Storm Damage Roof Repair Tips: What Should You Do First?
Storm Damage Repair Tips
What Should You Do First?
We’ve all seen the damage storms can do to our Houston area homes, especially our roofs. High wind, hail, and even excessive rain can turn even a new roof into a disaster zone in minutes. So if your roof has been through a heavy storm, it is essential to take a look to see if it has suffered any damage.
Properly Assessing Storm Damage
Storm damage can come in many forms, and not all damage can be spotted from the ground. Getting up on your roof to take a look is an important part of the assessment. If you aren’t comfortable getting up on your roof, have a professional go up there for you.
Wind damage can be as simple as lifted or curled shingles or as obvious as missing shingles. Both pose a hazard to your roof since lifted or missing shingles mean the watertight seal on your roof has been broken. Missing shingles have the added problem of your underlayment being exposed to the elements.
While it never lasts more than fifteen minutes, a hail storm can do serious damage to your roof. What you will most often find after a hail storm is bare spots on your shingles where granules have been knocked away. These granules form the main portion of your roof’s sun protection as well as some of its ability to shed water properly.
Bare spots will cause your roof to need replacement earlier than it should, as they allow your shingles to break down more rapidly than normal. Extreme hail can also damage roof flashing and vent covers.
Some roofs have a gentle enough slope to allow standing water in certain areas of the surface. Divots from hailstones or simply an excessive amount of rain can cause these areas to hold water long enough to take advantage of any weaknesses in that part of the roof.
During a severe storm, those areas can temporarily become pools, allowing water to seep into imperfect seams or beneath worn shingles to wreak havoc on your roof’s structural integrity.
Small branches and twigs don’t pose a big problem, but large branches can dent your roofing. When a large piece of debris impacts your roof, it can create divots, cause bald spots on your shingles, or tear up the flashing on your roof.
How To Inspect Your Roof System For Damage
You can get a general idea of your roof’s condition by checking things from the ground. Follow these steps, and you should have a good sense of where you stand. Gathering all the information you can find will be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim later on.
Take a good look at your roof from the ground. Then, walk around your home, checking for any signs of damage. You also might be able to get a good view of parts of your roof from one of the windows in your home.
Make notes and take pictures of anything you see that seems out of the ordinary.
Gutters, Vents, And Windows.
Look for signs of hail damage, such as dents or items sitting cockeyed. Also, check for cracked glass, crooked or dented vents or gutters, and torn screens or weather stripping. Don’t forget to take notes and pictures as you go.
Check your patio, porch, and walkways for storm debris or any damage to your equipment. Check your fence for gaps and cracked or missing pickets. Check all outdoor furniture for damage. Document anything you find with notes and pictures.
Check your attic space and topmost ceilings for evidence of water leaks or other signs of damage. As always, document it all.
Don’t Sit On Damage.
If you spot damage, act immediately to get the repair process started. For example, if you have serious damage to your roof or have spotted significant leaking, let your homeowner’s insurance company know right away. They will at least mitigate the damage as soon as possible to keep it from getting worse.
Hire A Professional.
You should always hire a professional to perform an inspection of your entire roof system after a bad storm. Many companies offer free inspections, so there is no expense to avoid by not getting it done. Besides, they have the knowledge and training needed to conduct a thorough and safe inspection of your roof.
Finding The Right Contractor.
This subject could fill a blog on its own, but there are a few things to check for when asking a professional to examine your roof, such as:
- At least five years in business – most contractors fail within five years of opening their doors, and you don’t want to work with anyone who might be gone tomorrow.
- Must be licensed and insured – you’d be shocked at how many contractors skip those steps.
- Online reviews average closer to five stars than four – a perfect five-star rating is hard to maintain in this age of internet trolls, but they should still come real close.
- Free inspections offered – yes, it inspires them to find something to fix, but after a storm, you want them to be extra thorough anyway.
- Warranties – You want decades of coverage, especially for the workmanship. Watch out for language concerning prorated coverage. They might say 20 years, but you end up footing most of the bill after half that time.
A quality roofing contractor knows roofing systems inside and out and will give you an honest assessment of your roof’s condition. They will recommend either repair or replacement based on the result of their inspection and give you an estimate for the work.
If you are uncomfortable with their assessment, it is perfectly reasonable to ask a second company to do another inspection. You should always feel confident about your decision to move ahead, whichever way you go.
If you feel that the roof on your Houston area home might be in trouble, contact us at Houston Roofing for a free inspection.