Your home’s roof serves as an essential shield, protecting you, your loved ones, and your possessions from the elements. Yet, this constant exposure to nature’s forces makes your roof susceptible to various types of damage, particularly in the aftermath of a storm.
Storms, with their high winds, hail, heavy rain, and debris, can compromise even the sturdiest roofs. Once the storm has safely passed, it’s imperative to inspect your roof for any damage.
While some issues may be inconspicuous, a visual inspection can reveal many types of storm-related damage. Identifying and addressing these problems promptly can prevent more extensive and costly damage in the future.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how homeowners can assess their roofs for storm damage and ensure their homes remain safe and well-protected.
Safety First: Wait Until Conditions Are Safe for Inspection
While prompt roof repairs are essential, safety should always be your top priority. Even if it’s safe to venture outside after the storm, remain vigilant for immediate hazards. If you encounter flooding, downed power lines, or other electrical dangers, leave the area immediately and contact the appropriate authorities.
Evaluating Your Roof for Hail Damage
Hail can wreak havoc on your roof, the effects of which are typically observable. During a hailstorm, you’ll likely hear and witness hail striking your roof and windows, often leaving ice pellets on the ground. If you suspect your area experienced hail, waste no time in inspecting your roof.
One key concern is missing shingles, which can be glaringly evident if you find shingles scattered around your property. However, high winds during the storm may have carried shingles farther afield. Look for irregularities in your roof’s pattern or exposed roof sections, and scrutinize your shingles for signs of curling, cracking, denting, or buckling.
Examine your gutters and downspouts for debris accumulation, particularly loose asphalt granules. Additionally, inspect your flashing and downspouts for any dents or detachment from your home. The combination of heavy rain and wind can dislodge asphalt material from the shingles, causing it to accumulate in these areas.
Assessing Your Roof for Wind Damage
Powerful winds can displace shingles or deposit heavy trees and branches onto your roof. Shingle displacement can expose your roof deck and underlayment to the elements, making your home susceptible to water damage.
In the wake of high winds, inspect asphalt shingles for signs of cracks, missing pieces, or curling. Check for signs of mold, rot, or splintering for wood shingles or shakes. Flat roof owners may encounter damage such as tears, cracks, wrinkles, or bubbles on the roof’s surface.
Don’t forget to inspect your flashing for any tears or buckling, as well as other potential damage, such as loose or deteriorating bricks in your chimney and roofing cement. Examine your downspouts and gutters for rust, rot, missing sections, or dents.
Although the storm will not directly damage rot and mold, those areas are particularly vulnerable to storm damage and should be noted and avoided.
Detecting Roof Water Damage
Water damage signs can be more subtle and may take longer to manifest than hail or wind damage. Vigilance in detecting water damage and leaks is essential to safeguard your home’s foundation and structure.
Inspect your ceilings for discoloration or water spots, and examine interior walls for signs of peeling, bubbling, or cracking in paint or wallpaper. Keep an eye on roof gutters to ensure proper water redirection, preventing potential structural damage or mold growth due to water pooling near your home.
Check the attic and basement for any signs of leaks, mold, or musty odors. Another indication of water damage is moisture or fog accumulation between your window panes.
When to Call the Roofing Professionals
Not all storm damage is easily visible to the untrained eye or safe for homeowners lacking training or proper equipment. These and others are situations that make it essential to call in a professional for a thorough inspection. Here are some key factors to consider when deciding if you should enlist the expertise of a roofing professional:
Severity of the Storm
If the storm that passed through your area was exceptionally severe, with high winds, large hail, or heavy debris, it’s more likely that your roof may have sustained significant damage. In such cases, it’s advisable to have a professional roofing contractor assess the situation. They have the experience and tools to identify hidden damage that may not be immediately apparent.
Age of Your Roof
The age of your roof can also influence your decision. Older roofs are generally more susceptible to damage, and even minor issues can lead to more significant problems. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, a professional inspection is a prudent step to ensure any damage is addressed safely and promptly.
Safety should always be a top priority. Climbing onto your roof can be risky, especially if it’s steep or has a high pitch. If you’re not comfortable with heights or lack the necessary safety equipment, it’s best to leave the inspection to the professionals who are trained to work safely at elevated heights.
If you plan to file an insurance claim for storm damage, having a professional inspection and assessment can provide essential documentation to support your claim.
Insurance companies often require detailed reports from qualified experts to process claims efficiently. In these situations, contacting a reputable roofing contractor can give you peace of mind and ensure that any storm-related damage is properly addressed.
Their expertise will help you make informed decisions about necessary repairs or replacements, ultimately safeguarding your home and its longevity.
Consult Adelphia’s Experienced Roof Repair and Replacement Team
While a visual inspection is a good start, a professional roof inspection is the most reliable way to assess your roof for storm damage accurately. Seasoned roofing contractors can identify even subtle signs of damage and address them before they escalate into major issues.
At Adelphia Exteriors, our experienced Northern Virginia roofing contractors specialize in ensuring your roof remains resilient against the elements. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive roofing services and safeguard your home’s structural integrity.