One of the First Things Homeowners Should Do After a Storm Is Check for Damage
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Let's Review Some of the Most Common Types of Storm Damage
One of the first things any homeowner should do after a storm is check for roof damage. Even if you have no visible water inside your home, roof damage is still a possibility.
While it might be tempting to climb up on the roof, we recommend homeowners avoid this whenever possible. Always try to assess roof damage from ground level if you can. Try using a pair of binoculars to see more clearly before making the decision to use a ladder.
On its own, rain is not usually enough to damage a structurally sound roof. Add wind, flying debris, and hail to the mix, however, and roofs may take a serious pounding.
Sometimes, roof damage is obvious to the eye. Still, you should take your time and look closely when assessing your situation. Some symptoms can be surprisingly hard to spot.
Signs of Wind Damage
Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50 miles per hour. Winds associated with severe thunderstorms or hurricanes are often called “straight line” winds to differentiate them from tornadoes. Wind damage is associated with more than half of all severe weather events.
1. Missing Shingles
Shingles that were already cracked or peeling are at major risk of being lost once wind speeds exceed 60 miles per hour. Although roofing manufacturers cover severe winds in their warranty, the estimated wind speed a roof can endure is based on a new, well-maintained roof.
2. Visible Granule Loss
Some granule loss is common, especially with a brand new roof. With storm damage, granule loss is found in characteristic horizontal lines. This indicates where the shingle seal was broken. Granules rub off as shingles flap in the wind and come into contact with other surfaces.
3. Visible Water Infiltration
Most visible leaks that penetrate through to the ceiling of the building are the direct result of wind damage. In these cases, both the shingles and the roof underlayment are compromised, allowing water to flood into the attic or the upper rooms of the building.
4. Loose Debris
Any loose debris you notice around your home – such as yard waste, outdoor furniture, and so on – could indicate something struck your roof during high winds. Clear debris away as soon as you can to minimize risk and look for characteristic broken shingle patterns to assess impacts.
Signs of Hail and Snow Damage
Hail forms in strong thunderstorm clouds at temperatures of 32°F and below, the same range at which snow is possible. Hailstones are balls of ice, usually most damaging between 1 inch and 1.75 inch in diameter. Because they are compact, they can punch through solid objects.
1. Missing or Hail-Damaged Shingles
Hail damage can result in immediate loss of shingles that were intact before the storm started. Even if shingles are still present, they may be in need of replacement. Look for cracks and dents with a characteristic round shape showing the location of impact.
2. Clogged or Broken Gutters and Downspouts
After a storm, clogged gutters should be cleaned out as soon as possible. Water drains from a broken gutter directly down into the foot of the building. In time, this can erode the foundation and make the structure unsafe. Check all gutters and downspouts for bending and dislocation.
3. Ice Dams
Shingle roofs that have not been maintained correctly are prone to ice dams. Ice dams develop as a result of snowmelt freezing on the eaves of the roof. This ridge of ice prevents additional water from melting snow from leaving the roof and can encourage leaks. Most ice dams are easily visible.
Signs of Water Damage
It’s not just water driven by high wind that damages a structure. Even a small amount of standing moisture from a storm can lead to serious issues. With that in mind, it’s important to examine your home and surroundings carefully even after winds die down.
1. Damage to Roof Supports or Accents
It might not always be obvious if supporting elements of your roof are damaged. Even if shingles appear to be completely intact, look for areas where water seems to pool during or after heavy rain. Also check flashing around vent pipes, your chimney, and other elements.
2. Visible Attic Issues and Moisture
Your roof and attic make up a whole ecosystem that works together closely. Check your attic for any signs of moisture penetration that can disclose leaks. Inundated surfaces and insulation may need to be replaced to stop the development of dangerous mold or mildew.
Storm damage remediation is an essential part of protecting your home and peace of mind. To get started, just contact our expert team today.
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