Inspecting Your Home’s Roof After the Storm

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 10% of the over 100,000 storms that occur in the U.S. annually can be classified as severe storms that may cause property damage. The damage may result from high winds, hail, lightning strikes, flooding, or all of the above.

Since your roof bears most of the brunt, after the sun comes out again, it’s a good idea to know how it weathered the storm—before the next one strikes and damage is potentially multiplied. A basic visual roof inspection can usually provide enough information to know if a professional consultation is needed.

Note: If you’re not comfortable climbing up on the roof and/or lack the necessary equipment to do it safely, a reputable roofing contractor will usually provide an inspection at no charge.

Shingles

  • Look for entirely missing shingles, as well as any that are cracked, curled or ripped up from the surface of the roof.
  • Examine asphalt shingles for discolorations caused by hail. These usually show up as dark circular spots where asphalt granules have been dislodged by the impact of hailstones. These shingles will degrade more rapidly in sunlight and should be replaced.
  • Raised nail heads that secure shingles usually indicate that the shingle has been lifted up by high winds and may detach completely in the future.

Flashing

Metal flashing around vents, chimneys and other components that penetrate the roof diverts waters away and prevents leaks. Look for flashing that may have been bent or dislodged by wind or hail.

Debris

If remnants such as a large tree limb broken by high winds are found on the roof, impact damage to the roofing or sub-roof may be suspected.

Gutters

If gutters are sagging, this usually means they have clogged due to debris, and the weight of contained water from heavy rain is straining attachments, which may cause the gutters to give way.

In The Attic

Examine the underside of the plywood subroof for sagging due to structural weakness, as well as dark streaks that typically indicate roof leakage. Look for any signs of sunlight shining through the roof.

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