How Do Storms Damage Roofs?

a storm-damaged shingle roof

Dealing With Storm-Damaged Roofing

Just north of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find Jasper, Georgia. To the south and west, the hard winds come in that bring stormy weather. While the tornadic weather that many states experience doesn’t come frequently here, the storms often leave homeowners with roof storm damage repairs to be addressed. 

How fast does wind need to be to damage a roof?

Wind damage is a possibility after any size storm has passed through and is something that any homeowner should be aware of happening. There are different factors involved in determining how much wind and how strong the gusts need to be before roof storm damage repairs are needed. 

The typical asphalt shingle roofing can withstand wind speeds up to 60 miles per hour. Typical wind speeds can reach between 70 miles per hour and 90 miles per hour before a homeowner needs to be concerned with needing any roof storm damage repairs, in most cases. However, a wind of 50 miles per hour coming in at the right angle and direction can cause a fair amount of damage too, especially on an older roof. 

How can you tell your roof is damaged?

And what does wind damage look like on a roof? There are several forms of wind damage that are indicators of roof storm damage repairs. If your roof already had any broken, curled, or missing shingles, it will typically not be able to battle strong winds. Most likely, they will be lifted off and blown away. The following are indications that you have roof storm damage repairs to address: 

  • Curled shingles: Shingles will curl up on the edges once they have lost their adhesion.
  • Missing shingles: If you have visible patches on your roof, you have missing shingles.
  • Cracked, split, torn shingles: Andy of these types of damages to roof shingles. 
  • Loose, uplifted shingles: Loose and raised shingles happen when the nails are lifted or pulled up. This type of roof storm damage repairs being needed is found during a close-up inspection while on the roof. 
  • Damaged vents: Any damage to the ventilation system is a strong indicator that roof storm damage repairs are needed over the entire roof. 
  • Roof leaks:  Roof leaks will usually show themselves by leaking through the ceiling or down a wall on the interior of the house.
  • Clogged, bent, or broken gutters: If your gutters are filled with asphalt granules or debris, if the downspouts or gutter runs are bent or broken. 
  • Damaged, loose, missing chimney flashing: Flashing is the metal strips alongside the chimney, dormers, skylights, and roof valleys. If it is bent, loose, or missing, your home needs roof storm damage repairs. 
  • Debris on the roof: High winds will carry various debris through the air and drop it all on roofs. If this is tossed on at the right angle, or lands hard, you will need to get a professional inspection for possible roof storm damage repairs. 

What should you look for in a roof after a storm?

After a significant storm has passed, or a few windy days have come through, experts recommend doing a visual inspection from the ground yourself, looking for the things we listed above. If you have any doubt, have your roof professional inspected by a licensed roofing contractor. Even a new roof with a 20-year warranty can have roof storm damage. Repairs should be done sooner than later to prevent any further damage from happening. 

You should look around your property for other damages too. Damage to your cars, lawn furniture, fixtures, broken tree branches and limbs, and debris tossed about the property that isn’t yours. Damage to a mailbox, doors, and windows, etc. 

What size of hail can damage a roof?

It doesn’t take hailstones the size of baseballs to cause damage. A lot of small hailstones can cause you to need roof storm damage repairs done. A 1” hailstone can cause significant damage to a roof if the angle and velocity are just right, or if the roof is old and weak. 

How do you fix wind-damaged shingles?

If you’re able to climb a ladder and work on the rooftop, you can do your own minor roof storm damage repairs with these steps: 

  1. Lift the damaged shingle up using a claw hammer, crowbar, or a flathead screwdriver, and apply a water-resistant roof sealant underneath the shingle. 
  2. Press it down firmly and place a heavy item on top for 24 hours.
  3. After 24 hours, remove the heavy object and hammer in roofing nails to assure the shingle stays in place. 

Can a winter storm damage a roof?

Definitely, even as bad, or worse than hailstorms.  The most common types of winter roof storm damage your Georgia home can receive are: 

  • Water Damage:  The freezing rain can do serious damage to a roof from the ice building up in the gutter runs and prevents the melted water and rain from draining properly. This causes the water to accumulate, get under the shingles, and then the water refreezes. As it freezes, it expands, lifting the shingles. Once it starts to melt, it can seep under the decking and into your home. 
  • Snow Damage: Georgia doesn’t get as much snow as other parts of the country, but it only takes a few inches to create needed roof storm damage repairs, especially for a flat roof. As the snow melts, it will seep through any size crack and into your home. 
  • Wind Damage: During the winter, wind damage is common, leaving the need for roof storm damage repairs, especially if there are broken, loose shingles or the roof is old and worn. 

Can heavy rain cause roof damage?

Jasper, Georgia is accustomed to rainy weather, and yes, heavy rain can cause roof storm damage repairs to be done. A heavy rainstorm wears shingles and other facets of a roof down, weakening them, and compromising their integrity. Any loose, lost, or missing shingles will allow moisture to penetrate the underlayment, damaging the roof decking and eventually the integrity of your entire home.

hailstones covering a damaged tile roof

In Closing 

Having roof storm damage repairs or a roof replacement is an expense that the average homeowner isn’t prepared for financially. So, the first concern is does insurance cover storm damage to a roof?

Homeowner insurance policies will pay for any damage to a roof caused by natural acts of fire, storms, and winds. If the insurance adjust deems after inspection that the roof was aged and should have been replaced already, the roof claim will be denied.