Construction Studio Design Tips

How Does Hail Damage Asphalt Shingles?

Large hailstones falling through the air at high speeds carry a lot of force, and that force can cause significant damage to asphalt shingles. Roof hail damage that punctures through a shingle or breaks it apart can lead to your roof leaking, so it's important to have your shingles inspected whenever a severe hailstorm comes through your area. To learn about the different types of damage that hail can do to your asphalt shingles, read on.

Granule Loss 

One of the most common ways that hailstones can damage asphalt shingles is by knocking off their granules. Asphalt shingles are covered in a layer of tiny granules that protect the backing underneath from rain and sunlight. When a hailstone impacts a shingle, it will leave a crater — the granules where the hailstone impacted will be crushed into the backing, while the granules surrounding that area will be knocked loose from the shingle.

Losing a small number of asphalt granules from your shingles isn't a major roofing problem, as shingles will lose their granules over time due to natural wear. After a severe hailstorm, however, some shingles may have lost all of their granules in some areas. This exposes the shingle backing to sunlight, which will cause it to break down. You'll need to replace any shingles with an exposed backing in order to protect the integrity of your roof.


Since asphalt shingles will lose their granules over time, older asphalt shingles may only have a very thin layer of granules. The force of a hailstone hitting the shingle can break through them and cause a puncture in the shingle backing. A puncture in the shingle backing is a more serious roofing problem than lost shingles since water will get into the puncture and cause your roof to leak when it rains. You'll need to replace punctured shingles in order to stop leaks.


Asphalt starts to become brittle when it's exposed to sunlight. Older asphalt shingles that have become brittle may fracture apart entirely when a hailstone hits them. This is particularly common when a hailstone hits one of the lower corners of a shingle since there's not as much area to distribute the force of the impact.

A torn asphalt shingle is also a serious roofing problem. Your shingles have a waterproof underlayment beneath them, and this will be exposed to the elements when one of your shingles is torn. The underlayment can't withstand severe weather very well, and high winds can cause it to rip. You'll need to replace fractured shingles in order to protect the underlayment from storms.

If a substantial portion of your asphalt shingles has been damaged by hail, it's normally easier and cheaper to replace your entire roof instead of replacing damaged shingles one by one. To find out if replacement is the best option, call a roofing contractor in your area that inspects and fixes roof hail damage. They'll survey all of your shingles in order to determine the extent of the damage. You'll be able to find out if replacing individual shingles or replacing the entire roof makes more sense depending on their assessment of the severity of your roof hail damage.