Storm Damage: How Big Does Hail Need to Be to Damage a Roof?

Sep 28, 2023 | Blog, Hail Damage, Roof Storm Damage, Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City has a rich history and diverse culture but also faces extreme weather, including hailstorms. Hail can come in different sizes and may seem harmless, but it can damage your roof. Rocky Mountain Exteriors, the top roofing experts in Salt Lake City, are here to explain the various hail sizes and how they can harm your roof.

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The Different Sizes of Hail

Hail comes in various sizes, ranging from small pellets to large, destructive chunks of ice. Understanding the sizes and their characteristics is necessary in assessing potential damage to your roof.

Pea-sized hail: 

Hail that is about the size of a pea might not seem intimidating, but it can still cause damage. Pea-sized hail can dent gutters, and downspouts, and even weaken the shingles on your roof over time.

Marble-sized hail:

Hailstones the size of marbles pack more of a punch. They can dent metal surfaces and leave noticeable marks on your roofing materials, including asphalt shingles.

Golf ball-sized hail: 

Golf ball-sized hail is significantly more destructive. It can crack or break roof shingles, leading to potential leaks and water damage inside your home.

Tennis ball-sized hail: 

When hail reaches the size of tennis balls, it becomes a serious threat. These larger hailstones can shatter windows, damage siding, and cause severe roofing damage, including holes and leaks.

Softball-sized hail: 

A hail the size of a softball is a homeowner’s nightmare. This size can cause extensive damage to your roof, leading to the need for costly repairs or even a full roof replacement.

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Damages to Roofs from Hail

Now that we’ve covered the various sizes of hail, let’s look into the specific damages it can cause to your Salt Lake City roof.

Shingle Damage: 

Hail can significantly harm your roof shingles. It can knock off the granules on asphalt shingles, weakening their protective layer. This loss of granules can lead to accelerated wear and tear, causing your roof to deteriorate prematurely.


As hail damages shingles, it can create openings for water to infiltrate your roof. Even small holes can result in leaks that may lead to water damage within your home, including damaged ceilings, walls, and insulation.

Cracked or Broken Shingles: 

Larger hailstones can crack or break roof shingles, leaving your roof vulnerable to further damage from rain, snow, and wind. This damage compromises your roof’s ability to protect your home effectively.

Weakened Roof Structure: 

Repeated hailstorms can weaken the overall structure of your roof. This can result in sagging or even collapse if the damage is extensive and not addressed promptly.

Gutter and Downspout Damage: 

Hail can dent and damage gutters and downspouts, affecting their ability to channel water away from your home. This can lead to water pooling around your foundation, increasing the risk of basement flooding.

Siding and Exterior Damage: 

Hail doesn’t discriminate; it can also damage the siding and exterior of your home. This damage not only affects your home’s curb appeal but can also lead to structural issues if left unattended.

Protecting Your Roof from Hail Damage

Preventing hail damage to your roof is challenging, but there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk:

  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular roof inspections by professionals like Rocky Mountain Exteriors to identify and address minor issues before they become major problems.
  • Roof Maintenance: Proper roof maintenance, such as keeping gutters clean and removing debris, can help your roof withstand hailstorms better.
  • Impact-Resistant Materials: Consider installing impact-resistant roofing materials that are designed to withstand hail damage.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure your homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for hail damage, so you’re financially prepared in case of a severe storm.

In Salt Lake City, where weather conditions can be unpredictable, understanding the different sizes of hail and their potential to damage your roof is essential. Whether it’s small pea-sized hail or larger, more destructive varieties, taking proactive measures to protect your roof can save you from costly repairs in the long run. 

Rocky Mountain Exteriors is here to help you safeguard your home and address any hail damage promptly, ensuring that your roof remains strong and resilient in the face of Salt Lake City’s unpredictable weather.

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