Asphalt shingles are a cornerstone in residential roofing, offering a harmonious blend of durability, aesthetic appeal, and cost-effectiveness. Despite their robustness, they are not impervious to environmental challenges, particularly hail damage. Understanding the effects of hail on asphalt shingles is crucial for maintaining the integrity and longevity of your roof.

The Anatomy of an Asphalt Shingle

Granule Layer: The First Line of Defense

The granule layer, a bed of fine, rough particles, serves as the primary shield. It protects against UV rays and provides fire resistance.

Asphalt Layer: Waterproofing Core

Beneath the granules lies a dense asphalt layer, essential for the shingle’s waterproofing properties.

Reinforcement Mat: Structural Backbone

At the heart of the shingle is a reinforcement mat, typically made from fiberglass or organic materials, providing strength and stability.

Hail Damage: A Closer Look

Granule Loss: The Initial Blow

Hailstones can dislodge granules, leading to significant loss over time. This exposes the asphalt layer to UV rays, accelerating the aging process.

Cracking: A Hidden Threat

Large or high-velocity hailstones can cause cracks. If these reach the reinforcement mat, the risk of leaks increases.

Bruising: Subtle yet Significant

Hail impacts can leave darkened bruises, indicating embedded granules in the asphalt. Over time, these can become weak points.

Punctures: Rare but Severe

In intense hailstorms, large hailstones might puncture the shingle, creating openings.

Proactive Measures and Solutions

Regular Roof Inspections

Post-hailstorm, inspect your roof for granule loss, cracks, bruises, or punctures.

Professional Assessment

Engage a roofing expert, like Benson Contracting in Glens Falls, NY, to evaluate damage and suggest remedies.

Impact-Resistant Shingles

Consider these specially designed shingles if you live in a hail-prone area.

Routine Maintenance

Regularly check and clean gutters and watch for overhanging branches that could damage your shingles.


Hailstorms pose a significant threat to asphalt shingles. Adopting a proactive approach, including understanding potential damages, implementing preventive measures, and ensuring regular maintenance, is vital