The old adage, “Seeing is Believing” isn’t necessarily true when it comes to roof damage from a storm. Here in the Midwest, we see our share of rain, wind, snow, ice and hail storms that could be bad enough to cause damage to roofing systems. Some roofing damage is obvious from the ground, but there also could be less noticeable damage that doesn’t reveal itself until several years later when it’s too late to file an insurance claim. That’s why it’s so important to have the Roofing Annex conduct a thorough visual inspection from atop your roof after a serious storm.
At the Roofing Annex, our team managers are HAAG Engineering Certified Inspectors, professionally licensed and certified roof inspectors specifically trained in how storms can damage a roof. They use certain forensic engineering tools to assess storm damage to a roofing system. They know what to look for after a storm and are trained to identify areas where the integrity of a roof may be compromised from severe winds, hail, rain, or snow.
5 Ways a Storm Can Damage Your Roof
1. From Hail
Hail stones can be the size of a marble or bigger, pounding down on your rooftop with enough force to cause tiny indentations in your roof or dents in the roof’s metal flashing. While not immediately evident, this damage could compromise the roofing membrane and its ability to prevent water from seeping into your home. Persistent hail also removes the granular surface on shingles that protects your roof from UV rays and premature aging, leaving the shingles bald and at risk for future storm damage
2. From Severe Winds
Strong winds have been known to blow shingles off a roof. If left undetected, water from future storms can damage the underlayment and cause roof rot to the decking. Eventually, the water will begin leaking into your home. Strong winds can also lift or break the sealing strip on shingles. Without this strip, water or ice can get underneath the shingles and if not fixed immediately, could cause mold growth, roof leaks and damage to interior insulation, plywood and drywall.
3. From Snow, Sleet, or Ice
The sheer weight of a snowstorm that dumps six or more inches, a blizzard that blows snow on your roof into foot high or more drifts, or frequent small snowfalls where the snow doesn’t have a chance to melt can be extremely stressful for a roof. So can sleet or below freezing temperatures that freeze the water from melting snow. Snow or ice dams caused by ice buildup can cause significant water leaks or even roof collapse from overloaded roofing elements, if not removed promptly.
4. From Heavy Rains
Torrential downpours can wash away the granular surface on shingles, or seep under missing sealing strips or damaged flashing. If temperatures drop and the water freezes, roofing materials will expand and crack. This type of water damage compromises the integrity of your roofing system and is likely to cause major mold growth and interior water leaking in years to come.
5. From Fallen Trees
When trees or tree limbs fall on your roof, they cause damage far beyond the obvious hole in your roof. If the damage occurs during a storm, the hole could cause water to flow into other areas of the roof, weakening them or creating mold or mildew problems. Even if a fallen tree doesn’t open the roof, the extent of damage can range from punctures in roofing materials to cracked rafters in your attic.
Unfortunately, there’s not much preparation you can take before a storm to protect your roof from damage. But there is one important thing you can do after a storm – call the Roofing Annex for a roofing system inspection to identify any storm damage. You only have a certain amount of time to file an insurance claim related to a storm event, so it’s important to contact the Roofing Annex as soon as the storm passes for a free storm damage roof inspection. Even if we don’t find any roofing damage, the inspection is still free. After all, here at the Roofing Annex, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry!