What to do After a Storm Damages Your Roof. Throughout the year, your roof provides protection against strong winds, heavy rains, scorching sun, and massive snowfall. No matter how well-planned your home may be, major fluctuations in water pressure, temperature, or even wind can cause structural damage to the rafters, joists, or even the roof itself. This is particularly true when your home faces a constant threat of natural disasters such as hurricanes or heavy snowfalls.
If you live in an area where a heavy storm or strong northerly winds is common, make sure you follow these tips on what to do after storm damage happens to your home.
Types of storm damage to your roof
After a strong storm passes through town, it’s important to go outside and assess the possible roof damage it might have caused. Look at the roof for debris or other damage. Is it leaking or pushed in places? Is there extensive wood damage?
If your home has sustained heavy winds or lots of rain, your roof can be especially vulnerable to leaks. Knowing what to do after storm damage occurs is the first step in keeping your roof in good condition as even a small leak caused by heavy winds or rains can cause big problems for you and your roof in the future.
Some of the biggest dangers of strong windstorms are the deterioration of your shingles and the possibility of debris falling onto your roof and damaging it. Shingles are often the first thing to come off in a strong windstorm. They can easily be blown away by strong winds or transported by the flow of debris. A stronger flexing breeze can easily peel off the top two inches of the shingles without damaging them. Therefore, it is so important to inspect your shingle often during the spring and summer months. If you live in a strong windy area, or have a large roof, taking some basic precautions before the storm arrives can reduce the risk of extensive roof damage and make your life much easier during the cleanup days that follow. It’s a good idea to target shingles as soon as they begin to peel back from the ends of rafters or other areas where they attach to the roof trusses. Saving these areas for other use will reduce your risk long term by preventing potential gaps from developing leading to dangerous conditions such as roof leaks.
As roof damage from windstorms isn’t always obvious, especially in the case of missing flashing in the crevices in your roof, it’s important to do a thorough inspection after strong winds rattle your home.
Typically, severe hail damage occurs when a small, unstable fragment of ice and snow falls on top of a roof – often generating two to five inches of snow in a single day. While it might seem like a small amount, once a patch of ice is removed from a roof many of the underlying structural supports are weakened. This is when defects such as shingle patches, loose bricks, and missing projecting plates can start to appear – all of which create opportunities for airborne debris to enter your home.
Hail damage can be tricky to diagnose and repair. Sometimes, the cracks are so evident that you won’t be able to miss them; other times, they’re so small they might go unnoticed until they start leaking air through your roof and wall cavities. If left untreated, hail can eventually lead to total roof failure
Therefore, it’s important to understand the symptoms of hail damage and identify the source of the problem before it is too late. Your starting point should be a thorough inspection of your roof to determine if there are any obvious signs of hail damage (dents or missing shingles, for example). You may also choose to hire a professional roofer to conduct a thorough inspection of the entire roof to look for damage that is not obvious from the outside to help you avoid the common pitfalls that come along with hail roof damage.
How often do we think about rain and roof damage? Do you ever wonder what can be done to prevent it from happening? If it has already happened, how bad was it? The mother of all roofing issues, rain roof damage is the most common and of the most noticeable of all the types of storm damage that happens to your roof. Your roof’s lifelong enemy is water, and when leaks caused by other types of storms or just the old age of your roof start to expose the internal layers of your roof to moisture, problems start to happen.
Whether it’s major storms or each year’s dry spell, knowing where to find weak points on your roof can help prevent damage to your structure. After an extended period of rain or any major storms, it is best to always check the condition of your roof and look for obvious issues, such as missing shingles and damaged flashing. If you suspect some issues but are unsure of how they might affect your roof or home’s structure, the best thing to do is to hire a professional roofer to inspect and look for damage that may be hard for the untrained eye.
What storm damage might look like
Identifying the basic state of your roof is important so that you can act quickly to protect your investment and minimize the risk of spending more on a replacement roof. Sometimes, the signs of roof damage are obvious, like water spots on a ceiling and curled or missing roof shingles. You may also see broken or damaged roof flashing, wet walls, water issues around your home’s exterior, or winter ice damming.
What to look for:
- Shingle condition. Missing shingles are one obvious sign but pay attention to the granule buildup on your shingles as well as early signs of damage. Hailstorms can cause dings and dents in asphalt shingles and should be noted as well.
- Missing flashing along the edges of the roof and along skylights, vents, and chimneys.
- Loose or peeling sealant along those same penetration points.
- Water damage in the attic or along the ceiling.
Sometimes, the signs of roof damage are subtle, you may need to get a professional roofer’s expert opinion before taking an action. An inspection will give you peace of mind and let you know if there anything that needs to be done to fix any issues before further damage occurs. In fact, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that homeowners get their roof inspected by a professional twice a year—once in the fall and once in the spring.
How to start the process of roof replacement
Once you’ve assessed the damage, the next step to replacing your roof is to request an estimate.
At Lenox Roofing Solutions, an expert will sit down with you and your family to select the perfect roofing materials — from the protective underlayment to the shingles that will cover your whole roof system. We’ll also work through financing options, discuss warranty packages, and accommodate your schedule to find the perfect day to complete your new roof installation.
What your homeowner’s insurance covers
If your roof is catastrophically damaged or destroyed, your homeowner’s insurance will provide coverage to you and your family. But the details of what that coverage will include and how it works are complex.
Homeowners insurance covers your roof in cases where it is damaged for reasons outside of the homeowner’s control – a few examples are fire and vandalism. Your policy will also usually cover damage from extreme weather events or “acts of God” like hurricanes and tornadoes.
Similarly, roof damage caused by moderate weather incidents such as hail, wind, and rain are often covered by homeowners’ insurance.
When filing a claim, it’s important to thoroughly document any damage that occurred. Also, make sure you keep receipts for all work done on the home. Many policies will cover these expenses when submitted with a claim. However, keep in mind that coverage will often depend on the age of your roof, the area you live in, and many other factors. The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not when it comes to storm damage is to contact your insurance provider and go over the specifics of your policy, including what’s covered and what your deductible may (or may not) be.
What your warranty looks like
There are many different types of warranties. When you buy a new whole roof system, there is typically a warranty covering the materials used in the manufacturing process plus defects that occur after the installation. Some warranties also cover repairs to the roof from natural causes, like hail or lightning damage. Most warranties will cover repairs to your roof if it has been affected by fire or misuse of materials, but this condition is very uncommon. For these reasons and others, it is important to read the fine print when purchasing a warranty and contact the company should problems arise.
Lenox Roofing Solutions is one of the roofing warranty leaders in North America. Our Platinum® roofing warranty can cover your roof for up to 50 years. The cost of shingles and labor for repairs is 100 percent covered, coverage is not prorated over the course of the protection period, and the warranty is transferable to a new homeowner.
Beware of storm chasers
The last and final point we’ll make about natural disasters is that they can be a magnet for dishonest contractors.
“Unfortunately, severe storms can bring out the worst in people, especially unscrupulous roofing contractors who scam consumers needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs,” the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety said after Denver’s record-breaking hailstorm in 2017. “These fraudsters will often make false promises, insist on full payment before work begins or is completed. Sometimes, they will even create damage where none existed.”
You can never be too careful about contracting professionals. After all, they are the ones putting roofs over your heads and walls up around your house. Do your due diligence when choosing a roofing contractor. Check with local and state agencies to find out if your anticipated contractor is licensed and qualified to do the work.
Did a recent storm cause roof damage to your home? Give us a call.
If you live in a high-risk area for severe weather conditions, a good contractor can help you chip away at that risk. Your roof, like any component of your home, needs to be assessed by a qualified roofer regularly to ensure it’s still safe and fit for its purpose. A key component of this assessment is knowing what type of leak Current or historical exposure of your roof materials and timbers present to the risk of flooding or collapse.
If you need a roof inspection or roof replacement, you need an expert that takes the time to thoroughly inspect your roof and works with your lifestyle and finances. Lenox Roofing Solutions will take a good look at your home, and we will work with you to put together the perfect roofing package for you – including our 50-year warranty.
We bring trust and peace of mind to every Lenox Roofing Solutions roof. Contact Lenox Roofing Solutions at (843) 874-8432 or visit us online to get a price, schedule a free, in-home consultation or find answers to any home roofing questions.