Hello everyone, I hope your weekend went well. I went to see the new Bond movie with my brother Friday and last night I went to a west coast swing dancing class and social event. Other than that, I’ve been doing my usual stuff like working out and my job inspecting buildings. Today, I’ve decided to write a blog post explaining four basic steps to determine whether a composition shingle roof has been damaged by a hail storm and quantify the extent of damages. I’ve avoided this topic for two reasons: one is that there is a lot of information out there about this already, and the second is that it takes some prior experience to make an accurate assessment. However, it is one major component of my job and I feel like I can provide some practical information that will help you should you need it.
1) Look for spatter marks on surrounding surfaces (http://goo.gl/COQH3i)
Spatter marks serve as a indicator of the size and direction of the recent hail. The size of the spatter can be compared to the impact marks elsewhere to determine the extent of recent damage. The directionality can be determined as well by figuring out which directional faces have or do not have spatter. In addition, spatter will fade over time – this can differentiate between different ages of spatter marks within a recent time period in most cases.
2) Look for impact marks at susceptible surfaces (http://goo.gl/m15Wmc)
Impact marks can also be observed on some metal and wood surfaces. Air-conditioning units are a good indicator due to the fact that they have 4 sides and metal/coil fins that are either soft or oxidized. Spatter can be observed as mentioned before, as well as indentations. Furthermore, the indentations can be examined to check for soiling, oxidation, or other forms of staining to determine the relative age of the older indentations.
3) Look at the general condition of the roof (http://goo.gl/7p5Yul)
The general condition of the roof will also affect the extent of hail damage. Examples of other things that damage shingles aside from hail are general weathering, mechanical scrapes, blistered asphalt, and raised nails. A roof with a worse general condition will be more susceptible to damage and could reduce the compensation should you involve the insurance company, similar in practice to automobile insurance compensation.
4) Look for hail impact marks and examine their condition/quantity (http://goo.gl/2nguV8)
The last step is to look for hail impact marks on the shingles. Sometimes a relative age can be determined by checking for weathering of the reinforcement or asphalt within the exposed asphalt/shingle reinforcement. To quantify the extent of damage, you can count the number of recent and/or old hail impact marks, as well as other general conditions if desired, withing a 10′ x 10′ square. This is referred to as a test square by engineers and inspectors in the roofing business and is helpful information when estimating the cost of various types of repairs.
These 4 steps are the basic process I use to determine the extent of damage to a shingle roof. Does anyone else have experience in roof inspections? If so, what would you add to this list as a basic procedure? For homeowners, have you had to deal with an issue like this before and how was the experience? If you enjoyed my post, hit the like button, follow my blog for updates and share this post with your friends. Thanks for reading and have a good week!