January 7, 2016 by Establishing "Why" Since 1966

Hail is one of the most frequent causes of property damage to homes and cars, costing one major insurance carrier $2.4 billion last year alone. Hard to access, unrepaired hail damage can lead to roof leaks and interior damage. Not all roof hail damage consists of cracks or holes.

On asphalt shingles, it can show up as dark spots due to surface grains being knocked off. If storm winds cause loss of shingles, the underlayment may also show damage. Slate shingles may chip or crack due to hail, as might wooden shake shingles. Most hail related damage is cosmetic and does not affect the useful life of any kind of roof shingles. In other cases, severe wood splitting, significant granule loss, penetration of the shingle and fracture may require shingle replacement.

Indentations in metal surfaces and burnish markings on metal or other smooth surfaces can provide valuable information regarding hail size and even the directionality of falling hail during a storm event. Burnish marks occur where impact from hailstones removes the surfacing of an exposed material, such as dirt, fungal discoloration on wood surfaces, or even the slight oxidation on metal surfaces. This burnishing changes the appearance of the surface, leaving distinct markings which can be useful in determining the approximate size and distribution of hailstones. Burnish marks on vertical surfaces and the splash patterns of burnish marks on horizontal surfaces can also aid in determination of the directionality of hail impacts.

When evaluating shingles for hail damage, two types of damage are considered: latent damage and severe damage. Latent damage may affect the remaining functionality of the roof materials over time. Latent damage to shingles exists when the hailstone impact removes the protective mineral surface granules and exposes the asphaltic matrix to ultraviolet light. This can accelerate the overall deterioration of that particular shingle. Severe damage exists when a shingle is punctured/fractured or torn by a hailstone impact.

Storms of all types can inflict substantial damage to properties. Our experts collectively have over 100 years of experience in performing storm damage analyses in countless cases across the nation. Our structural and material engineers will work to fully evaluate each of your damaged roofs and structures. Our methods of “Establishing Why” the damage or failure occurred will save time, energy and lower the file costs to reach full recovery. To find out more or to submit an investigation request, visit our website at http://www.forensic-analysis.com.