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We had a hail storm last night. Some of the pebbles were about an inch in diameter, although most were smaller. I went up and took some pictures of part of the roof. Most of the shingles look ok, but some appear to be missing granules and some also have small pieces of the shingle missing.

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There's more photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WRFFCTTuBfHoRo2GA.

Do I need a new roof?

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Yes

The granules (they're typically ceramic) act as UV protection and fire retardant. It's normal to lose these over time, but the shingle in your bottom picture looks to be missing as much as half its granules. Additionally, the larger the hail stone, the more likely it damaged the shingles themselves (1" hail stones are serious).

Most homeowners insurance will cover this type of damage, meaning you pay the deductible and get a new roof. The key here is I would not wait long to at least explore a claim on this, lest you be unable to prove it was hail that did the deed. This is one of those lesser known (and hard to notice) ways your roof can be seriously damaged. I would get at least two roofing companies out to examine it and verify the damage.

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    To be fair, it clearly doesn't look like a new roof, but at the same time it doesn't look so bad as to necessarily require immediate replacement. If I were OP I'd carefully consider how old the shingles are, when they would have been planned for replacement, what insurance premium hit a claim would make, and would probably have it inspected by a good roofer before committing to any course of action. – J... Jul 7 at 17:50
  • Agreed, although the roofing has surely been compromised, the roof will not leak..., yet. It may take years, it may take less, but it will happen much sooner since the protective surface has been damaged – Jack Jul 7 at 22:13
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    @J... True, but the other thing to consider is that a claim now for insurance coverage to pay for a new roof, mitigation, or a proportional payment for the damage would likely be upheld, assuming the OP's coverage applies. If the OP does nothing at this time, it's unlikely that a claim filed when the roof actually starts leaking, assuming that's quite some time from now, is significantly less likely to be paid. I agree that the OP should look at the full economics of the situation and decide what is best for them. – Makyen Jul 8 at 0:12
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    The shingles will degrade much more rapidly due to direct exposure to UV. I wouldn't spend more than a year or two actively investigating. It isn't as bad as an immediate leak, but this damage is for your entire roof. You're going to be leaking everywhere when it starts, and I can imagine it cascading really, really quickly (first leak will cause even more leaks as the material crumble and wash away from the flowing water). – Nelson Jul 8 at 6:43
  • Definitely contact your insurance company to see how long after an event (ie Hail) occurs that you can still file a claim. It wasn't that long of a time period that I had a basement flood that I had to file a claim lest I'd be on my own for damages. YMMV. – Tim S. Jul 8 at 14:47
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My shingles have been replaced twice because of hail at ages of about 12 and 5 years. They didn't look very bad to me but the insurance inspector agreed and it was covered 100% both times. I am not a professional but I have put on two roofs. So, as has been said, you need a qualified inspector . After the hail storms we had many contractors come to the neighborhood to give free inspections . We got an inspector recommendation from our insurance agent.

  • Thanks for the reply. The roof was last replaced in 2004. So, it's about 15 years old. On the receipt, it says the shingles have a 30-year warranty. So, maybe the cost of materials will be covered. – user1177071 Jul 8 at 4:18
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    @user1177071 You let your insurance deal with that. That's what they're for. – Nelson Jul 8 at 6:44
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    Be wary of the companies that chase storms. They're often the shoddiest to be found, and they'll disappear as soon as they reappear, so don't expect followup calls to go well. – isherwood Jul 8 at 13:16
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Your roof has apparently taken damage, as you have documented. Should you choose to not proceed with an insurance claim with this particular incident, and you have indeed taken damage, keep in mind that the next incident that damages your roof might cause issues with a future claim, should it necessitate an immediate repair.

What I mean is that if the damage from a future incident is in itself minor, but enough to tip it over the edge to require you to replace it, the insurance company might claim that since the damage caused in the last incident was only minor the roof shouldn't be covered by them - that the fault was a previous issue or a pre-existing fault.

I don't know if I'm explaining it well. What I'm trying to say is that not checking with a roofing professional and the insurance company to gauge whether it needs repairs now, might give the insurance agency a loophole to not process a future unrelated claim.

  • Contrapoint though, if you don't check you can claim ignorance of any issues if you need to make a claim in the future. I think you're more likely to be covered by insurance if you didn't know something was a problem than if you knew it was a problem and ignored it. For example, if you have a leak in your bathroom that you know about and ignore, when it finally causes massive structural damage, the insurer will blame you for not taking care of it. But if you didn't know there was a leak, then it is not your fault and they will cover it. – NibblyPig Jul 8 at 9:43
  • In my extensive experience with homeowner claims to insurance companies, they couldn't care less about your ignorance. Whether or not you know what you're entitled to has nothing to do with their decisions. In fact, they are likely banking on the fact that you don't know what you can claim. Never forget insurance companies are in it for the profit. (And I work for one, although not in the insurance part of the company.) – Tim S. Jul 8 at 14:50
  • Thanks. I filed a claim today for it. They said a bunch of other households in my area also called about hail damage from the storm. – user1177071 Jul 10 at 2:32
  • Thanks for the update! – Matthew Jul 11 at 3:10

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