No matter where you live in Kentucky, chances are you’ve encountered your share of rough weather over the years. From tornadoes, ice storms, hailstorms, and severe summer squalls that bring heavy wind and rain, storms can wreak havoc on roofs and the other exterior surfaces of your home.
What To Do After a Storm
How do we identify roof damage, and what should we do about our roof after a major storm?
Types of Roof Storm Damage:
High winds can remove or tear shingles, leaving the underlayment, roof deck, or waterproofing material exposed to moisture and other elements. Gale-force, storm force, and Tornado-force winds can reach speeds upto 74 mph or greater and have a high probability of inflicting damage to your roof, and other structures of your home.
During less severe storms, sudden, sharp gusts of wind can lift and curl shingles, which may cause them to weaken or fail prematurely. When shingles are installed, they’re purposefully overlapped to create a water-tight seal, and this lifting and curling can break this seal, potentially leaving your roof vulnerable to damage from wind-driven rain.
While hail storms tend to be relatively short, and rarely last for longer than 15 minutes, hailstones can leave dents or pockmarks in shingles and knock shingle granules loose. This can be problematic because these granules help protect your roof against rain and sun damage. Hail damage can also ruin the pleasing aesthetic appearance of your roof’s surface.
Standing water on your home’s roof is never a good thing. Without proper drainage, your roof will most likely experience problems with standing water after big rainstorms, especially in the uneven areas like valleys and eaves. Clogged gutters can fill up quickly and may cause backed up rainwater under your shingles, which allows moisture to potentially penetrate the underlayment or the roof deck, soffits, and even the interior of your home.
Depending on the severity of the storm, debris can end up in your gutters and on top of your roof, everything from small branches to larger tree limbs. Large objects can dent or impact the surface of the shingle, leaving that area of the roof vulnerable to moisture intrusion, whereas lighter branches may not be as much of a problem once they are removed.
Steps To Take
Schedule and Conduct a Roof Inspection
As always, safety is first, and traversing and inspecting a roof can be a dangerous task. It is usually best to contact a trusted, professional roofing contractor, and schedule an inspection to help you with damage assessment. Many contractors offer free inspections and will know how to safely look for roof damage.
Roof: Visually assess your roof by walking around the perimeter of your house and taking note of any visible storm damage. Check to see if your shingle pattern is broken, or if you see any curled edges, or granules near the exit of your downspouts.
You might also have a good view of parts of your roof from one of your windows. Keep a list of notes and/or take pictures — this can potentially be helpful later for insurance purposes. Any visible signs of storm damage should be documented, such as dented, torn, curled, or missing shingles.
Gutters, Vents, and Windows: Check for dents on your home’s gutters and roofing accessories, such as gable vents and other overhangs. Windows should be inspected for cracks, broken glass, loose weather-stripping, and torn screens.
Outside Areas: Walk around your home’s exterior and look for fallen tree limbs, missing fence posts, or damage to lawn furniture and other decorations. Flat surfaces, such as patios and decks, can be checked for hail damage. It’s also a good idea to scan your lawn in search of anything that may have detached from your home.
Attic and Ceilings: Observe these areas for leaks and water spots. While your home’s roof might appear undamaged on the exterior, wind and hail can cause hidden leaks that may lead to bigger problems later. Ceilings, light fixtures, and your attic should all be inspected for water leaks and spots. A flashlight may come in handy to see in dark areas if the lighting in your attic is insufficient.
Hire a Dependable, Trusted Roofing Contractor
It’s important to work with a contractor you can trust. Roofers and repair companies are likely to be busy after a large regional storm and may try to compete for your business by offering discounts or deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A cheap roof is usually made up of cheap components, and cheap components usually don’t last very long. A well built roof is just that, and we don’t recommend cutting corners when it comes to protecting your home.
A trusted roofing contractor will:
- Assess your damage with a professional eye
- Provide an estimate on repair costs
- Replace or repair your roof
Talking to a Trusted Roofing Contractor
It’s important to know what to ask and what to look for when talking to and choosing a reliable roofing contractor. Here are some tips to help you:
- Make sure the roofing contractor you’re considering is licensed, insured, and can offer a strong warranty for the work they do.
- Ensure the roofing contractor is capable of assessing and estimating damage.
- Check out online reviews about other people’s experiences using their services.
Call Your Homeowners Insurance Provider
If you find significant damage to your home after a storm, it’s essential to involve your homeowners insurance provider right away so you can properly file a claim based on their requirements.
Its representatives can help you file a claim and get adequate compensation based on the notes and photographs you collected from your storm damage assessment. The company may also send its own assessor or inspector to your home to thoroughly evaluate the roof storm damage your home sustained.