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How to Check Your Roof for Storm Damage

damaged roof shingles

Most roofs are designed to be replaced every 30 years, on average. In an ideal world, this would happen. However, in the real world, there are countless things that can wreck your roof, requiring extensive repairs or an entire replacement long before the three-decade mark.

Storm damage is a common reason Americans have to spend on roof repair or replacement. Regardless of where you live in the country, it’s likely that you’ve encountered your fair share of violent storms at some point. But even if you haven’t, it helps to prepare for this rough weather.

In this comprehensive checklist, we give you all the information you need to deal with roof damage from storms.

Types of Roof Storm Damage

During a storm, there are various weather events that can cause roof damage. Here we look at some of them.

Wind

Hurricane-force winds traveling at high speeds can cause severe damage to your home’s roof. These winds can tear or remove shingles, exposing the roof deck, and underlayment for waterproofing material to the elements.

Gale-force winds, which are slower than hurricane-force winds, can also cause visible dents to your roof. Sharp, sudden gusts of wind lift up or curl the shingles, leaving the roof vulnerable to wind-driven rain.

Hail

Hail storms rarely last longer than a quarter of an hour. During that time, however, hailstones can cause visible dents and pockmarks on your roof. They can knock your shingle granules loose, requiring immediate roof repair.

Standing Water

The issue of standing water after a rainstorm is common in roofs that do not have proper drainage. It’s one of the top signs of a damaged roof, and you need to take action urgently.

Sometimes, the issue is caused by clogged gutters. Rainwater backs up under the shingles, allowing moisture to seep into the roof deck or the underlayment.

Debris

During a severe storm, debris can be hurled onto your roof. Anything from small tree branches to much larger tree limbs can impact your roof’s surface and dent it, leaving your roof vulnerable to intrusion by moisture.

What to Check After a Storm

Once the storm has passed, it’s time to examine your roof to determine the type and extent of damage you’re looking at. Here’s a checklist for you to follow.

Start With the Protruding Roof Parts

Check the chimneys, skylights, and other protruding roof parts for damage. Typically, such parts are covered with flashing and are sealed to avert water leaks into the seams.

If the flashing or seals seem damaged or compromised, you’ll need to take action. Leaving the problem unattended can lead to water leaks.

Inspect the Exterior Shingles

Roof damage after a storm is most evident on the shingles, as they serve as your home’s first line of defense against harsh weather. Check for granule loss, curling, and cracking of shingles. Some shingles might also be missing.

When checking the damage, avoid setting foot on the roof to do so. The best way to go about it is to use a pair of binoculars and inspect the roof from the ground. Alternatively, hire a roofing contractor to inspect the roof for you.

Examine the Roof Vents

Some homeowners think that storm damage to the roof’s soffit and fascia is superficial and nothing to be concerned about. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Damage to these two parts can interfere with your home’s ventilation system. Once your vents are warped or otherwise damaged, the air they draw into your indoors is compromised. That’s why vents should be part of your roof storm damage checklist.

Inspect the Gutters

The gutter system of your roof diverts rainwater away from your house during a storm. When gutters get clogged, water backs up under your shingles and can start to leak to areas where it shouldn’t, including the attic.

Gutters can become clogged during a storm that hurls leaves, twigs, and other debris on your roof and directs the debris to the gutters. Forceful storms can even cause the gutter system to detach from the roof.

Inspect these gutters following the storm to see whether they’re still in good shape or need repair.

Check the Attic and Ceilings

If your roof seems relatively undamaged on the exterior, check the attic and ceiling for signs of water spots. Hail and wind can cause invisible leaks that cause more significant issues later. Use a flashlight to check for any leaks, and take appropriate action if you see them.

Experienced & Reliable Roof Inspections throughout Eastern Colorado and all of Colorado Springs

Whether you’re just buying a house or looking for a new homeowners insurance policy, you may need a roof inspection. To most people, a roof inspection doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but to an insurance company, the difference between a healthy roof and an older roof is often the difference between approving a policy or denying one. For a high-quality roof inspection, contact Pine Breeze Inspections today. Our team has the experience and knowledge to give you a thorough inspection, and accurate estimate, and take care of the repairs or replacement the first time.

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