What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof (Spotting Hail Damage)

Holy hail, it is scary when a storm brews outside. Hail, unfortunately, can damage a roof by denting it or splitting the material. That’s why you need to know to spot hail damage. And since it’s that time of the year, it’s worth knowing what size hail can create an issue. 

The bigger the hail, the more likely it is going to have a bad impact on your roof materials. It can split, dent, or ding your roof depending on the size, the speed and direction at which it’s coming down, and your roof material and quality. 

If you are new to a Nor’easter, it’s worth reading on. Here let’s talk about what hail is and why it it can cause such an issue for you and your roof. Hail roof damage can be tiny so and hard to spot, so let this be your guide to spotting the damage. 

What is Hail? 

Hail is solid ice formed in a thunderstorm that is a combination between snow and rain. It is dangerous and can damage roofs, airplanes, cars, and many other things. Because solid ice is falling from the sky, it is dangerous to be out in a hail storm. 

Hail can grow into hailstones because it freezes as the ice collides with rain droplets. This, of course, can only happen in parts of the country or world where temperatures get cold enough for it to snow. This is typically anywhere North. 

Hail can come in many shapes and sizes, sort of speak. For instance, air bubbles can get trapped inside the hail as it forms, making it less solid. This may make it bigger but less hard when it collides with any object or the ground. A solid piece of hail is arguably more dangerous

Contrary to what most may think, hail doesn’t necessarily happen in the winter. It’s much more common to happen in the spring because it simply snows in the winter. In the spring, temperatures change, and the higher in altitude, the colder it gets. 

What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof? 

Understanding the size of hail and how it will damage your roof is important because it can help you estimate how much repairs will cost. And even with insurance (if they are helpful at all), it’s worth knowing what to expect. We have come up with a guide on hail size to help. 

¼ Inch Pea Sized Hail

This hail produces the smallest consequences and usually doesn’t last long enough to inflict too much damage. For roofs in good condition, there is usually no threat. But when there are existing conditions, it can be made worse with this hail. 

½ Inch Size Hail

This hail is generally safe as well unless the winds are so strong that it causes damage to roofs. This is a step up from the pea-size hail and is likely to cause damage to already troubled roofs. 

¾ to 1-inch Dime or Quarter Size Hail 

Now we are moving into the territory of trouble with hail. When this happens, call an insurance agent and an inspector to see any damage. There is a good chance they will find cracks or dents in the roof from this kind of hail. 

Over 1 Inch or Golf Ball Size Hail

This is incredibly uncommon but, of course, very worrisome. It can inflict a lot of damage to a roof that may result in a massive overhaul. 

Golf Ball Size Hail

Can You Tell Your Roof Has Hail Damage Without Getting on the Roof? 

If you take a close look, you can tell that your roof may have damage without going up there. While it is important to call an agent and inspector almost immediately if you suspect damage, you can take a sweep with your eye. If you notice the shingles have been ripped off or if there are major cracks or dents, then, unfortunately, you are likely in for a lot of damage repair. 

One place to check is the gutters. Since gutters are made out of metal or plastic, it’s no surprise they get some beating from hail. If you see noticeable damage, the roof is probably no different. This is frustrating but a good place to start looking for signs. 

Ultimately an inspector will want to get onto the roof to get a close-up look. Some companies do this for free, so it doesn’t hurt to have it done. You want to have someone different than the insurance agent because they are truly not looking to pay out. A second opinion is always a good idea. 

How To Tell Your Roof Has Hail Damage on the Roof? – 200 words

It’s not always obvious to know what you are looking for, so understanding what damage looks like can help determine what type of roof damage you are working with. Some signs are more obvious than others. 


You may notice with asphalt shingles that hail can cause tears in the material and split the patches. This often happens because it has ripped up a part of the single from the roof. 

Ripped Shingles

Sometimes the shingles can come completely off. You may notice patches where the shingles are gone, exposing the roof’s underside. This ultimately leads to more patches being at risk of getting ripped off in extreme weather. 


This is more common with mental roofing but not unheard of with asphalt materials. You’ll notice chunks of the roof missing or a big ding or dent in the metal area. This can eventually lead to cracks. 


Cracks in the roof are incredibly problematic because when the roof starts splitting it lets in cold air and allows for water damage. 

What Should You Do When Your Roof Has Hail Damage? 

You can follow a series of steps to ensure that you fix any roof damage caused by hail. Checking to see if you have any is a great place to start, and then reporting it and ensuring it gets fixed. 

Step 1: Check For Hail Damage 

If you have the money to have someone come out and check for hail damage, you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. A professional already knows what signs to look for, and as long as they have nothing to do with your insurance, they are impartial to how much the estimate the claim to be. 

This is different insurance because they won’t fix the roof in as cheap a way as possible to pay out as little as possible. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to know what to look for yourself in the process. Looking for cracks, ripped singles, dings, dents, and gutter damage is something that you can do.

All you need to do is safely grab a ladder and have someone spot you. You can also take pictures of your roof if there is obvious damage for proof and documentation. 

Step 2: Call Your Insurance Adjuster 

You still need to get an insurance adjuster out to the scene because they will give you and the insurance company an official claim price that it will take to fix your roof. Regardless of whether you have checked out the damage or not, they need to do it as well if you are not going to pay out of pocket for the damage. 

Call Your Insurance Adjuster 

Note that your insurance adjuster is not the same person that you will be filing a claim with. Adjusters are meant to be independently hired people from the insurance company by most state laws. It doesn’t hurt to have your own person on hand but generally speaking; you can trust that the adjuster will make the right evaluation without fear of begging ripped off. 

Step 3: File an Insurance Claim 

Your insurance adjuster should take pictures for you. Be sure to check them and see if they match up with your own pictures and documentation. You can use these photos to file your insurance claim and start the process of repairing the roof. Insurance, depending on what kind of coverage you have, should help you cover the costs. 

Image Credits: www.eaglewatchroofing.com

Most insurance companies will allow you to do this online or through an app. It’s never a bad idea to email them or follow up over the phone as well to make sure that they have received your claim. 

Step 4: Wait For Your Claim To Process 

Insurance companies will require their customers to file within a year of hail damage. But you definitely don’t want to wait that long. In fact, you don’t want to wait more than a few days. Typically an insurance company shouldn’t take more than a few days or weeks to process your claim since it’s best to get the damage fixed as soon as possible. 

Once approved, the insurance company will tell you how much they will cover and whether this matches the entire insurance adjustor number. Some policies cover full roof damage, while others may have certain exceptions depending on where you live and your policy. 

Be sure to ask these questions when you get on the phone with an agent while you re making the claim. The worse the damage is, the more pressure there is to sort the issue out as fast as possible. 

Step 5: Replace or Repair Your Roof 

When it comes to replacing or repairing your roof, the insurance adjustor should make a professional recommendation based on the home’s safety. Naturally, the bigger the hailstone is and the more damage that is caused, likely you are looking at a replacement for the roof than you are to repair it. 

This depends on the type of roofing you have as well. Asphalt shingles are generally cheaper to replace because they can be placed back in squares or per 100 feet. However, metal roofs are interlocked, and once a piece is damaged, the likelihood that the entire section has to go with it is probable. 

If you are looking to replace your roofing due to hail or other damage, then you may also want to get an opinion on impact-resistant roofing as this type of material is made to withstand severe weather and potentially other damages that could happen to your roof.

If someone suggests replacing your roof, it is worth getting a second opinion because this is costly and not easy to do. However, you should also never compromise the safety of a home when the roof is in trouble.

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