Evaluating Storm Damage on your Roof

New England storms can wreak havoc on your roof. Wind, hail, excessive rain or snow, and debris can cause damage and it is important to assess how critical the problem is as soon as possible. Safety may be a real concern especially if a tree, pole, or power line crashed onto your home. Unless you have experience with rooftop maintenance, you should not get onto your roof to inspect it. Shingles can crack or your roof may be slippery causing a real falling hazard. Please contact your local roof inspector and stay safe.

Why Should You Check for Roof Damage After a Storm? 

While it is obvious that a live wire, tree, pole, or even a large branch is an immediate threat, the weight of any heavy object can cause stress to the structure of your house over time. This may cause cracks in the walls and even along internal beams. Without correction, these cracks could worsen causing walls and ceilings to collapse.

Getting Prepared

The way to be prepared is to review your homeowner’s policy before a storm is even forecast. Familiarize yourself with the policy coverages and speak to your insurance agent if you feel you need additional coverage.

You should also have the contact information for a reliable local roofer handy. Once a storm hits, roofers will be in high demand and it may be some time before you see damage fixed or in worse case, safely return to your home.

Getting a roof inspection quickly after a storm will not only ease your mind if there isn’t significant damage or may help your insurance claim move faster if there is. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured and offers a warranty of their work. Take as many photos as you safely can and ask your roofer to take more. That will help assessors determine your coverage.

Roof Damage Signs

According the the National Storm Damage Center, the roof is most susceptible to costly damage when a storm hits. Fallen tree branches, flying debris, hail and wind can all cause the following roof damage:

  • Holes in the roof

  • Split seams

  • Missing shingles

  • Bruises or dented asphalt shingles

  • Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles

  • Granules collecting in gutters or downspouts

  • Leaks in your roof or ceiling

  • Dents on vents, gutters, or flashing

If you have asphalt shingles, look for dents or bruises. Because asphalt shingles are coated with tiny metallic granules that protect your home from damaging UV-rays, look for an accumulation of granules in your gutters and downspouts. Loose granules often precede more serious problems, including roof deterioration, leaking, flooding and structural compromise.

Types of Roof Storm Damage 

Wind

High winds, gale-force winds (39-54mph) and hurricane force winds (74 mph or greater) can cause damage to your roof. High winds are known to lift, curl, tear, and even remove shingles leaving your home exposed to possible water damage. When the underlayment or roof deck is exposed to the elements, moisture can begin to wreak havoc on your home.

Hail

While hailstorms are usually short, hailstones can inflict some damage. Dents and pockmarks are common and shingle granules may be knocked loose. You will be left with less protection since these granules help guard against rain and sun damage.

Debris

Branches, trees, and even excessive leaves can cause issues. Larger objects can dent or impact the surface of the shingle, or may even cause a large hole. Leaves and smaller twigs can gather in your gutters causing water backup.

Water

Gutters clogged with debris or ice may cause water to back up under your shingles. allowing damaging moisture to penetrate the underlayment or roof deck. Roofs need proper drainage and standing water may be an issue especially in uneven areas.

How to Check for Damage

First, ensure you and your family are safe. If there are any signs of fallen power lines or anything large has fallen on your roof, get out and find a safe shelter. Grab your insurance policy and call your roofer immediately to schedule a professional inspection.

If you do not believe there is significant damage, look for visible signs of damage from the ground. Look for damaged or missing shingles. Check your shingles. If they are damaged, there is a good chance your roof was compromised as well. If possible from the ground, check the flashing around your chimney.

If it is safe to do so, check your attic for any signs of holes or water. If you see any water stains on the ceiling or along the seams of your walls, this is an indication that your roof needs repair before more structural damage can occur.

Last, if your neighbors are getting their roofs inspected or repaired, it is very possible that you also have damage even if you cannot immediately see it.

Contact Us Today

Not all roofing issues are obvious to the nonprofessional. Just because there is not a current leak does not mean that your roof is necessarily sound or that it has other issues. Experienced professionals like The Northface Roofing Company can provide you with sound advice based on years of experience with exceptional customer service. Contact us today. In MA, call 774-203-9998 or in CT, call 860-255-8668.