Factors Affecting Hail Damage to Roofs in Minnesota

The damaging power of hail on on asphalt shingles

Hail damage to shingles of home in mn
Hail damage to a roof in MN.

Minnesota summers bring storms! While it can be fun for some to watch the lightening and feel the thunder from big cumulonimbus clouds clouds, hail often accompanies these natural displays energy. Hail damage to roofs affects thousands of homes each year all over Minnesota. Hail damage can affect all types of roofing materials and is particularly damaging to asphalt shingles.

hailstones from storm in minnesota
Hail stones can get as big as a golf ball.

Hail Physics

Several components affect how much damaging force hail has. Hail size, weight, density, and speed are all factors that combine to deliver a certain amount of potential energy. We will discuss in greater detail these factors.

The size of hail may be as small as a pebble to larger than a baseball. It doesn’t take a degree in physics to know that the baseball sized hail is going to do more damage than the pea sized hail stone, but if you have to hail stones of equal diameter, the other factors come into place. Shape, for example, can have an impact on the impact force. While round is the most common shape, hail can also develop into an oval or elongated shape, which can achieve a greater speed, will have greater weight per diameter, and will usually hit with more force and result in more damage.

hail impact force increases with velocity

Density plays a huge role in the energy transmission potential of a hailstone. Counterintuitively, in colder air temperature conditions the hailstone will develop softer and usually smaller compared to warm weather hail storms.

diagram of hail force

In the Clouds

Hail forms in thunderstorm clouds that have strong updrafts, often over 100 mph, high liquid water content, and where a good portion of the cloud layer is below freezing. Hail begins as water droplets, like rain in any large cloud. As the droplets rise and the temperature goes below freezing, they freeze on contact with other water droplets.

green hail producing cloud in Minnesota
Green hail producing cloud in Minnesota

If you looked at a cross-section of a large hailstone it looks like an onion. Because the stone increases in size as it moves vertically through a cloud, the higher altitude collisions yield a colder denser layer. So, the density of these stone scan vary from 0.5 to 0.9 grams per cubic centimeter. As a reference point, water is a 1 gram per cubic centimeter in liquid form, and as we know, ice is less dense than liquid, at about 92% the density of water. Air bubbles trapped in the water yield a less dense hailstone that has less impact force.

Example of layers in a hailstone
Example of layers in a hailstone

The hailstone will keep rising in the thunderstorm until its mass can no longer be supported by the updraft. This may take at a half-hour depending upon on the force of the updrafts and the top vertical height of the clouds, whose tops may be greater that usually greater than 6 miles high!

a hail shaft from storm cloud in minnesota
A hail shaft from storm cloud in Minnesota

Eventually the weight of the stone is greater than the force of the updrafts and it falls out of the cloud, gaining speed until terminal velocity is reached. The terminal velocity of a hailstone is the speed of falling (gravity vs wind resistance) plus the speed of the wind. In a windless condition a hail stone will hit at, say, 72mph. Add in a forty mile per hour gust and that hailstone is going over 80mph. The impact force with the wind vs no wind is 30% greater.

Then there is the impact angle of the hail. If a stone is falling straight down on an angled roof, the impact is less than if a falling onto a flat roof. The same is true if a hailstone falls sideways into an angled roof, resulting in a direct perpendicular impact.

diagram of hail impact angle on a roof

Roof age has an effect too. An older roof tends to be more brittle. The shingles will crack or puncture more easily than a newer roof. Furthermore, a south facing roof will sustain more damage because the shingles will tend to be more weathered from the heat and UV damage of the sun. And speaking of temperature, a roof that is colder rather than warmer will sustain more damage, because the cold will make the shingles more brittle.

Exterior Siding Too

Exterior siding can also get destroyed by hail. If your home looks like this, we can help!

hail damage to exterior siding of home in minnesota
Hail damage to the exterior siding of a home in MN.

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that govern how much damage a residential roof will receive in a hail storm. The size of hail, the density of the hail, the velocity and angle angle of impact, age of materials, type of roofing materials, and temperature all combine into a cocktail of physics. Math equations aside, if your roof is victim in the next hail storm to sweep through minnesota, call All Sons Exteriors for a free hail damage inspection.  952-469-5221

Emergency Roof Tarp After Storm

Your home usually is your most valuable asset, not to mention where you live. When good old Minnesota nature rears it’s ugly head and damages your roof or exterior, creating a penetration into the structure, you need to act immediately to protect your home from further damage.

The need to secure you roof is not limited to  storm damage. We’ve dealt with the aftermath of vandalism, fire, and other accidents in which a roof was compromised.

The most common culprits are trees, high winds and tornadoes, or hail and lightening. The damage may be severe and obvious or the damage may be elusive and take days or months to manifest in a leak. If you see or suspect damage, you really should error on the side of caution and get an inspection.

Regardless how it comes, the main objective is to protect your home as soon as possible. That’s why we offer our emergency services. As with all repair work, if the job’s not done correctly you will have wasted the money you spent and more than likely added more damage to your home. You can do the work yourself, just be extremely careful. Make sure you cover the entire area using proper installation methods to keep the temporary roofing from being damaged from high winds or other weather events. And please always keep safety in mind.

Emergency roof tarp in Minnesota
Emergency roof tarp in Lakeville, Minnesota

Can you do this yourself?

Maybe. Working on roofs is never a “safe” environment, and when damage and trees are involved it gets even trickier. This is a good reason to let the experts with years of experience do this. We will make sure it’s done safe and you roof is safe from further damage.

How Fast Can You Get to My House?

All Sons Exteriors will get your roof and house protected within 24 hours from contacting us. If a tree is part of the equation, as is often the case, we can assist or advise on the best removal options. Depending upon the size and orientation of the tree, it may need to be removed quite carefully to avoid further unnecessary damage.

Call us at 952-469-5221 to get emergency tarps on your roof.

What is involved?

During emergency roof tarping, boarding, or repairing operations, our experienced roofers will  create a temporary barrier and make a plan to get the roof repaired as soon as possible.

What About Insurance?

All Sons Exteriors is a fully licensed and insured Minnesota company. We are very familiar with the insurance claim process and can guide you through the process.

Crew installing tarp on damaged roof in Minnesota
Installing tarp on damaged roof in Lakeville, Minnesota

Priority One: Protection

Contact All Sons Exteriors for an immediate roof inspection. We will triage the damage and secure the structure as needed right away.

Next Step: Estimate and Insurance

We will estimate the proper repairs and coordinate with your insurance to make sure you are properly covered for repairs.

Final Goal: Total Repair

All Sons Exteriors wants to get your home back into perfect condition. In fact, we like to leave it in better condition that it was before your damage situation. You can trust in us to take treat your property as though it was our own.

We are a Minnesota company and are invested in our community. We are you partner for protecting your home over the long haul.

Call Kathy at 952-469-5221 to get your project rolling.

Roof Damage from Windstorms in MN

Summer in Minnesota brings wind storms that result in thousands of homes with a damaged roof or damage to siding. If you home or neighborhood is hit by winds from tornadoes or straight line winds, you may be asking what should you look for and how fast should you act? We will cover these questions below.

Roof and Siding Windstorm Damage

Both tornadoes and straight-line winds can wreak havoc the integrity of your home. After a windstorm your roof should be checked for missing shingles. The inspection should also look for loose soffits or siding, and even gutters that have shaken loose. Damage to any of these can be a problem. Missing shingles are the most obvious from wind damage and also the most problematic.

Top Priority: Avoiding Leaks!

A leaky roof will quickly create a bunch of other expensive and potentially health-hazardous conditions. Wind can also loosen siding, which may not be obvious to the eye, especially when looking up a wall that goes two or three stories. Leaks from shingles or siding damage needs only a tiny space for water to get in, creating a recipe for mold and rot under the siding and in the interior of your home. What is worse, it sometimes takes a long time to realize a problem. Leaks from windstorm damage may take weeks or months to show inside your home.

Looking for Interior Water Damage

If you see and colored spots or paint blisters on the ceiling or walls it is probably water damage.  Sheetrock and water do not mix, so once sheetrock is exposed to water you tend to know quickly about a problem. The tricky part is then determining where the water is coming from. We have seen leaks in a roof manifest in water damage many horizontal feet away, and even on floors below, skipping upper floors.

Water from a wind damaged roof (or wind damaged siding) can travel along many paths inside your home. For example, we have seen water run along roof stringers and rafters, inside framing, along plumbing and wiring, and a combination of all of this to create an internal water damage problem far removed from the source! It can be a bit of investigative work to find the lead, then immediate action to fix all the water damage in the path.

After a Windstorm

If you suspect that your home may have been damaged, and especially if you see other damage in the neighborhood,  you should have a professional inspection. Safely assessing the condition of a roof is not a good do-it-yourself project. Safety harnesses should be used on steeper roof pitches, and a professional will have long ladders to inspect the siding, soffits, and gutters on upper floors.

Free Windstorm Damage Inspection

As storm damage experts, All Sons Exteriors specialize in the replacement of roofing, siding, windows, gutters and more. As a Lakeville, MN based company, with crews spread throughout southern and central Minnesota, we can serve a radius of up to 100 miles from our Lakeville, MN, base of operations.

Windstorm Insurance Claims

If we find damage to any part of your home, our estimators will work for you in conjunction with your insurance company. Having an experienced specialists deal with the insurance company can be very beneficial in the claims process, saving you time, stress – and money. You can trust in All Sons Exteriors to take care of everything. and most importantly make sure your home is watertight!