April 2nd 2016
Many Cincinnati and Dayton area residents are describing April 2nd as one of the wildest weather days in memory. From a clear blue morning to rain and strong wind gusts by noon the day was only getting started. Just as the sky was getting patches of blue again the temperature dropped and so did the hail. The winds even died down for a while as the sun came out but round two was on its way. As the late afternoon came, more clouds darkened the sky. The wind picked up speed as gusts topples 65 MPH in towns like Kettering. Power outages came as did eerie snow blasts… Eerie because the temperature didn’t seem to slip much below 50 degrees Fahrenheit!
In the wake of this surprise storm were decimated roofs, tree smashed cars, crumpled car port tents, road closures, and plenty more mayhem. We know this event has left homeowners asking “now what?”
Understanding How Wind Damages Roofs
High winds like those seen in Mason, Middletown, South Lebanon, and Maineville became problematic to roofs of all ages for several factors:
- The wind often sustained speeds in excess of 45 MPH while extreme gusts came closer to 65 MPH. This combo of sustained and freakishly strong gusts can tear shingles off of their fasteners in full strips which can lead to large sections releasing. This does tend to happen more with older roofs but angles do play into this equation. If you see this in your neighborhood you should call for an inspection even if your roof looks fine.
- Temperatures went from a comfortable 54 to a mean of 44 or less with wind chill. This is actually considered cold for wet surfaces that drop their temperature slightly more with wind chill being exacerbated. The long and short of it is cold asphalt shingles are more brittle and can snap if winds lift them much. Once again, this is more the case with roofs over 7 years old.
- The temperature shifted twice allowing roofs to warm up, cool down, warm up again, and then take a deeper plunge. The wind took advantage of these stressed shingles and gave them a wild ride.
Any one or more of these scenarios has the possibility of having occurred on your roof and you may not even know it. Perhaps you see that some shingles just looked ruffled and in need of flattening out or maybe there are just a couple random shingles on the ground. These are telltale signs that your roof needs an inspection.
How to Deal with Severely Storm Damaged Roofs
There are several courses of action a homeowner will follow after a storm damages their home or those in their neighborhood:
- Call their Insurance
- Call a handyman
- Get on their roof for a DIY repair
- Call a roofing company
Only 1 of these is the correct course of action and even that needs a secondary qualifier.
Luckily, most homeowners have insurance for situations like this storm. Going straight to your insurer isn’t always the best option however. They are there for you when damage is ultra-obvious but less so when it comes to gray areas like storm damage that isn’t as apparent. Having an outsider’s opinion first can set you on the right course for dealing with a claim. An objective roofing company will have far more valuable input than one that works through an insurance provider.
Calling on a handyman to simply replace a few shingles or do some nail downs is unwise. This individual will almost certainly not have a background in storm damage forensics to truly understand how the whole roofing system may have been affected. Nor will they have the expertise needed to help file an appropriate insurance claim.
We, nor any other roofer, will ever advise a DIY roof repair project. Stay off of your roof – even if it’s just a one story roof with a low pitch. Remember – roofing is considered to be right in the middle of any list of top 10 most dangerous professions!
When you decide to go the safe route and call a roofing company, be sure to ask if they provide insurance claim assistance. Any solid roofing company should have a HAAG Engineering trained and certified inspector who understands storm damage forensics and documentation. Furthermore, they should be happy to offer claim advocacy at no charge.
Your roof is the first line of defense for your home yet it is one of the most overlooked parts of the house until it’s too late. Getting a free inspection with a consultation where the technician shares photos of issues is a great place to start!
Roofing Annex provides Winter Prep Services in the greater Cincinnati Area in towns like Dayton, Delhi, Hamilton, Harrison, Indian Hill, Liberty Township, Madeira, Mason, Maineville, Middletown, Montgomery, and West Chester.
Call today to schedule a free roof exam or get a quote for your Winter Prep Servicing. 513.685.9092