Roof Storm Damage: Your Evaluation Checklist
Roof storm damage is an unfortunate reality across the United States. However, here in the Gulf Coast region, we have to deal with particularly turbulent weather. If you’ve lived here a while, there’s a good chance you’ve seen your fair share of rough weather.
From unexpected freezes to hurricanes and squalls, there’s great potential for damage to your roof system. After a storm, it’s important to understand what to look for. When you know how to evaluate the condition of your roof, you have a better chance to catch an issue before it becomes a major problem.
After the Storm: Here’s What to Do
After a storm clears, how do homeowners identify roof storm damage? Moreover, what is your next step when you find an issue?
Below, we offer a guide to help you understand the different forms of storm damage. Then, we cover the steps you can take.
Types of Storm Damage
Without proper drainage, it’s common for a roof to have standing water after a big storm. This is especially true for uneven areas.
Moreover, clogged gutters often cause rainwater to overflow onto your roof and under your shingles. This allows moisture to penetrate the underlayer or roof deck of your system.
Meteorologists classify hurricane winds at 74 mph or greater. Below that, gale-force winds drive at 39-54 mph. Both have the potential to cause visible roof storm damage.
Additionally, high winds have the potential to tear shingles from your roof, exposing the roof deck, underlayment, or waterproofing material to the elements.
In a less severe storm, a sudden, sharp gust still has the power to curl or lift shingles. When a roofing company installs shingles, the idea is to overlap them and create a water-tight seal. If winds break this seal, it leaves your roof vulnerable to even more damage.
Depending on the severity of a storm, it’s possible for debris to land on your roof. Anything from small branches and trash to larger limbs of trees can dislodge and land on top of your house.
Larger objects have the potential to impact or dent the surface of the shingles. That leaves the area it hits vulnerable to moisture. Lighter objects are less of a problem but still have the potential to tear away at shingles.
Hailstorms aren’t all too common in the Gulf Coast. Moreover, they tend to be quite short, lasting around 15 minutes at most. However, they do happen.
Hail can leave pockmarks or dents in the shingles of your roof, loosening the granules on the shingles. This is a problem because those granules help to protect your home against rain and sun damage.
Additionally, hail roof storm damage can ruin the appearance of your roof.
Roof Storm Damage Checklist
After a storm, use this roof storm damage checklist to evaluate the condition of your roof. Before you work with a roofing contractor, it helps you understand your situation. While some might need a roof replacement, others might need smaller repairs.
Step #1: Safety
Safety is always your #1 priority when it comes to working on a roof. Your best bet is to partner with a professional roofing company and schedule an inspection. A contractor can help you assess the damage.
Additionally, most contractors offer a free inspection and know how to examine a roof safely.
Step #2: Roof Assessment
Conduct a visual assessment of your roof. First, walk the perimeter of the building. Take note of any visible roof storm damage.
Then, check windows for any options to gain a good view of different areas of the roof. As you assess your roof, take pictures and note things down. This is always helpful when you need to involve your insurance company.
Document any sign of visible storm damage.
- Dented shingles
- Missing shingles
- Curled shingles
- Torn patches of the roof
- Loose flashing
Step #3: Vents, Gutters, & Windows
Check your home’s gutters and roofing accessories for any dents or damage. This includes any overhangs or gable vents.
Then, Inspect your windows for cracks, broken glass, torn screens, and loose weather stripping.
Step #4: Assess Outdoor Areas
Walk the exterior of the home to check for missing fence posts, fallen limbs, and any property damage. After a hailstorm, check flat surfaces like decks and patios for dents.
Step #5: Ceiling & Attic Inspection
Walk through the interior of the home and attic to check for any leaks or water spots. In some cases, the exterior appears undamaged while unseen leaks form larger problems down the road.
Inspect any light fixtures on the top floor as well as the ceiling and attic. In dark areas, be sure to use a flashlight.
Partner with a Contractor You Can Trust
Roof storm damage is a serious matter. That’s why it is crucial to partner with a roofing company you can trust. If a deal ever sounds too good to be true, remember that it probably is.
However, with a good roofing contractor on your side, you have someone to help you.
- Assess roof storm damage with a keen eye
- Offer an estimate on any repairs
- Provide a thorough solution to protect your home
If you experience roof storm damage and need help, schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Small, unseen problems in the present often result in major repairs down the line. It’s always best to have a professional inspect your roof after a storm.