The Official Roofing Dictionary

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Roofing Terminology From A to Z

Learn the official roofing definitions used by insurance adjusters and roofing professionals.

Hail (definition as it relates to insurance claims on asphalt roofs):

Hailstones are chunks of ice produced by the turbulent updrafts of thunderstorms. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness. Thus, hail impact-caused marks on a roof and its surroundings have various sizes, shapes, and depths. Hailstone caused impact marks are generally rounded, but are not perfectly circular.

Mechanical Damage (definition as it relates to insurance claims on asphalt roofs):

Mechanical damage is sometimes caused in order to simulate hail or wind damage. Naturally occurring hail has characteristics which result in damage that is distinctly different from mechanical/tool caused damage. Factors which can be used to differentiate naturally created marks from simulated, mechanically caused marks include the geometry of the individual marks as well as distribution of the marks on a roof. Further, hailstones are not hard enough to pulverize granules to a fine powder. Hard hammer blows, on the other hand, crush and smear granules. Mechanical damage also can be unintentional, caused by human or animal activities on the roof or by inanimate forces (such as tree limbs).

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