Size isn’t everything : Hail in Colorado

Size isn’t everything

When it comes to hail in Colorado, size is only part of the story. Small pellets of ice less than ½” in diameter is very common and can do damage to plants and trees and it can also make driving treacherous. It is also impressive to see piled up looking like snow in the middle of summer; however this type of hail rarely if ever causes damage to our homes. According to most studies It takes hail of ¾” or larger to do real damage, with older 3-tab shingles being the most susceptible to damage and Built-up gravel roofing being the least susceptible.



Hail Damage Colorado

Hail Damage Colorado


The problem is that not all Hail is created equally, there is 2” hail that splats when it hits and ½” hail that will break a windshield. It all depends on wind velocity, direction of impact, hardness of the hail stone and the age and type of product the hail is hitting. The types of damage created are also very different, there are hail stones that have penetrated through the roof deck and into buildings and there are hails stones that merely bruise and damage the integrity of the roofing material, above is a picture of 3-tab shingles bruised by hail. This roof will probably continue to shed water and protect the building from damage for many years, however the integrity of the shingle is compromised, it is now susceptible to premature aging and further damage by wind and heavy rains. In most cases home owners are wise to report all types of hail damage to their insurance company, if left unreported claim adjusters might deny pre-existing damage during a new hail storm, even if it was never claimed. When buying a new home always have a roof inspection or certification from a qualified roofer, this will ensure that there is no pre-existing damage that might not be covered by your insurance company. Not all damage can be seen from the ground or by signs of leaking in a building. Just because you don’t recognize the damage doesn’t mean there isn’t any.

I always recommend that homeowners call a (local Colorado) roofer out to inspect their home for damage before contacting their insurance company. Some insurance companies will count a claim against your policy even if they don’t actually pay out anything and you must file a claim in order to have an adjuster come out and look for damage. A qualified contractor will usually look at your roof for no charge and in many cases will work with your insurance company on your behalf to ensure you get what you have coming to you.

Definition of Hail, at Precipitation in the form of spherical or irregular pellets of ice larger than 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter.

Written by Pam Simmons RCI Roofing Pueblo CO

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