The state of Florida is home to some the nation’s most extreme weather. From hurricanes to wildfire-inducing drought, the volatile nature of Florida’s weather patterns can cause even the most confident residents concern. In Jacksonville, it is common for large storms to sweep across the area, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. These times of unpredictable atmospheric activity can also produce another element of possible danger for Floridians to confront: hail.

Nationwide, there are approximately 3,000 hailstorms annually that cause $1.6 billion in damage to homes. There have been at least four hailstorms reported in the city of Jacksonville in 2014 alone. Because of these meteorological occurrences, homeowners in the area need to be aware of the effects that hailstorms can have.

hail

Hail is a form of solid precipitation that falls from the sky as pellets of ice. The pellets can range in size from small pea-sized pellets, to hailstones as large as grapefruits. While the smallest sizes can seem harmless and not reason for alarm, all hail is a threat to the durability, functionality and overall effectiveness of your roofing system. The truth is that hail can cause your home major problems. Most significantly, roofing systems are susceptible to failure if not properly inspected and repaired following of a series of hail strikes. Another problem is that hail damage can go unnoticed for quite a bit of time. This is because it is quite hard to spot from the ground. The untrained eyes of many homeowners simply do not know the warning signs to look for. Over time, this fact, coupled with continued instances of hail, will lead to the gradual break down of your roof.

So how exactly does hail damage a roof? The backbone of any roofing system is the strength of its shingles. Shingles are built so that their surface granules block the UV of the sun and protect asphalt underlayment. As the shingles age, the granules fall off over time. Once this begins to happen, the asphalt underlayment is exposed to UV rays and the shingle begins to dry out. It is during this time that Jacksonville roofers will tell you your home is at severe risk to hail. Hail damage creates a domino effect of problems for your roof. It accelerates granule loss, which causes the deterioration and eventual failure of shingles. These damaged areas are the source of roof leaks. The nature of hail damage is that it may pose no immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof. This creates a false sense of security, as pools of water do not accumulate in your home following every hailstorm.

The biggest mistake made in dealing with hail is waiting too long to have a qualified Jacksonville roofing company inspect your home after a storm. Many insurance policies have a time limit in place to make a claim and warranties associated with your roofing materials can also be voided if your system is not properly inspected and maintained. The best course of action following a hailstorm is to call a professional and have a documented inspection that identifies problem areas and allows you to plan for any repairs needed in the future. By waiting to confront what may only be a minor problem, homeowners can create a situation of substantial risk to not only their home, but also themselves and their families.