Can Hailstone Damage My Roof?

The Great Storm of 1987. The Beast from the East in 2018. Storm Ciara in 2020. Whatever the year and whatever the name, there’s always some sort of bad weather striking the UK over winter. In most cases, that includes spells of hailstone pounding down.

While you can take shelter from the tiny chunks of ice, your roof can’t. In fact, it’s your roof that provides that much-needed shelter for you. That leaves many people wondering whether their roof will cope with the constant battering.

In this post we’ll take a closer look at the dangers of hailstone for your roof. But first…

What causes hailstone?

While snow simply requires the atmosphere to be cold enough, the formation of hailstone is a bit more complex. Hailstones are created when water droplets are carried into freezing atmospheric conditions by an upward current of air – or updraught.

These hailstones can then grow as more water freeze onto them, eventually becoming too heavy for the updraughts to carry. That’s when they fall from the sky and, amongst other things, onto your roof.

Can it damage your roof?

The simple answer is yes. Hailstones are sized around 5mm in diameter and can travel at speeds of up to 100mph. Constant battering from them can cause surface damage.

That said, roofing materials in the UK are pretty hard-wearing, and our hail isn’t as bad as it can get in places like the US where they regularly see golf ball sized hailstones, so a well-maintained roof should be able to cope.

Across the pond, they tend to use cheaper materials like asphalt tiles. Paired with hail stones larger than an inch in diameter, it’s fair to say their roofs are vulnerable when the hail starts falling.

Wind, rain and ice

The main concern with hailstone is the weather that comes with it. As mentioned, high winds are something of a pre-requisite, so whenever you see hail you can expect a side serving of strong winds. These gusts of wind can really test your roof and cause damage to any weak spots like loose tiles or guttering.

That’s accompanied by the freezing temperatures associated with hailstone and a lot of rain when the hail subsides. While these conditions can’t cause damage themselves, they can worsen existing issues. During a hailstorm, it’s not unusual for a cracked tile to turn into a big gap in your roof’s covering with a sizeable leak, for instance.

Protecting your roof from hailstone

The best course of action to protect your roof from hailstone is to make sure it’s in tip top condition before the bad weather begins. Hailstone and high winds will struggle to overcome a well-maintained roof, but they can certainly target weak spots.

Having an annual roof inspection in November-December is a good starting point to check your roof’s condition and highlight any issues.

Roof repairs after bad weather

If hailstone, wind or freezing temperatures have left your roof worse for wear, DPR Roofing can provide the much-needed roof repairs to get you back on track. Whether you’ve noticed some missing tiles, or you’ve just got a leak after the storm, we’ll identify the root cause and put things right.

Call our team of expert roofing contractors on 01924 255 677 to arrange an inspection.