It’s only a matter of time until a storm hits your home. And without planning ahead with a repair budget or knowing the steps to take, it can be super stressful. Weather is unpredictable but extensive damage to your home can be remedied by catching roof storm damage early. And we’re going to help you know what to do and where to look when a storm strikes your home. Our checklist will help you determine:
- If you have storm damage
- Where the damage is
- How to fix minor damage
- And next steps to take
After a storm, the first thing you should do is conduct a roof inspection. Look for any missing, cracked, or damaged shingles. Also, check for any debris that might have accumulated on your roof. Once you’ve done that, download our FREE checklist so you can be sure to catch all the roof storm damage signs and tips.
How Does Roof Storm Damage Happen?
There doesn’t have to be a tornado to damage your roof. In fact, it’s very important to know that even a minor thunderstorm can cause damage that eventually leads to a leak and water damage in your home. So be mindful that anytime there are strong winds, hail, or debris blowing around— your roof is at risk of damage. This is especially true if your roof is older and in rough shape.
Roof damage can occur when:
- There is hail (of any size). Large golf-ball-size hail is incredibly rare, and hail damage can occur with pieces much smaller than that. As long as the wind is strong enough to send hail pummeling at your roof— it can dent or scratch your shingles which can cause a spot that can grow over time, leading to a leak.
- Strong winds blow debris like sticks, twigs, or large branches onto your roof. The trees on your property will likely lose at least some small sticks or branches, and large overhanging branches can cause even more severe damage to your roof. So keep those trimmed back.
- Strong rains overwhelm your gutter system. If your gutter system is inadequate for the size of roof/home you have or are clogged, that water can back up into your roof and attic causing extensive water damage. Make sure your downspouts are at each corner of your house on the lowest point.
- Strong winds lift up your shingles. Shingles can loosen over time and if the wind is strong enough— it can pull them up and cause them to come flying off your roof or pull out the nails. This can be tough to spot because your shingles can lay back down in place without you noticing they were ever lifted. So a professional inspection is key to catching this.
What Does Roof Storm Damage Look Like? ⛈
Roof storm damage can be as obvious as a tree laying on your roof or as invisible as a single crack on one shingle. But, there are some tell-tale signs of roof damage that you can watch out for to attempt to catch it as early as possible so you can repair it before further damages occur. Signs of roof storm damage include:
- Loose or blown-off shingles. One of the more obvious signs of roof storm damage is missing, loose, or blown-off shingles. When you do your initial walk around your property, look up and make sure nothing looks out of place. Those missing shingles make your roof immediately susceptible to leaks as it exposes your roofing deck to the elements.
- Water spots on the ceiling. If you notice water spots on the upper floor ceiling of your home beneath the attic, this could mean your roof has an immediate leak from a storm. This can cause major issues if it grows such as mold growth and rotting wood.
- Deflated insulation. If you have rolled insulation in your attic, it isn’t intended to get wet so if you have a roof leak, it can cause it to shrink up and damage the insulation which would need to be replaced as soon as possible.
- Discoloration on shingles. Discoloration or spots on your roof can indicate hail damage. This is caused by your shingle granules sloughing off from hail hitting it during a storm. This is problematic because the granules are your shingles’ first line of defense against the elements and once those go away, your roof is at an even higher risk of water leaks.
- Loose granules in the gutters and downspouts. Discoloration isn’t the only sign of missing granules and hail damage. If you notice granules (which look like tiny rocks) in your gutters or downspouts, it’s time for a roof inspection.
- Dents or cracks in shingles. Dents or cracks in your shingles is another sign of hail damage. But, dents and cracks can also be caused by debris hitting your roof during a storm. If you see any dents or cracks, have a roofer come out for an inspection as soon as possible to determine the extent of the damage.
- Dented or loose flashing. Your roof’s flashing is one of the most vulnerable parts of your roof as it’s often exposed and made of materials more susceptible to damage. So be sure to check around your chimneys, skylights, or other roof elements that the flashing is not damaged. It can be curled or dented, or if you notice water stains near any of these on your home’s interior, that’s a good sign the flashing needs to be replaced.
- Musty smell in the attic. If you notice a musty smell in your attic, that’s a sign of roof leaks and possible mold and mildew growth. If you have vents in your attic, make sure they’re clear of any debris so air can properly circulate to help prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Changes in energy bills. If your roof is damaged, it can cause your energy bills to go up as heat or cool air escapes your home. So if you notice a sudden and unexplained increase in your energy bill, have your roof inspected.
If you suspect roof storm damage, the first step is to do a thorough inspection of your roof— both from the ground with binoculars and up close. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this inspection yourself, you can (and should) always hire a roofing professional to do it for you.
After you’ve done your inspection and found roof storm damage, the next step is to contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Your policy may cover roof storm damage repairs and replacements depending on your coverage and a few other factors.
Will Insurance Cover Storm Damage Repairs? 💸
This can be a complicated answer. While homeowners insurance should cover storm damage repairs, if your roof is in poor condition, shows signs of neglect, or the inspection uncovered old damage, it can affect how much or how little insurance will cover. Homeowners’ insurance will generally cover damages caused by:
- Debris/fallen trees
- Lightning strikes
- Water and ice
It’s important to check with your insurance agent to confirm coverage, and we always recommend filing an insurance claim any time there is severe weather in the area and if an inspection reveals even minor damage.
However, be mindful of how many claims you file as an excessive amount can reflect poorly on your account. If the out-of-pocket estimates are extensive, we suggest working with insurance to get the coverage you need.
Work With Impact Roofing to Remedy the Situation
After you’ve filed your claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the roof damage. Once the roof damage has been assessed, contact a roofing professional like Impact Roofing to get a repair or replacement estimate. At Impact Roofing, we will work with you to ensure your roof gets fixed as soon as possible and you can go back to your life, uninterrupted. Reach out to get a FREE estimate here.