A harsh storm can cause all kinds of damage to your home, especially its roof. While some roof problems are obviously visible, others aren’t as easy to spot.
Whether you can see them or not, fixing any issues that pop up in the aftermath of a storm helps keep your home safe from further harm. With strong storms come sharp winds, hail, and heavy rain that can damage shingles, gutters, flashing, and other areas.
These are some of the most common signs of storm damage to look out for:
1. Missing or Damaged Shingles
Shingles are one of the first places to look when identifying storm damage. Sharp winds can cause shingles to blow away or loosen; likewise, hail or flying debris such as tree branches can crack or dent shingles upon impact. In other cases, shingles may curl upward after being damaged.
When shingles are missing or damaged, the material beneath them is at risk of premature deterioration without the benefit of the shingle’s protection. It is important to compare the wind coverage when making your shingle selection on a new roof. If the winds that caused the shingle damage were above the manufacturer’s wind coverage, you’ll need to file an insurance claim. If they were not, contact the shingle manufacturer to file a claim.
Potential Signs of Wind Damage:
- Missing shingles
- Thin horizontal lines where granules have been worn off about 1-2 inches beneath the shingle above; this could indicate that the shingle seal was broken and the shingle was flapping in the wind rubbing against the shingle above it. To be effective against the elements, shingles must be sealed to each other as one water tight roof deck.
2. Leaks & Water Damage
Excessive moisture inside your home after a storm is a clear indication of storm damage. Wind-driven rain can quickly make its way into your home from openings in the roof, especially if there is no leak barrier installed.
Water damage from leaks may cause staining on your ceilings and walls as well as a musty odor around the home. The drywall can also crack due to excessive moisture and bulge out. Wet spots may also form around the toilet or pipes, which can at times be incorrectly attributed to the plumbing.
3. Hail Damage
Hail can bruise a shingle causing indentations that may be hard to see but that can crack, allowing water to infiltrate over time. You may need the assistance of a professional roofing contractor to determine the scope of the damage. If you have roof hail damage, you will need to file an insurance claim.
Potential Signs of Hail Damage:
- Other collateral hail damage around the house; dents on cars or other items on your house or in your yard.
- A distinct pattern of small round-shaped divots on the edges of the shingles.
- Indentations in the shingle where granules are missing.
- A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially on new shingles.
4. Broken Gutters, Downspouts, and Flashing
Shingles aren’t the only thing that gets damaged by severe storms. The gutters, downspouts, and flashings can also take a beating. If hit by large pieces of hail, metal gutters and downspouts may dent while plastic ones may crack or break entirely. Flashing can come loose from the winds or dent and break if it’s impacted by hail. Meanwhile, debris such as leaves and dirt clogs gutters.
Damaged gutters and downspouts are easy to observe, but flashing is a bit more difficult to spot to the untrained eye. However, flashing is crucial to your roof—any cracks or openings can lead to water leaks.
5. Attic Damage
The attic is one of the most critical places to inspect for damage after a storm. Dark spots on the attic walls and underside of the roof deck can indicate the presence of moisture. You should also take note if any of the insulation seems wet. Water leaks create wet insulation, leading it to stop working correctly and potentially requiring expensive replacement. Plus, excessive water can cause mold to grow quickly in the attic.
Also inspect the rafters and trusters for cracks or damage, especially during snowstorms. Heavy snow and ice can add additional weight on the roof and the structure may show signs off bending, sagging and cracking.
When to Call a Professional
It’s a good idea to call a professional roofer to fix any roofing concerns before they worsen and get out of hand. They can help you inspect the roof and assess any possible damage right after an intense storm. Unless you’re trained to know what to look for, it’s easy to miss some of the less conspicuous issues that can cause long-term roof damage.
A roof insurance claim can be one of the more expensive and important claims you’ll make on your house. Dealing with insurance companies is notoriously overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Phoenix’s trusted industry professionals will guide you through the insurance claims process from start to finish. Most customers even get free or discounted roofs thanks to our insurance specialists.
If you need a licensed professional to inspect your roof to start your claims process, contact Phoenix Exteriors and schedule a free inspection today!