As a responsible homeowner, one of the first things you should do after a storm is to inspect your roof for any signs of damage. Even if there is no visible water inside your house, roof damage may still be possible. Although DIY roof inspection is essential in spotting obvious signs of roof damage, never attempt to climb up on the roof. Always inspect roof damage from ground level using a pair of binoculars before deciding to use a ladder.
However, your best bet is to engage the services of a local roofing contractor for a professional roofing inspection. Roofing professionals have the skills, expertise, and equipment to identify signs of damage that you may otherwise ignore or overlook. Although rain is not usually enough to damage a structurally sound roofing system, high winds, flying debris, and hail may all pound on your roof.
Some symptoms of roof damage are obvious, but some can be surprisingly hard to spot. There are a few signs of roof damage after a storm that you could easily miss just because they are so hard to spot. So, here are the signs to look for and actions to take.
1. Missing Shingles
If your roofing shingles are already cracked or peeling before a storm, they’ll be at higher risk of being torn away once wind speeds soar beyond 60 miles per hour. Even though roofing manufacturers cover extreme winds in their warranty, the coverage is limited to a few years. Moreover, your roof needs to be properly maintained for the warranty duration to endure the estimated wind speed. So, if you notice any missing shingles on your roof or shingles scattered all over your yard, it could be time to call your roofer for professional inspection and repair or replacement.
2. Granules in Your Gutters and Yard
If you notice loose granules in your gutter system or noticeable dark lines on shingles where there has been wind uplift, your roof has undoubtedly suffered storm damage. Some granule loss is common, particularly with a brand new roof, but with storm damage, granule loss often manifests with characteristic horizontal lines. These markings indicate where the shingle seal was broken. Granules typically rub off as shingles flap in the high winds and come into contact with other roof surfaces.
If you notice an excessive scattering of granules, you should consider replacing your shingles to prevent problems with weatherproofing. And if you suspect the granule loss is due to hail damage, be sure to file your insurance claim within 6 to 24 months of the hail event. It’s always best to work with a professional roofer to inspect the damage and help you through the claim process.
3. A Tree or Branch Falling on Your Roof
A major storm may cause an entire tree or branch to collapse onto your roof, denting shingles and poking holes in your roof. Aside from the tree wreckage being a safety hazard, its impact can cause shingle damage or significant structural issues for your roof. Sometimes, the debris could strike your roofing shingles and then blow elsewhere during the storm. As a result, you’ll have to look for evidence of the impact rather than the object itself.
Always look for red flags such as broken shingle patterns, dents, or holes. Again, you should hire a professional roofer to look into these issues since shingle damage isn’t something you can ignore. A professional roofer can identify those hard-to-spot damages and recommend the best course of action.
It’s not just the shingles that take a beating during storms. If you notice any loose debris around your home, such as outdoor furniture, yard waste, and so on, it could indicate something hit your roof during a storm. Check for hail damage on other areas around your roof, including the HVAC system, gutters, flashing, soffits, and fascias. Only a professional roofer can inspect your roof more closely to identify any significant damage that could result in a leak later on. Your roofer will also issue you an estimate of how much it would cost to repair your roof, which can be essential when filing an insurance claim.
Other Things Only Professional Roofers Can Detect
Some signs of storm damage, particularly hail damage, can result in hidden damage that may not be easily visible to the untrained eye. You should call a roofer to inspect your roof ASAP if you suspect any storm damage. Even if the shingles are still present, they may be susceptible to leaks and should be repaired or replaced.
Here are some common signs of storm damage that only roofing professionals may spot and fix:
- Clogged or broken gutters and downspouts
- Ice Dams
- Water damage, such as mold, algae, mildew, and rot
- Damage to roofing supports or accents
- Attic issues and moisture
Professional storm damage inspection is essential to protecting your roof and peace of mind. In the aftermath of a windstorm, hurricane, snowstorm, or hailstorm, you’ll want to schedule a professional roofing inspection to help identify any damage and make the necessary fixes before the issues escalate into more costly problems. Even if there are no obvious signs of roof damage, like water dripping through your ceilings or a tree falling on your roof, it’s still important to thoroughly assess potential damage. If your area recently suffered a severe or prolonged storm, S&S Roofing offers professional roofing inspection in Arlington, WA. We can help you assess any potential roof storm damage and take prompt action. Contact us today to schedule your consultation so you can prevent more costly, wide-scale roof repairs further down the line.