Shingle Damage Evaluation – Other Damages That May Be Mistaken for Hail Damage – Part 6a

Posted by in Shingles | July 23, 2012

This post is Part 6a of Shingle Damage Evaluation and follows Size of the Hail Stones – Part 5b.

Our previous posts have already discussed the causes and characteristics of damage from normal and premature aging and the characteristics of functional hail damage. The damages from normal and premature aging included balding, blistering, breakage, corner breakage, cracking, crazing or map cracking, cracking and granule loss in the asphalt overlay, defects, flaking, and wear along the edges of the tabs.   These were discussed in our previous posts of Part 4a through Part 4e.  Comparison of the characteristics of the damage observed in the shingles on a roof with the characteristics of damages from normal and premature aging and the characteristics of functional hail damage can  provide assistance in discerning the difference between these and determining the cause of damage to shingles.

Other Damages That May Be Mistaken For Hail Damage – Part 6, is comprised of four posts that discuss the causes and characteristics of damages that are commonly inflicted on shingles by other means, such as human or animal activities.  These are other damages that may be mistaken for hail damage by someone poorly trained and/or the inadequately inexperienced.

Following is the second list of three damages effected by other means:

  1. BB’s, Pellets, and Bullets – Impact damage by BB’s, pellets, or bullets in asphalt shingles appears as a deep, relatively symmetric shape.  Sometimes the BB’s, pellets, or bullets remain lodged in the asphalt or even in the wood deck.  The deep penetration and the relatively symmetrical shape distinguish these projectile damages from hail impact damage.


pellet damage to vent

SDE-38 Vent exhibits indentations from impact by pellets.


pellet damage to shingle

SDE-39 Shingle near vent with pellet damage exhibits small area of granule loss.


bullet damage to shingle

SDE-40 Bullet lodged in shingle.


  1. Gouges, Punctures And Cuts  – Gouges, punctures and cuts are where sharp and/or pointed objects have penetrated the granule cover and the asphalt coating, sometimes exposing the shingle mat.  A gouge often leaves an impression or scratch from the object.  A gouge also moves or dislodges granules.  A gouge may occur when the asphalt is relatively cool or when the asphalt has become hot, soft, and pliable by the heat of ambient temperatures and/or the sunlight.  A puncture penetrates through the asphalt mat.  A cut commonly appears as a relatively straight slice: a cut commonly occurs during installation when shingles are trimmed with a knife while overlaying other shingles.  These are distinguished from hail impact damage by the depth of the penetration, the residual tool marks, the impressions in the asphalt, the straight edge of the fracture, and/or the size of the damage compared to the known size of the hail stones.


gouge penetrates into asphalt

SDE-41 Gouge penetrates into asphalt.


  1. Granule Loss From Bird Droppings – Granule loss from bird droppings are usually irregular shaped areas of granule and/or asphalt loss commonly observed directly below television antennas, satellite dishes, tree branches, chimneys, etc.  They often exhibit the well-known shape of droppings sometimes found on a recently washed vehicle.  The granule and/or asphalt loss is the result of the degrading of the asphalt by the bird feces.  Sometimes relatively circular shapes of granule loss from bird droppings are mistaken for hail damage.  These may be distinguished from hail damage by their clustered location under antennas, trees, or similar raised perches and their lack of being accompanied by a fracture, an indentation, or a soft spot.
bird drop under antenna

SDE-42 Bird droppings on shingles under antenna.


bird droppings

SDE-43 Granules loosened and asphalt damaged under bird droppings.


The next post will discuss additional damages and anomalies that are often mistaken for hail damage.