If you’ve recently experienced a storm, you should probably take some time to investigate your roof for signs of damage left by that storm.
Right after a storm is typically when us roofing companies are busiest. It’s when homeowners find that some preexisting damage was exposed by the wind and rain, leaving their home a bit more wet than they’d like.
What can you do after a storm? In our opinion, if there’s no immediate leak, the best thing to do is to walk around your property, and check for signs that the storm left some damage to your things, and especially your roof.
In order to help you do that, we wrote this blog to break down some common signs of storm damage, so that you’ll know what you’re looking at after a storm.
Let’s get started!
Common Signs and Causes of Storm Damage
Signs of Wind Damage
Though it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of storm damage, severe winds can be absolutely devastating, especially if your roof is older, or has already sustained some previous damage.
The first sign that your home has suffered from some wind damage is a patch of missing shingles. Often, especially on three-tab asphalt roofs, wind can blow up under the edges of the shingles, as the only thing keeping them attached to the roof is an asphalt sealant, which wears over time.
You may also see horizontal lines of granule loss that develop from driving straight-line wind, increasing the likelihood of future damage and leaks in those places. Even if the wind didn’t blow off some shingles, you may see creases where the flaps were bent, and weakened. These points will get torn off during the next big storm.
If you’re not sure you got winds strong enough to cause damage like this, look around your yard and property for any loose debris or out of place decorations and furniture. Having branches or yard décor blown about could mean that the wind reached high enough speeds to create some havoc on your roof as well.
Architectural and luxury shingles aren’t usually as susceptible to wind as three-tab shingles, but they can still take some, especially if they have already received damage from hail or other flying debris.
Signs of Hail Damage (or Winter Storm Damage)
If your home gets caught in a hailstorm, you should be able to tell where the damage occurred, as large chunks of hail may cause your shingles to crack, or break off in areas where the hail struck the roof. Hail may also cause dents in your shingles, which will further increase the wear that part of the roof receives.
Hail is pretty effective at denting metal, so you’re also likely to see damage on roof penetrations like your vents and pipe boots, or at your gutters.
If you spot damage like this on your roof, you’re going to want to act quickly, as it will only get worse over time. Cracks will develop in dented and bruised shingles, and if severe damage is done to your gutters and vents, could prevent them from operating properly, which causes all sorts of problems to your ventilation and gutter systems.
Another big problem that creeps up during the winter time, especially in areas that receive a lot of cold weather, are ice dams. We’ve done a whole blog on this topic, but to save you some time, we’ll touch on it here as well.
An ice dam is a section of ice buildup on the edge of your roof that prevents melted snow and ice from flowing off the roof and into your gutters properly. They are caused by an improperly ventilated attic retaining too much heat, causing the snow to melt and run down the roof, before freezing again when it reaches the edge, which is much cooler.
Ice dams will cause a lot of water to back up on to your roof, and likely find a way underneath your shingles, or at least cause significant wear, and granule loss.
Signs of Water Damage
Once your roof has taken some damage from wind, hail, or something else, that’s when water damage will really start to become a problem. If the wind has lifted or blown off some shingles, or hail has cracked them, water will have a much easier time slipping through your defenses, and into more sensitive areas of your roof, like your roof decking, and attic.
Those more sensitive areas are exactly where the damage will show up. If you have an older roof, make sure to check in your attic after a big rainstorm. You may notice some patches of decking that look darker than they used to, or have even started to rot. This is because a leak has sprung through an area of your roof, and has begun to cause water damage to your decking.
This should be fixed quickly, as structural water damage will continue to build up, weakening the integrity of your roof, and increasing the chance of a roof collapse.
Signs of Tree/Debris Damage
Another important kind of roof damage to consider is the damage that comes from trees and other kinds of debris. During storms, branches, limbs, and even entire trees can be blown over or struck down, all of which can cause serious problems for a roof that’s in their way.
If a branch lands on your roof, in can cause the same types of cracking and scuffs that hail causes, except in larger areas and more severe doses. When this happens, you will need to a have an inspection performed soon to repair the issue, and make sure there isn’t any more extensive damage that was done.
Larger limbs and whole trees may cause immediate damage to the structure of your roof, like knocking out your roof’s decking and frame. For problems like this, you will likely need to call out a disaster restoration company to help facilitate these repairs.
Need Storm Damage Roof Repair in Raleigh?
Now that you’ve read this blog, I hope you feel more equipped to inspect your own roof after a storm hits.
If you’re experiencing a leak, or you’ve noticed some damage on your roof, don’t hesitate to reach out to a roofing contractor to get your roof inspected! You won’t want to let any potential damage sit for long, as it can lead to more leaks and severe damage in the future.
If you’re living in the Raleigh, NC area, and want to work with us, we’re happy to help! On Tops has been repairing storm damaged roofs in Raleigh for over 30 years, so we’re equipped to handle whatever damage you’re facing!