Having a large storm come through and cause damage to your roof is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Your roof is the biggest investment in your home and is essential to providing protection from rain, snow, wind and keeping your home insulated through the changing seasons. If you experience roof storm damage, it’s important to act fast because the longer you wait, the more damage can compound and become worse than when it happened. So we’re going to help you determine if you have storm damage and then what to do next.
What Causes Roof Damage During a Storm?
There are four main suspects of storm damage to your roof: wind, water, hail, and debris.
During thunderstorms, wind gusts can be gale-force (40-60mph) or even hurricane force (75+ mph) which can cause severe damage to your roof’s shingles. A wind that speed can easily tear off shingles or just lift and curl them, both revealing the protective underlayment beneath your shingles. When that underlayment is exposed, your roof is immediately at risk of leaks as water can leak underneath the nearby shingles and seep into your home.
There are a couple of ways extensive rainfall can cause pooling and water damage after the storm settles down. First, if your roof does not have proper drainage or has previously weakened spots, that heavy rainfall will simply sit on your roof and cause sunken spots or leak through any damaged shingles very easily. Also, if you have clogged gutters, that rainwater cannot run off the roof properly and will pool at your gutters which can lead to it seeping into those weak spots at the edge of your roof.
Hail large enough to damage your roof is not super common, but it can happen. And even small hail paired with strong gale winds can be enough to throw that hail into your shingles hard enough to dent them and slough off those vital granules that are the first protective layer of your shingles. Hail can also crack and peel up the edges of your shingles.
Damage From Debris
During severe thunderstorms, all kinds of debris like sticks and branches can snap off and blow onto your roof. If you’re especially unlucky, you could have an overhanging tree branch or tree fall on your roof, causing catastrophic damage. But even the small branches, twigs, and other trash debris that flies around and lands on your roof can cause damage. Imagine a gale-force wind carrying with it large branches headed straight for your roof.
How to Spot Roof Storm Damage
After a big storm, you might expect that you have received some sort of storm damage, but do you know how to spot it?
Storm damage can be very minimal to where you don’t even see the effects of a water leak or other damage for weeks or months. This is why it’s all the more reason to know how to catch it as early as possible. Here’s what to look for when looking for storm damage:
Wet Spots on the Ceiling
If you have a big leak, you might notice wet spots and water stains on your ceiling pretty quickly, or they can show up weeks later as the water makes its way through your damaged shingles and into your attic floor, eventually seeping through to your upper floor ceilings. If you are curious about a leak immediately after the storm, if it is safe to do so, you can head up to your attic space with a flashlight and check for wet spots on the attic ceiling and floor. Where the leaks are located can help you attempt to pinpoint where the leak actually is.
Missing or Damaged Shingles
When the storm passes, take a walk outside and look up at your roof. Do you see any missing shingles? Any curled or broken shingles? This damage should be relatively obvious, and if it is safe to do so, get up on a ladder for a closer look. If you do find you have missing or severely damaged shingles, you will want to get that covered ASAP.
You can use a large tarp to cover the damaged area, or most local contractors offer 24/7 emergency services where they can come lay a temporary tarp down as well to protect your home from any further damage and leaks. If you see any large debris up on your roof, chances are you could have at least mild damage.
Discoloration or Dented Shingles
If you had hail come through, you’ll want to look for hail damage. Hail damage can definitely present itself as a missing and damaged shingle, but hail will leave dents or round spots of discoloration on your shingle most likely. You can see these at a closer look, but the dents will be relatively noticeable, while the discoloration could be equally troubling to catch. But basically what happens when the hail hits your shingle is it bursts through the first layer of granules, exposing the dark asphalt layer underneath. This darker color will be visible through the shingle dent or missing granules.
Steps to Take if you Have Roof Storm Damage
These next steps are critical to take after a storm has come through where it was severe enough to cause damage to your roof and the rest of your property. Follow these steps and you can ensure your family is safe, secure, and your roof gets repaired ASAP.
- Safety first. First, make sure you and your family are safe from the storm. Thunderstorms can knock out power, internet, and leave debris in the street. Make sure you are not at risk of any down powerlines, flash floods, or other dangers before proceeding with handling any storm damage. This also applies to using a ladder to get up on your roof. We always recommend hiring a professional for anything that requires actually stepping foot on the roof.
- Visually assess your roof. When it is safe to do so, do a walk-through around your house and take a look up at the roof to spot any potential storm damage. We laid out the things to look for above, and you should be able to spot any obvious damage pretty quickly.
- Do a walk-through of the rest of your property. Check for dents in your siding, gutters, roof vents, windows, etc. Your home’s performance relies on every aspect of your home being functional and in good shape. If one thing is damaged, it is critical to ensure the rest of your home is damage-free.
- Cover your damaged roof. If your roof is damaged, you’ll want to cover the affected area right away. Call your local contractor to come and tarp the roof so no water gets inside in the meantime.
- Hire your trusted roofing contractor. When you sustain roof storm damage, it is critical to get the roof fixed right away. This mitigates current and future damage before it has a chance to start.
Choose Gouge Roofing for your trusted contractor. We can handle any roof repair service you may need after hail, wind, or rain has wreaked havoc on your roof. Contact us today to get started!