We had a nasty hail storm recently and while none of the shingles are pierced or broken there is extensive damage to the top layer but so far we had no indication that the roof is leaking. Based on the attached images of typical damage:

  • Could this type of damage result in leaks?
  • Should all the damaged shingles be replaced?
  • Is there a possibility of repairing the damaged top layer?

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  • 6
    This is exactly the type of damage that homeowner's insurance adjusters look for. If you have a policy, it's a no-brainer.
    – isherwood
    Aug 10, 2016 at 20:21
  • Yes I do, but I'm not sure if using it will increase my premium?
    – Dean Kuga
    Aug 10, 2016 at 20:33
  • 2
    If so, not enough that it's worth a flimsy repair and shortened roof lifespan. You can always ask.
    – isherwood
    Aug 10, 2016 at 20:45
  • 1
    Exactly, call em. If you don't take the claim they won't. Chances are a new roof is totally worth a the extra $10... otherwise you are really paying them for nothing... plus you can switch insurance companies later. Just don't let your coverage lapse if you switch. Aug 10, 2016 at 20:46
  • @BenWelborn - Switching insurance companies won't let a homeowner escape a rate increase caused by claims -- most insurers use the CLUE database that tracks homeowner claims, no matter which insurance company they use. In some cases, a bad claim reputation in CLUE can even prevent a homeowner from securing a policy at all.
    – Johnny
    Aug 11, 2016 at 4:22

4 Answers 4


The ceramic granules are the protective layer of the shingle. They're not merely aesthetic. They offer UV, impact, and corrosion protection, and the shingle is vulnerable when they're removed.

The roof probably will not leak now, or in a few weeks, or a few months, but eventually the shingles will deteriorate badly enough that water gets through above the top edge of the underlying shingle, and then it can reach the deck and the attic. They need to be replaced.

While you could feasibly get some high-grade roofing adhesive and some ceramic sand and individually repair each divot, the result will not likely last as long as the original shingle would have. It'll also tend to show from the ground, either as color variation or bumps.

  • + for the good info... but I would hesitate to say it can ride for a few months (without patching it). Aug 10, 2016 at 20:33
  • @BenWelborn my previous roof lasted like that for around two years before random puddles showed up in the house (with me begrudgingly checking the attic for water spots, proving the leaks). That being said, I second isherwood's advice: this is not a case of "can I make the next exit before running out of gas?" followed by a call to AAA. Just replace the roof.
    – user4302
    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:06
  • @Snowman and I have seen many roofs like that leaking by then end of summer. Aug 11, 2016 at 12:12
  • Amen ! That roof is now junk, not repairable, must be replaced. Aug 12, 2016 at 11:14

Yes it will leak. There's tar paper or tyvek or something under the shingles that will help provide a temporary defence against leaks, but you need to repair or replace those shingles.

This is more of an opinion, but that's a lot of little dings to repair... and if you don't get them all, it could be for nothing (leaks can cause a lot more damage).

So, maybe you could run around with a bucket of tar and patch it all up... it would save money and/or buy you some time, but I would replace it as soon as possible (better safe than sorry).


You should claim it and have it fixed professionally. This type of damage could result in leaks, you should have them replaced, and don't try to jerry-rig a fix yourself.

Depending on your insurance company your rates should NOT go up for making a claim for this type of damage.

Well, not your rates specifically as a result of your claim; everyone's rates may go up slightly depending on how widespread the hail damage was, but that will happen anyway whether you file a claim or not.


With asphalt shingle roofs, the primary water barrier is the tarpaper or “tyvek” type roof barrier sometimes used today, and is the first layer placed against the roof decking. The asphalt shingle protects the water barrier from exposure to sunlight and physical damage (hail, windblown tree branches, etc). It also provides some protection from a hard rain, but it’s not the primary barrier.

Hail damage to the shingle causes loss of granules on the shingle. The shingle then degrades and cracks over a period of time. When the cracks occur in the shingle, it’s only a short time before the water barrier cracks and fails.

I had some hail damage from a storm last week, and this past Saturday I found extensive “dings” on the roof where the granules were knocked loose from the ahingles, similar to the photos above. I was wondering if I could replace the granules, and I found the answer here. At best, it’s only a short term repair.

Looks like I will be calling my insurer tomorrow. It’s a pity. The roof had a 40 year manufacturer warranty, and is a little over ten years old. The warranty protects against material defects, not hail damage.

  • 1
    I had to have a roof replaced twice in about 5 years; the original was only about 12 years old. The insurance rep only looked a few minutes and said it was bad - although not as bad as the photos in the original question. They also replaced lead plumbing stacks and turbines. Make sure the roofers go around the foundation with a magnet to get nails. Mine did but I still found nails for years. Apr 25, 2019 at 1:26

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