Even when a storm produces no rain or hail, your roof can still sustain major damage not easily visible from the ground. While roofs are designed to resist typical wind loads, they can be incrementally damaged over the years by high winds and debris carried by the wind. Strong winds create stress points on a roof that overtime your roof can weaken and become compromised…Replacing missing shingles and fixing the initial roof damage quickly is important to prevent subsequent water damage and loss of energy that will inevitably result from a roof system that is not working as it should.
Someone asks, How Does Wind Damage Happen to a Roof ???
The effect of wind moving over you roof is not uniform and rarely strait-lined. Areas like the corners and perimeter of the roof can be susceptible to higher wind pressures, while the center of the roof might have experienced lower stress. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), most wind damage to a roof starts on the edge, but not always. If your roofing material is even a little bit loose, the wind can get below it and push it up giving the wind more to grab onto next time and creating the chain reaction peeling effect. This type of wind damage can start small, but will continue to grow over time through repeated exposure to wind.
Tree and Flying Debris Damage !!
Significant wind events also move debris which can make its way onto your roof causing damage. Pieces of glass, tree branches, and other debris can sometimes be more damaging than the wind itself. When inspecting the roof after a wind event, it’s important to investigate what might have blown onto or even across the roof. It’s also a good idea to check your siding and window for damage as well as your guttering as debris can easily clog them and create bigger headaches down the road. It’s important to always try and keep trees trimmed and away from your roof. Tree branches touching a roof will gouge and scratch roofing materials when the branches are blown by the wind. Falling branches from overhanging trees can cause damage by puncturing threw shingles and other roofing materials.
How to Check for Roof Wind Damage, What might it look like ??
- Perform an Outdoor Inspection: Look for missing and damaged shingles (damaged shingles might be curled, cracked, or torn) on your roof or around your property. If this type of damage is localized (i.e., it covers less than 30 percent of the entire roof), roofing repairs might be able to address the problem. More extensive damage might necessitate roof replacement. Also keep in mind that not only the roof itself, but the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, gutters and fencing can also become damaged. Be sure to inspect them for damage as well. If you suspect that your roof is damaged, here is a basic list of what to look for:
- Composition shingles: curling, loss of granulation, broken, missing and damaged or shingles
- Wood shingles/shakes: Mold or decay, splitting or curling
- Flat roof: Obvious patches, cracks or tears, several blisters and/or wrinkles (also check patched areas from inside the attic)
- Flashing: buckling around roof penetrations and Tears
- Soffits and fascia: Decay, stains from water seepage
- Soffit and ridge vents: Damaged and clogged vents, flashing and shingles around them missing or curling
- Gutters: Rust or decay, leaky seams and ends, loosely attached to structure, sagging or even bent, missing sections of gutter or downspout. Clogged gutters , filled with debris can easily freeze shut and cause excessive weight on gutter fasteners, ice dam conditions, and slippery areas below.
- Perform an Indoor Inspection: Moisture marks, yellow, brown, or grey stains, and peeling paint on walls and/or ceilings could all indicate a damaged, leaking roof. You can also check your attic for damp sheeting, rafters or leaks often are notable on insulation . if you experience a noticeable rise in energy costs, it could be a sign that your roof ventilation has been compromised and that not only cost you money but can put added stress on your Heating and Cooling system resulting in premature failure.
- Call in a Professional: Call in a local roofer for a professional inspection. Getting on your roof yourself is not recommended as it can lead to personal injury and also further damage to your property if proper care isn’t taken. A trained professional also has the right tools and safety techniques and most importantly the training to get on your roof and check for damage. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that homeowners get their roof inspected by a professional twice a year—once in the fall and once in the spring.
What to Do if Your Roof has Wind Damage
If you have roof damage caused by wind and/or flying debris, it’s important to get it fixed immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur. Roof replacement and roof repair costs a lot less when you don’t have to add in the other costs of repairing leaks and water damage. Contact your insurance agent to assess the situation and determine whether you should file a claim, with insurance approval ask your contractor to temporarily tarp venerable areas to minimize interior damage. Thoroughly document any damage that occurred with dates and times, always keep receipts for all work, including any you do yourself, such as covering windows or tarping holes on your roof to facilitate reimbursement if you file a claim. Many policies will cover these expenses when submitted properly with a claim.
Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor
After any storm, Beware of the Storm Chasers as this can be a magnet for the “Fly-by-night” or “Chuck-in-A-Truck” outfits going door to door and claiming they are legitimate roofing companies. Often, they do the work quickly and get out of town even faster before you have a chance to address any issues or problems, leaving you little recourse. Ask to see their local business licenses, proof of insurance, certifications, permanent business address and their Angieslist and Better Business Bureau rating.
A Reputable Local Roofing Contractor should be based locally and have a long history of being in business in one location with a complete office staff to help you in the event you need anything during the process. “Unfortunately, severe storms can bring out the worst in people, especially unscrupulous roofing contractors who scam consumers needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs,” the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety said Denver’s record-breaking hail storm in 2017. “These fraudsters will often make false promises, insist on full payment before work begins or is completed. Sometimes, they will even create damage where none existed.”
The company you hire should also be able to help you with your insurance claim and know what IS covered and what’s is NOT covered. How to help prevent you from spending more than your deductible out-of-pocket. Most importantly, the roofing contractor should ensure that everything on the claim is clearly and specifically identified as legitimate damage related to a storm, so that you’re protected against the accusation of insurance fraud.