During severe weather, you rely on your roof to prevent water infiltration and protect your home, family, and belongings, but after the storm passes it’s important to assess the damage. Damage to roofing is the number one cause of building problems during hurricanes and coastal storms. Following a storm, you should always have your roof thoroughly inspected – especially in areas like Oviedo that are especially susceptible to heavy rains, high winds, and large hail. This type of weather can wreak havoc on an aging roof, and failing to promptly repair damage can lead to larger, more expensive problems down the road.
Signs of roofing damage are not always obvious, so it’s important to know what to look for. It’s also important to involve a professional roofing contractor in the process as some damage can only be uncovered with an official inspection. Below is some advice on how to spot signs of roofing damage following a storm:
1. Visually Assess The Damage
The first and easiest thing to do is take a look at your roof from a safe vantage point. Check for gaps in your roofing materials or exposed areas of the roof. Check for dents on vents and flashing. If you have asphalt shingles, you may notice dark spots that look like bruises where granules have been knocked off, which is a sign of hail damage. Also take a look around your yard for missing shingles of metal pieces. If your roof is missing any material as a result of heavy winds, your home may be susceptible to leaks and water damage, so it’s important to repair it before the next storm hits.
You should avoid actually going onto the actual roof itself (call a professional instead), but if you’re able to access the edge of your roof safely, take a closer look at your shingles. Visually inspect them for curls and cracks and run your hand over the shingles to check for indents. Small round divots along the edges of your shingles could be signs of missing granules. Also, examine the outer edges and angles where the roof meets the walls.
2. Inspect The Gutters
Severe weather can often lead to clogged gutters which can equal problems for both your roof and foundation. High speed winds can blow debris (tree branches, leaves) into your gutters and large hail can cause granules to fall off your shingles and collect in them as well. Closely examine your gutters for signs of clogging. You can also check the bottom of the downspout for piles of granules (though keep in mind, small amounts are normal for new shingles).
When gutters are not functioning properly, water can pool and ultimately damage your roof or lead to mold or rot. It can also cause water to collect near the foundation of your home, instead of being appropriately redirected by your downspout. This can lead to foundation damage or soil erosion.
3. Check For Signs Of Moisture In The Attic
There may also be signs of storm damage inside of your home. Water infiltration in the attic is a clear sign that there is a larger issue with your roof. After the storm has passed, check your attic for signs of moisture. Water on the floor will be an obvious sign of roof failure, but be sure to carefully inspect the walls and sheathing for stains or areas where the wood appears darker. Inspect the rafters and make sure there are no signs of sagging. If there is any sign of water in your attic, your underlayment may not be completely sealed or your flashing may have deteriorated.
4. Look At Neighboring Homes And Outdoor Vehicles
A good way to tell if you have roof damage is by looking at the surrounding homes in your neighborhood. If your neighbors are reporting roofing damage or are getting roof replacements or repairs, chances are your roof may also need attention. Also check out any vehicles that are parked outdoors. If there are dents in the roof or the hood, there could also be damage to your roof.
5. Call A Professional
After you have visually assessed the damage, the next step is to call a reputable roofing contractor and schedule a professional inspection. Keep in mind, not all storm related roofing damage is easily visible from the ground, so only a skilled contractor can truly tell the extent of the damage. Your roof may have experienced “lifting” from high winds, which loosens the nails that hold down your shingles, and is not always apparent without a close inspection.
A professional roofing inspector takes the guesswork out of assessing roof damage from a storm. The contractor will climb on the roof to get a close-up view of the condition. As part of a certified professional roofing inspection, the contractor will perform the following tasks:
- Inspect the condition of roofing materials (tiles, shingles, slate, etc.) as well as ridges and drip edges.
- Check gutters and downspouts for clogging or damage.
- Evaluate the status of chimneys, skylights, and vents.
- Look for movement on the roof.
- Examine the integrity of your roofing material fastening.
- Check for a loose roof cap.
- Perform a water test.
Most importantly, a roofing inspection will be able to tell you whether issues can be solved with roof repairs or if an entirely new roof is needed. Best case, if no repairs are needed the contractor can issue a certificate that estimates the remaining lifespan of the roof based on the current condition, type, age, and size. This certificate can provide valuable insights into the quality and condition of your roof, which can help better inform you on your home’s overall value.
When To Call The Insurance Company
You may want to wait until after you receive a roofing inspection before calling your insurance company. Keep in mind, many insurance companies will consider claims for six months to one year after the damage occurred, so you have time to consult with a professional. While you may be eager to file a claim as soon as possible, it’s important to let an expert assess the damage. A roofer can serve as an ally to you when filing a claim and some will even help you to fill out the paperwork. An inspection can serve as proof that your roof damage was the result of a storm. It can also provide you with official documentation and records of the damage. Just be sure to keep all receipts related to your roofing inspection.
If you’re concerned about roofing damage from a recent storm in Oviedo, give us a call at Native Building Services & Roofing today. With over 30 years of construction experience, we’ll be able to help determine the extent of the storm damage and advise on the best next steps.