MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Owners of storm-damaged homes should be wary of out-of-town roofing companies offering their services because of recent tornadoes and hail.

Many of these companies offer free roof inspections but leave homeowners still wondering if they have hail damage.

“That question would best be answered by an insurance adjuster, since all companies can have somewhat different standards,” said Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Insurance adjusters are usually looking for missing granules on the asphalt or fiberglass shingles, relative to the expected life of the shingles, Schultheis said.

“The number of dents in the metal roof vents is also a good indicator of hail amounts and size. The insurance company may have a formula, like 10 verified hail hits per 100 square feet, that determines their declaration for a roof replacement,” said Schultheis.

A hail hit on a shingle looks like a bruise or a dark spot where the granules on the shingle have been knocked off, exposing the asphalt underlayment and sometimes the fiberglass mat.

New hail hits will have a shiny appearance because the freshly exposed asphalt has not had time to weather to a dull color.

“The best results for the benefit of the homeowner seem to be obtained when an experienced roofer walks through the inspection with the insurance adjuster and calls to the adjuster’s attention any damage that he sees,” said Schultheis.

For more information, contact your local MU Extension center.

For links to disaster-related resources from MU Extension, including publications, news, feature articles and videos, see