Do I Need to Replace My Roof Before Winter if it Has Hail Damage?

Do I Need to Replace My Roof Before Winter?

As winter approaches, many homeowners begin to worry about the condition of their roofs, especially if they’ve experienced hail damage. Hailstorms can be incredibly destructive, leaving behind a trail of dents and bruises on your roof. But IS it absolutely necessary to replace your roof before winter if it has hail damage? 

Short Answer: No, no immediate replacement may be required.

The short answer is that you may not need to rush into replacing your roof immediately if it has hail damage. Hail damage can be unsightly, but it doesn’t always mean your roof will start leaking during the winter. 

Here are some key factors to consider before making a decision:

If your roof is not currently leaking, it’s a good indication that it can still provide adequate protection during the winter. In many cases, hail damage won’t lead to immediate leaks, as the shingles are designed to withstand various weather conditions. 

Typically, an insurance claim for hail damage is valid for one year. If you have recently experienced hail damage, your claim should still be active, and you can replace your roof in the spring. Additionally, you can often extend the claim by notifying your insurance company, giving you more flexibility in scheduling. 

If you live in areas like Colorado and Wyoming, where winters can be mild or unpredictable, roofing work can be done throughout the winter months. The key is to evaluate the severity of your local winter conditions before making a decision. A milder winter may allow for roofing projects, while a harsh winter may be more challenging. 

Common Winter Roofing Concerns

While it’s possible to roof during the winter, there are a few factors to consider:

Roofing during the winter, especially in open plains areas, can be tricky. Dust and dirt can blow under the shingles, preventing them from sealing down properly. This could lead to problems in the long run. Therefore, it’s important to ensure a clean and dust-free environment. 

To avoid complications, ensure that your insurance claim remains active. The last thing you want is for your claim to expire before you get the necessary replacement done. Keep communication open with your insurance company to ensure you have the coverage you need. 

If your roof has hail damage, there’s no immediate need to replace it before winter. The presence of hail damage doesn’t necessarily mean your roof is on the brink of failure. The decision to repair or replace your roof should be based on the extent of the damage, your current insurance claim status, and the specific weather conditions in your area. 

If you end up having your roof repaired or replaced during the winter, it can be perfectly fine, provided you address the two critical concerns:

      1. Ensure that no dust or dirt gets under the shingles during the installation to guarantee a proper seal. 
      2. Keep your insurance claim active and consider extending it if necessary. 

    In the end, the best course of action is to consult with your Project Manager who can assess the damage and provide expert advice tailored to your situation. They can help you determine whether a winter roof replacement is feasible or if it’s best to schedule the work for the spring. In any case, addressing hail damage promptly is essential to maintain the long-term integrity of your roof and protect your home. 

    The Best Hail Resistant Roofing Options in Colorado

    Class 4 Asphalt Shingles

    The Best Hail Resistant Roofing Options in Colorado

    Living in Colorado means experiencing a wide range of weather conditions. This happens not just from season to season but sometimes from hour to hour. In the summer, the front range is susceptible to a variety of extreme weather patterns, including frequent hailstorms. Hail is the leading cause of damage to roofs in our state. Most hailstorms lead to costly repairs or even full roof replacements for homeowners. Because of this, it is a very good idea to invest in a hail resistant roof to safeguard your property from the unpredictable temperament of Colorado’s weather and to save money on your insurance. In this article, we will explore four of the best hail resistant roofing options available.

    1. Class 4 Asphalt Shingles

    Class 4 asphalt shingles are known for their durability and ability to withstand some of the more severe hailstorms. These shingles undergo testing and meet industry standards for impact resistance. They are designed with multiple layers and reinforced with materials such as fiberglass or modified asphalt, making them more resistant to hail damage.

    Class 4 asphalt shingles are thicker and more durable than standard shingles, which enhances their ability to withstand hail impact. They are often rated to resist hailstones up to 2 inches in diameter, offering excellent protection for homes in hail-prone areas like Colorado.

    Additionally, Class 4 asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of styles and colors. Excel Roofing is a Platinum Preferred Contractor with Owens Corning, so we recommend Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Storm or Flex. Both shingles are great cost-effective options to protect your home. In Colorado, the average cost to replace your roof with a Class 4 asphalt shingle roof is around $17,000.

    Class 4 Asphalt Shingles

    2. Synthetic Shingles

    Another popular option for hail resistant roofing in Colorado are synthetic shingles. Made from materials like PVC or synthetic polymers.

    Synthetic shingles are highly durable and impact resistant. They offer excellent protection against UV rays, moisture, and temperature fluctuations, making them a practical choice for Colorado’s climate.

    These shingles are available in a range of designs, including ones that mimic the appearance of traditional materials like wood or slate. With their lightweight nature, plastic shingles are easy to install and require minimal maintenance over their lifespan. Since these are the most hail proof shingles for homeowners, they are costly. These shingles are 2.25X – 4X more expensive than Class 4 asphalt shingles, priced around $38,000 – $68,000.

    Synthetic Shingles

    3. Stone-Coated Steel

    Stone-Coated steel roofing is a premium option for homeowners seeking superior hail resistance. These roofs consist of steel panels coated with a layer of granules. This type of roof provides exceptional wind resistance and reliable durability and protection against hail damage.

    The stone coating enhances the roof’s strength and impact resistance, allowing it to withstand even severe hailstorms. The interlocking panels create a watertight barrier, protecting your home from leaks and further damage. Additionally, stone-coated steel roofs have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance.

    Furthermore, stone-coated steel roofs offer excellent fire resistance, energy efficiency, and resistance to other weather elements like wind and snow. They are available in various colors and styles, enabling homeowners to achieve a distinctive and visually appealing look for their homes. Because these are hail resistant, fire resistant, and energy efficient, they are 3.5X – 4X the cost of a Class 4 asphalt shingle, priced around $59,500 – $68,000.

    Stone-Coated Steel

    4. Class 4 Tile

    Tile roofs, including options like concrete or clay tiles, are known for their exceptional durability and hail resistance. These roofs can withstand hailstones of varying sizes without sustaining significant damage. Tile roofs are long-lasting and require minimal maintenance over their lifespan.

    Tile roofs also offer excellent insulation properties, helping to regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy consumption. They are available in various colors, styles, and shapes, allowing homeowners to achieve a unique and visually appealing look for their homes. Because the tiles are low maintenance and long-lasting, they are 3X the cost of Class 4 asphalt shingles, priced around $51,000 on average.

    Class 4 Tile

    Investing in a hail resistant roof is a wise decision and provides peace of mind during severe weather events. When choosing a hail resistant roof, consider one of the materials mentioned.

    Material prices were just raised on August 1st, 2023, and will continue to go up. If you need a new roof, consult with an Excel Roofing Project Manager to assess your specific needs and help you select the best option for your home.


    Storm Drainage System

    heavily clogged gutter

    Storm Drainage System

    Having the right type of storm drainage system is crucial to preserving the foundation of your home. Proper storm drainage protects your home from soil erosion, basement flooding, water stains and paint damage. It also helps to prevent mold and mildew growth. 

    There are many options when it comes to your storm drainage system. There are also many types of material, shapes and sizes available. This is why it is important to have an expert roofing company that can educate you on the right kind of drainage system for your home. 

    At Excel, our roofing experts care about protecting your home just as much as you do. This is why we make sure that our water systems always drain away from your home, our downspouts always extend at least 4 feet away from your home and our underground drains always direct water away from your home. This prevents water drainage from causing issues like soil erosion, basement flooding and much more. 

    Gutter Materials

    There are many available options when it comes to gutter material, shapes and sizes.  The 4 main choices when it comes to gutter material are; aluminum, copper, steel and vinyl/ plastic.

    Aluminum gutters are the most commonly used type of gutters. Aluminum is corrosion resistant, lightweight and easy to work with. It is also less expensive than many of its alternatives.

    Copper gutters are much more expensive than aluminum gutters. However they are slightly stronger than aluminum gutters, don’t need to be painted and don’t mildew like painted gutters. 

    Steel gutters are stronger but will rust. These types of gutters should also be inspected frequently to prevent clogging and premature rusting.

    Plastic gutters can be easily broken.  Excel Roofing does not recommend plastic gutters nor do we install plastic gutters, as they typically fail.

    Both aluminum and steel gutters can be fabricated on site.  

    Excel Roofing recommends seamless aluminum gutters over steel because they hold up well, melt the snow and ice faster than steel and will never rust.

    Excel Roofing Seamless Rain Gutter Services

    Excel Roofing provides Denver’s best rain gutter installation, replacement and gutter cleaning services. Clogged, leaking, and improperly draining gutters can cause damage to your home and its foundation.

    Overflowing gutters and downspouts can cause your basement to flood. When a basement floods because of outside water, insurance typically will not cover this disaster.

    Excel Roofing installs seamless 5 & 6 inch rain gutters. Our seamless gutter machine creates custom seamless gutters, specifically for your home, at your home!

    Why seamless gutters? Fewer seams mean fewer leak and failure points.

    Clogged Gutters

    heavily clogged gutter

    Plant material such as seeds, cones, twigs and leaves can build up over time and lead to clogs in your drainage system. Buildup of these materials can also lead to animals like rodents and wasps nesting in your gutters. Buildup can also prevent water from moving through, and the added weight can lead to warped or sagging gutters. Winter can also bring challenges like snow buildup or ice dams, which can also lead to leaks, damages or warped gutters. 

    Here are a few options to prevent storm drain backups:

    • Have your storm drainage system installed by an experienced expert like Excel Roofing
    • Have your gutters cleaned at least once a year (this is the best solution to gutter clutter)
    • Gutter covers are an option but they are very debatable because they can cause rain to overshoot the gutters and can contribute to clogging problems on top of gutters
    • Gutter screens are another option to protect you gutters, however these screens can become blocked and cause water to over shoot gutters
    • If you notice ice buildup, address it before it becomes worse

    Leaking Gutters

    Leaking gutters should receive immediate attention. If not fixed in a timely fashion, gutter leaks can lead to other issues with your home such as, damage to exterior walls, soil erosion, flooding, and damage to roofing material.

    If you have leaking gutters here are some steps you should take to prevent further damage:

    • Get water 4 feet away from the house, otherwise you could have issues like basement flooding or damage to your foundation
    • Check to see if your downspouts are clogged (clogged downspouts can make it seem like you have a leak)
    • Check the slope of your gutters to make sure they aren’t sloped incorrectly, causing water to drain outside of them
    • Check to see if water is draining towards the downspouts
    • Check the corners of the gutters where they connect (sometimes gutters need to be resealed)

    What If Shingle Granules Get In My Gutter?

    asphalt shingles with granule loss

    Question: When I was cleaning my gutters over the weekend, I found asphalt shingle granules in my gutter.  It looked like a lot to me. Do I need to fix my roof or replace it?

    asphalt shingle with granule loss

    Answer: Probably not. The granules on shingles just get loose over time.

    Wind, rain and snow will cause them to come loose and collect in your gutters (or at the base of your downspout).  The granules coming loose and falling into your gutters is perfectly normal and the term for it is simply “fall-off.”

    The granules are added to asphalt shingles as a protective measure against UV rays and also as a fire retardant.  These granules are constantly exposed to the elements and that means there is just no way they will all stay stuck to the shingles year after year.

    In fact, washing a brand new asphalt roof will cause a lot of “fall-off” to build up.  So if you find a buildup of granules in the gutters or on the ground, don’t panic!

    However, if your roof is an older roof it would be worth your time to just walk it and take a look.  If you see shingles where most of the granules are gone, those shingles will need to be replaced. The granules provide a layer of protection and without them, the shingle is left exposed and will deteriorate quickly.

    It is normal to see asphalt shingle granules in your gutters or even on the ground. This does not necessarily mean that your roof is unhealthy or in need of repair or replacement.

    If you are unsure and think your roof may need an inspection, contact Excel Roofing and we will let you know the condition of your roof — at no cost to you! Excel Roofing is a roofing expert, and knows when the shingles are too exposed.

    Recycled Asphalt Shingles

    asphalt shingle roof

    Recycled Asphalt Shingles

    recycled asphalt shingle roof

    Old Asphalt shingles are easily recycled, and have proven to be a win win for the municipalities’ who have accepted their use in asphalt roads.  When the old roof is being torn off, the workers must separate the asphalt shingles from the other debris, and only load the shingles into the dump truck.  This requires the individual contractors to train their personnel how to separate the material so it is ready to be recycled.  Then, the dump truck then delivers this “clean load” of asphalt shingles to the recycle facility.  After it is dumped, the load of shingles will be will be chopped and ground into small pieces.  The chopped shingles are passed over a magnet to remove any nails.  The finished product, commonly referred to as RAS, is then ready to be used in Hot Mixed Asphalt.

    The use of RAS in Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) pavement has shown to have a number of benefits.

    Benefits Of Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement

    Benefits shown from many studies include:

    •Recycling thousands of tons of usable material

    •Reducing the amount of asphalt shingles being put into landfills.

    •Reducing the amount of miles traveled by dump trucks traveling to outlying landfills.

    •Increased stiffness of asphalt roads

    •Decreased road cracking

    •No effect on moisture sensitivity

    •Decreased susceptibility to rutting

    •Decreased optimum content of virgin asphalt cement.

    Studies have been conducted in which portions of highways and roads have been paved with asphalt containing recycled shingles and have been monitored over time. Many laboratory studies have been conducted and may be found on the Technical Reports and Articles pages at

    Because of the benefits shown by using recycled asphalt shingles in HMA pavement, a number of states allow a certain percentage of RAS to be used in HMA pavements. These states include: Florida,  Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, and Alabama.

    What Are The Costs?

    The costs associated with recycling asphalt shingles are: debris segregation, which costs between $4-$8 per ton and grinding, which costs between $14-$22 per ton, depending largely on whether you contract out the grinding or do it yourself.

    What Is The Value Of RAS?

    RAS is worth the percent asphalt in it x price per ton asphalt.  Old Asphalt shingles typically have 20-25% asphalt content.  Price of asphalt varies widely.  The value is off-set by the cost of the hot-mix producer having to potentially put in place new bins to add the RAS, the cost of new mix designs with the RAS (which may include need for different recipe of rocks and sand that can be more costly), and the potential cost of using softer asphalt to off-set stiffness of RAS asphalt at higher concentrations of RAS.  HMA producers should consider recycled asphalt shingle as a new recycled material because of its relatively high Asphalt content. RAS becomes a partial replacement of the virgin Asphalt. In the past, HMA producers have reported savings of approximately $1 to $3 per ton of finished HMA product with the use of 5 percent RAS. The total, average cost per ton for HMA production and sale varies with the grade of pavement and geographic location. Studies have indicated a savings of up to $3 per ton of final HMA.

    What Are Typical Design Specifications For Road Asphalt Using RAS?

    25-40% total recycle content (replacement of asphalt which could include RAS and/or RAP) may include the use (or may require by state spec) of softer asphalt.  Soft asphalts (depending on market) may not cost more or only 10-20/ton more, but typically cost $35-55/ton more (Some markets higher than that; like in the North West).  Soft asphalts may also be difficult to come by in a market too if there isn’t demand, or given current refinery operating strategies.  There are “rejuvenators” that are sold that are supposed to revitalize the stiff / old asphalt in RAP & RAS; I can’t say that these are widespread.  These are typically hi-flash hydrocarbons.

    What If The Shingles Contain Asbestos?

    In reality, while asbestos was commonly used in many asphalt roofing materials, asbestos was rarely used in the shingles themselves. It is acknowledged by the asphalt shingle manufacturers that between 1963 and the mid 1970s, some manufacturers did use asbestos in the fiber mat of shingles. Manufacturer information on how many asbestos-containing shingles were sold is not available, but the amount of asbestos used in shingles was typically less than 1% [NESHAP defines ACM as any material containing more than 1% asbestos] and it was only in a small portion of the manufacturers’ production. Unfortunately, less is known about the possible presence of asbestos in imported roofing coatings.

    Because of concerns raised over the possible presence of asbestos in asphalt shingles, several shingle recyclers have done extensive testing to confirm that asbestos is not a concern. The Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) has compiled (and continues to compile) a database of test results for asbestos in asphalt shingles. These test results come from facilities that recycle asphalt shingles and from exploratory testing. Individuals interested in the raw data should contact the CDRA. In addition, individuals with additional sampling data are greatly encouraged to share the results with the CDRA so the information can be posted on the website.

    If asbestos testing is mandatory it is possible to test each load.  The loads would be segregated as they arrive at the facility and have a test facility set up on site and test each load before they are ground-up.

    What is a Cool Roof?

    diagram of a cool roof

    What is a Cool Roof?

    A cool roof is a roof that absorbs less of the sun’s heat, and transfers less heat into the building.

    Summer heat can make a house hot! Certain roofs will make the house hotter, and some “cool roofs” can make it cooler.  The most important factor for how much heat the roof absorbs is the color of the roofing material. A dark roof absorbs more heat than a light colored roof.  

    The heat the roof absorbs is transferred into the building, this has a big impact on the inside temperature of a home. Having a cool roof can result in summer monthly power savings between 7%-15% to air condition a home.

    Different types of roofing installations transfer the heat into the building differently. 

    Asphalt and Steel roofs absorb and transfer the most heat to a structure because they are installed directly to the roof deck (plywood).  Steel roofs get so hot they require a special underlayment that will not melt and ooze out from under the metal! Elevated roofs such as concrete tile or stone coated steel will not transfer as much heat to the structure.  This is because they are typically installed on an elevated wood batten system creating a dead air space between the roofing and the plywood deck. This in turn transfers less heat into the building.

    What Are Cool Roofs?

    diagram of a cool roof

    The Cool Roof Council rates roofing materials for solar reflectance and thermal emittance. New roofing technology has made cool roofs a new, cost effective way to combat heat from the sun’s rays.  The scale for reflectance and thermal emittance is from 0 to 1–with 1 being optimal. Cool roofs are made from materials that reflect the sun’s rays up to four times more than standard roofing materials.  Cool roofing materials will reflect parts of the light spectrum that are invisible to the human eye but carry a lot of heat.

    Asphalt shingle Cool Roofs are a great option for a residential roof replacement

    Asphalt Shingle cool roofs have a lot of benefits in terms of initial cost effectiveness, these types of roofs also last longer than traditional roofs.  During excessive heat, traditional asphalt shingles become more brittle, making them more susceptible to wind and hail damage. The durability, and lowered chances of a roof insurance claim with these roofs during summer months is another advantage of using a cool roof.

    It’s not just a roof, it’s the Roof System

    It’s not just the color of the Roof material, it’s an entire system.  The 3 system components are: 

    The roof covering -a cool, hail resistant material is best

    Attic ventilation -1 to 150 ventilation ratio, utilizing a mechanical fan to exhaust hot air is best

    The Attic insulation -R49, 20 inches of attic insulation is best 

    Theses 3 components need to be designed and installed correctly in order to optimize the energy efficiency of the system. 

    Top roofing companies know the best replacement roof systems

    If you have an insurance claim and are getting a new roof, you should contact an A+ rated BBB company like Excel Roofing.  We know the best cool, hail resistant, energy saving roof system for you. Important tip, never pay a roofing contractor any money up front, at Denver’s best roofing company, “You Don’t Pay A Cent Until You’re Content”!  If you have any questions, or need an estimate schedule an inspection with the cool roofing experts at Excel Roofing!  

    Schedule My Free Inspection/Bid Now

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