Roof storm damage

Signs of Roof Damage to Check for After a Storm

Storms can unleash significant damage on your home, and the roof is often the first line of defense. After a storm, checking your roof for damage is essential to catch issues early and maintain your roof’s integrity.

This article will explore common types of roof damage caused by storms, the signs to look out for, and what to do if you find any issues. Knowing what’s normal and what’s urgent can keep you dry and one step ahead!

Types of Roof Damage Caused by Storms

Storms can cause several types of damage to your roof, depending on the intensity and nature of the weather.

  • Hail Damage: Hailstones can be particularly destructive, denting shingles, knocking off granules, and even causing cracks. The impact of hail can compromise the protective surface of your roof, making it more susceptible to leaks and further damage.
  • Wind Damage: High winds can lift, loosen, or completely remove shingles, leaving the underlying roof deck exposed. Wind can also cause debris to hit the roof, creating punctures and other issues.
  • Rain Damage: Heavy rain, especially when combined with existing vulnerabilities, can lead to leaks. Water can seep into small cracks and holes, causing damage to the interior of your home over time if not addressed promptly.
  • Debris Damage: Falling branches, twigs, and other debris can puncture or scrape the roofing material. This type of damage is often visible as dents, scratches, or even holes in the roof.
Gutter on a roof with a hole from hail storm damage.

Gutter with a hole from hail damage.

Immediate Signs of Damage

After a storm, inspecting your roof for immediate signs of damage can be the difference between routine maintenance and costly fixes. It’s easier to do if you know what to keep an eye out for!

  • Missing Shingles: One of the most obvious signs of roof damage is missing shingles. Gaps where shingles are missing can expose the roof deck to the elements, leading to leaks and structural damage. If you notice any shingles on the ground or visible gaps on your roof, it’s time to take action.
  • Cracked or Curled Shingles: Shingles that are cracked or curled are a sign that the protective layer has been compromised. This can happen due to high winds, hail, or aging. Damaged shingles can no longer effectively protect your roof from water infiltration.
  • Damaged Flashing: Flashing is used around chimneys, vents, and skylights to prevent water from seeping in. After a storm, check for bent, cracked, or detached flashing. Damaged flashing can lead to leaks in areas that are otherwise difficult to notice.
  • Gutter Problems: Gutters are essential for directing water away from your home. If you see sagging, clogged, or overflowing gutters, it could indicate that they are full of debris or damaged. This can cause water to back up onto the roof, leading to leaks and water damage.
  • Visible Debris: The presence of twigs, leaves, and larger debris on your roof or in your yard can indicate impact damage. Debris can puncture the roofing material or create dents and scratches that weaken the roof’s integrity.

Subtle Signs of Roof Damage

Not all roof damage is immediately obvious! Catching these sneakier signs proactively is tricky – if you’re not sure what to look for.

  • Water Stains: Discoloration or stains on your ceilings and walls often indicate leaks. These stains suggest that water has penetrated your roof and is making its way into your home.
  • Attic Issues: Check your attic for signs of water damage, such as wet insulation, mold, or damp patches. These signs can indicate a leak that hasn’t yet reached your living spaces but can cause significant damage if left unchecked.
  • Granules in Gutters: Inspect your gutters for granules from asphalt shingles. An excessive amount of granules can signal that your shingles are wearing out faster than expected, reducing their effectiveness in protecting your roof.
  • Peeling Paint and Wallpaper: Inside your home, peeling paint or wallpaper can be a sign of moisture infiltration. This often means that a roof leak has traveled down into your walls, potentially causing mold and structural damage.

Long-Term Risks of Ignoring Roof Damage

It might be tempting to leave roof damage until action is demanded. But doing that can lead to severe long-term problems, expensive repairs, and other avoidable headaches.

  • Structural Damage: Continuous water exposure can weaken your home’s structure, leading to costly repairs. Water can rot wood, corrode metal, and compromise the overall integrity of your home.
  • Mold and Mildew: Persistent leaks create a perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. These fungi not only damage your home but also pose significant health risks to you and your family, potentially causing respiratory issues and allergies.
  • Increased Energy Bills: A damaged roof can compromise your home’s insulation, making it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. This can lead to higher energy bills as your heating and cooling systems work overtime to compensate.
  • Decreased Home Value: A roof in poor condition can significantly reduce your home’s market value. Prospective buyers are likely to be deterred by the prospect of extensive repairs, making it harder to sell your home.

Steps to Take After Discovering Roof Damage

Discovering roof damage is stressful in any context, but taking the right steps immediately can make it easier.

1) Document the Damage: Start by taking clear photos and detailed notes of all visible damage. This documentation is crucial for insurance claims and future repairs.

2) Temporary Conditions: If it’s safe to do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. This could include covering holes with a tarp or sealing small leaks with roofing cement.

3) Contact Your Insurance: Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with the documentation you’ve gathered and follow their process for filing a claim.

4) Schedule an Inspection: Contact a professional roofing contractor to conduct a thorough inspection. They can identify hidden damage and provide an accurate assessment of the repair work needed.

5) Get Estimates: Obtain estimates from several reputable roofing contractors. This helps ensure you get a fair price and quality service for the necessary repairs.

Professional repairs being made to a roof to prevent storm damage.

Preventative Measures for Future Storms

Protecting your roof from future storm damage involves a few key actions. Regular roof inspections, especially after severe weather, help catch small issues before they become big problems.

Upgrading to impact-resistant shingles and other durable materials can also reduce the risk of damage. Keeping trees trimmed back from your roof prevents branches from falling during storms. A FORTIFIED Home evaluation is another excellent step, as homes built to these standards are better equipped to handle severe weather and might lower your insurance premiums.

Additionally, maintaining clean and functional gutters ensures proper drainage, preventing water from pooling on your roof. Before storms hit, securing or storing loose yard items can prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles.

When to Call a Professional

If you see widespread shingle loss, large leaks, or structural damage, it’s best to bring in an expert. Also, if you’re uncertain about the extent of the damage or it’s unsafe to inspect the roof yourself, a professional can provide a thorough assessment and recommend necessary repairs.

Professionals have the skills and tools to address hidden issues and ensure your roof is restored to its best condition.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a storm can cause tough damage to your roof! Knowing what to watch for, catching damage early, and taking quick action make all the difference. If you find damage, document it, make temporary fixes, and contact a professional for a thorough evaluation.

Staying proactive ensures your roof remains strong and your home stays safe and dry through any storm. If you need help with existing damage or need to schedule preventative maintenance, call Knockout Inspections in Alabama today.

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