When a storm rolls in, your home’s exterior is vulnerable to damage. Particularly when it comes to your roof. Recognizing the signs of roof storm damage early is crucial to prevent further deterioration and costly repairs down the road.
In this blog post, we will discuss:
- When to check your roof for storm damage
- How to perform minor repairs on your own
- Whether or not insurance will cover storm damage
- How to find a reliable contractor
12 Common Signs of Storm Damage to Your Roof
Recognizing the signs of storm damage to your roof is essential for timely repairs. Here are some of the most common indicators that your roof may have sustained storm damage:
1) Missing or Loose Shingles
High winds can lift and tear shingles from your roof. If you notice shingles scattered around your yard or visibly loose ones, it’s a clear sign of storm damage.
2) Dented or Bruised Shingles
Hailstorms can cause significant damage to asphalt shingles. Look for dents or bruises on the shingle surfaces, particularly if they appear discolored or have granule loss.
3) Cracked or Split Shingles
Prolonged exposure to heavy rain, wind, or hail can lead to cracked or split shingles. These compromised shingles can allow water to penetrate your roof and lead to leaks.
4) Water Stains on Interior Ceilings or Walls
Water stains or discoloration on your ceilings or walls are often the first visible signs of roof leaks. These stains can result from damaged flashing, deteriorated underlayment, or missing shingles.
5) Granules in Gutters
Check your gutters and downspouts for an accumulation of granules, which are the protective outer layer of asphalt shingles. If you find excessive granules, it may indicate shingle damage and wear.
6) Damaged Flashing
The metal flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights is susceptible to damage during storms. Loose or bent flashing can allow water to infiltrate your roof.
7) Clogged or Damaged Gutters
Storms can cause debris to clog your gutters and create blockages. Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow, which can damage your roof’s edge and fascia.
8) Sagging or Depressed Areas
If your roof exhibits sagging or depressed sections, it could indicate structural damage caused by the weight of accumulated snow or water. This requires immediate professional attention.
9) Leaks in Attic or Ceiling
Inspect your attic for signs of leaks or water damage. Look for damp insulation, water stains, or visible drips during or after rainstorms.
10) Increased Energy Bills
A damaged roof may compromise your home’s insulation, leading to increased heating or cooling bills. If you notice a sudden spike in energy costs, it could be related to storm damage.
11) Mold or Mildew Growth
Persistent moisture from roof leaks can create ideal conditions for mold or mildew growth in your attic or on interior surfaces.
12) Bowing or Warping of Roof Decking
Examine your roof’s decking (the plywood or OSB beneath the shingles) for signs of warping or bowing, which can result from water infiltration.
When to Check Your Roof for Storm Damage
Checking your roof for storm damage should be a routine part of your home maintenance, especially after severe weather events. Here are some key times when you should inspect your roof:
- After a Severe Storm: After a hailstorm, high winds, heavy rains, or a hurricane, it’s essential to check your roof for any visible damage. Even if the storm seemed minor, it can still cause hidden issues that may worsen over time.
- Seasonal Inspections: Conduct regular roof inspections at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall. This will help you identify any damage that might have accumulated over time and address it promptly.
- Before Selling or Buying a Home: If you’re selling your house or considering purchasing a new one, a thorough roof inspection is a must. It can help you negotiate the selling price and ensure you’re not inheriting someone else’s roofing problems.
- When You Notice Signs of Damage: If you see any visible signs of roof damage, such as leaks, loose or missing shingles, or water stains on your ceiling, don’t delay in inspecting and addressing the issue.
How to Do Minor Roof Repairs on Your Own
While it’s crucial to hire a professional for extensive roof repairs, you can handle minor issues on your own if you’re comfortable working on your roof. Here’s a step-by-step guide for DIY roof repairs:
1) Gather Your Tools and Safety Gear
- Safety goggles
- Work gloves
- Roofing cement
- Roofing nails and a hammer
- Replacement shingles
- Pry bar
- Caulk gun
- Roofing tape
2) Inspect the Damage
Carefully climb onto your roof and inspect the area for damage. Look for missing or damaged shingles, cracks in the flashing, or any exposed roofing underlayment.
3) Replace Missing Shingles
If you find missing shingles, replace them by carefully lifting the surrounding shingles and sliding the new shingle into place. Secure it with roofing nails and apply roofing cement to seal the edges.
4) Seal Cracks and Gaps
Use roofing cement to seal any cracks or gaps around flashing, vents, and chimneys. Apply a bead of caulk around the edges for extra protection.
5) Patch Small Holes
If you discover small holes in your roof, patch them with roofing tape or a patch kit designed for roof repairs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
6) Clear Debris
Remove any debris from your roof, including leaves, branches, and dirt. Clogged gutters can lead to water damage, so clean those as well.
7) Check for Loose Fasteners
Inspect the fasteners (nails or screws) that hold your shingles in place. Replace any that have come loose or are missing.
8) Perform a Water Test
After making repairs, have someone assist you by spraying your roof with a hose to simulate rain. Check for any leaks or areas that need further attention.
Will Insurance Cover Storm Damage?
Whether your homeowner’s insurance covers storm damage to your roof depends on several factors, including your policy, the cause of the damage, and the extent of the damage. Here’s what you need to know:
- Covered Perils: Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover storm-related damage, including wind, hail, and lightning strikes. However, it’s essential to review your policy to understand the specific perils covered.
- Deductible: You will likely have a deductible to meet before your insurance kicks in. The deductible amount varies depending on your policy and can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Document the Damage: To make a successful claim, document the storm damage thoroughly. Take photos and videos of the affected areas, and keep any repair receipts for your records.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: Once you’ve assessed the damage, contact your insurance company to initiate the claims process. They will guide you through the necessary steps to file a claim.
- Professional Inspection: Your insurance company may require a professional inspection to assess the extent of the damage. They will send an adjuster to evaluate the roof and determine the cost of repairs.
- Coverage Limitations: Be aware that some policies have coverage limitations or exclusions for certain types of damage or older roofs. Review your policy carefully to understand these limitations.
Finding a Reliable Contractor
While DIY repairs can be useful for minor issues, significant storm damage requires the expertise of a professional roofing contractor. Here’s how to find a reliable contractor:
- Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations. Personal referrals are often the most reliable way to find a trustworthy contractor.
- Check Credentials: Verify that the contractor is licensed, insured, and bonded. This ensures they meet the necessary requirements and have adequate protection in case of accidents.
- Look for Experience: Choose a contractor with a proven track record of handling storm damage repairs. Experienced contractors are more likely to provide high-quality work.
- Request References: Ask for references from past clients and contact them to inquire about their experiences with the contractor. A reputable contractor will gladly provide references.
- Get Multiple Quotes: Obtain quotes from at least three different contractors to compare pricing and services offered. Be cautious of quotes that are significantly lower than the others, as they may indicate subpar workmanship or materials.
- Review the Contract: Carefully read and understand the contract before signing. Ensure it includes all details, such as the scope of work, materials, timeline, and payment terms.
- Check for Warranties: Inquire about warranties for both the workmanship and materials. A reliable contractor should offer warranties to guarantee their work.
- Verify Insurance Coverage: Confirm that the contractor has liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you and your workers in case of accidents.
Leave It To the Pros!
Storm damage is no laughing matter. When you need a team that you can trust to spot subtle signs of storm damage and repair it in an efficient and affordable way, choose Roof Medic! Contact us today to set up your initial appointment.