hailstones are far too light to fall to the ground at first. Hail forms as droplets inside storm clouds with the help of some wind that blows upwards. This wind pattern is known as an updraft and allows tiny hail droplets to fling around without falling, collecting more and more water as they move around. Eventually, these droplets grow bigger to a point where the updraft can no longer support their weight. Only then do these hailstones fall onto the ground, rooftops, and cars.
3. While we may not see large pieces of hail as often in the greater Houston area, all it takes is 1-inch hail to start causing damage to our rooftops. Visually, this is about the size of a quarter.
In order to assess the damage your home sustained during a hailstorm, it is best to check roof vents, shingles, chimneys, and skylights. When analyzing these areas, look for dents and chipping. Keep in mind that some signs are far more subtle than others, so look closely. When checking shingles for hail damage, wood shingles will tend to split, metal shingles will have obvious dents, and clay shingles will have visible cracks. Typical asphalt shingles will be a bit harder to examine. In some cases, you will notice large dents or spots where some surface granules are missing. In other cases, it will take a trained eye to see where hail damage has occurred. If missed or overlooked, this can lead to serious leaks.
Although it is a good idea to wait out a storm and check on any damage your house may have faced, it is an even better idea to allow for trained eyes to take a look as well. Contact our roofing experts so that they can complete a free roof inspection for you after a storm, which will help when making insurance claims. Afterward, we will happily repair your roof to ensure long-lasting safety and protection.