How Can I Tell if My Roof has Storm Damage?

Lightening Strike with dark clouds behind it

Has A Storm Damaged Your Roof?

This past spring and summer have had a number of bad storms coming through. The last thing you need when there is a foot or more of snow and the temperatures are below freezing is to have a roof leak! So, now, before the winter ice and snow hit, is the time to check if your home has any storm damage roof repairs needed. 

What kinds of storms can cause roof damage?

The most common storms that cause the need for storm damage roof repairs is hailstorms, high winds, and heavy rains. Here in the Canton and Jasper areas of Georgia, we often get ice storms and snowstorms that cause the need for storm damage roof repairs too. 

So, do you know how to check roofing for storm damage? 

Well, here are different types of roof storm damage, like roof damage due to hail storms, which is the most common type of storm damage roof repairs needed in Georgia. There are four main things that can cause the need for professional storm damage roof repair with various types of roof storm damage possibilities as follows: 

  • Fallen Debris. Tree limbs are the most common hanging over the roof and will bruise asphalt shingles, destroying the protective layer of granules. Oher falling debris can be bricks from a chimney and television antennas.
  • Blown Off. High winds will lift loosened roofing material and tear it off the roof. This leaves the underlying deck exposed to the elements, making it vulnerable to leaking. Even if the sheathing isn’t removed, strong winds can break the seals bonding these materials to the roof, leaving them susceptible to wind-driven rain. These types of storm damage don’t always appear immediately, but having your roof professionally inspected is recommended to avoid needing emergency storm damage roof repair needs later. 
  • Hail Storm Damage: Roof repairs from hail are the most common damage in Georgia. Even ¼” size hail can cause shingles and tiles to crack or break, they leave pockmarks and pound the outer shingles, reducing their protection against the hot Georgia sun. 
  • Snow-Inflicted Collapse. The sheer weight of snow after 1 foot can cave a roof in. Fortunately, there are indications this is about to happen, a homeowner should always be alert to this possibility. 

Can heavy rain cause roof damage?

Absolutely, starting with wearing off the asphalt granules, making the shingles less effective in their job of protecting the roof. When gutters are cleaned on a regular basis as recommended, heavy rains can’t flow through to the downspouts as intended, so they will either back up under the shingle, causing leaks that will need storm damage roof repair, or overflow and saturate the ground around the foundation, causing other issues. 

It is important to know what to do if your roof leaks during a storm before a storm comes. The following are tips that can help you keep your family and home safe during storms: 

  1. Move everything that is in the area of the roof leak. Electronics, furniture, rugs, and personal belongings. 
  2. Contain the leaking water with buckets under the leak and a plastic tarp under the bucket.
  3. Relieve the pressure of the water building up by poking holes in the bulging area of the ceiling so the water can drain into the bucket.
  4. Place a plastic tarp on the roof for temporary storm damage roof repair. Use 2×4 boards nailed into place around the damaged area to hold the tarp down.
  5. Take notes, pictures, and videos for your insurance claim.
  6. Call a professional roofing contractor and then the insurance company.

Is roof storm damage covered by insurance?

Storm damage roof repairs are needed because of unexpected circumstances, like the storm, which are covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, if the insurance adjuster finds the roof was improperly installed or basic homeowner maintenance wasn’t carried through, like replacing the roof when needed, the claim could be denied. 

Damaged roof shingles

In Closing 

It is important to review your homeowner’s insurance policy ahead of time to know what is covered and how to claim storm damage to a roof. Waiting until you need storm damage roof repairs will only make the situation worse as you’re frustrated and have a major problem on your hands.  

A few ways how to protect your roof from storm damage will be helpful as well, starting with keeping trees cut and trimmed back from your home and off the roof. If you have storm damage roof repairs needed and the adjuster sees tree limbs hanging over the roof, it can be a reason for declining your claim. 

This includes keeping roof repairs done as you notice them. Like replacing a missing shingle or two, keeping the gutter system cleaned, and repairing along with the downspouts.  And once a storm hits, keep your blinds, curtains, and drapes closed will minimize damage inside your home should flying debris hit the windows.  Having plywood on hand to cover windows is recommended for areas where high winds are typical in storm seasons.