How do I know if my roof has storm damage?

close-up of a damaged shingle roof

Dealing With Storm Damage

Spring has arrived in Augusta, Georgia, and the surrounding area, bringing spring storms. With those spring storms comes the need for roof storm damage repair on commercial and residential properties alike. How do storms damage roofs?

The type of damage that could require needing roof storm damage repairs will depend on the age and condition of the roof and the type of storm that comes through the area.  Specific weather issues can bring a different type of damage, but the most common among them are: 

  • Wind Damage: Thunderstorms and tornadic-type storms have strong winds that will lift shingles off, leaving them loose, or totally blow them off. The wind gusts can loosen flashing, moving gutters, and downspouts out of place. They can move the chimney or chimney cap, leaving the attic, chimney, as well as interior ceilings and walls susceptible to leaking. 
  • Hail Damage: When hail accompanies storms, common in this area of the country, it will break, crack, ding, and ding the roofs and any surfaces exposed to the outside. 
  • Fallen Debris: Tree branches and limbs are strewn about your property and sitting on the roof. Loose outdoor items like grills, lawn furniture, and toys can be tossed about, landing on roofs and other surfaces. Gutters and downspouts are bent or broken by falling and flying debris.
  • Ice and Snow Damage: Winter storms that bring heavy snowfalls can create excessive weight on a roof, causing it to sag and start leaking, even possibility of collapsing. 

So, what should you look for in a roof after a storm?

There are two things you’ll need to know how to do: 

Identifying roof hail damage: Hail damage that will leave you needing roof storm damage repairs can be from 1” diameter hailstones or larger. If your roof has dents and dings on the shingles, recognized by dark spots in an erratic pattern, a roofing contractor will recommend calling your insurance agent. 

Before you call a roofing contractor, you can do your own hail damage inspection from the ground, which won’t be as thorough, but will indicate you need a professional inspection for roof storm damage repair possibilities. The things to look at from the ground are: 

  • Downspouts dented and dinged 5 feet and above
  • Dings or strikes to the garage door
  • Holes in the window screens 
  • Dings on any painted wood 
  • Dings on the shutters 
  • Dings or splatter marks on the electric meter
  • Dings or splatter marks on the AC unit exterior component
  • Dings on the outdoor grill 
  • Dents on the mailbox and other metal surfaces 
  • Dents and dings on any vehicle parked outside of the garage

Identifying roof wind damage: When storms have come through the area with high winds, you want to check your roof for any of the following: 

  • Tree branches or limbs on the roof
  • Granules missing from the shingles
    Curled or peeling shingles
  • Missing shingles 
  • Cracks or tears on a flat rubber-coated roof
  • Damaged fascia or soffit
  • Chimney is leaning, the chimney cap is cracked or missing
  • Interior leaks in ceiling or walls

How do you deal with roof damage after a storm?

Once you have confirmed everyone is okay and safe, take the following steps:

  1. Assess the damage by walking around inside and outside your home or business. Take notes, pictures, and videos if possible of the damage you find. 
  2. Make temporary repairs like plastic tarps over holes in the roof. 
  3. Have contractors, roofing, and others, inspect the damage, and provide estimates. 
  4. Contact the insurance company and file a claim according to what the contractors have found to be needed, like roof storm damage repairs.

Can you claim on home insurance for roof storm damage?

Yes, that is something you should always do after a storm, if there is file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance if the roof storm damage repairs and other repairs or replacement are more than your deductible. 

For example, if the estimate for roof storm damage repairs and other repairs or replacements total $2,500 and your deductible is $1,500, it may not be worthwhile. Or if your roof is old and the insurance payout is going to be reduced by the current value of the roof, you may not get as much help in the cost to repair or replace the roof. 

What roof damage does insurance cover?

Homeowner’s insurance will typically cover the cost of storm damage roof replacement or roof storm damage repairs caused by a hailstorm, high winds, and hard rains. Damage by fire and vandalism are usually covered by homeowners’ insurance.

roof covered in debris after a storm

In Closing

There are ways that you can minimize possible storm damage to your home and the need for roof storm damage repairs or replacement.  Here are a few ways how to protect your roof from storm damage: 

  1. Place plywood or other durable material on the roof when you know there is a possibility of hail and high winds coming.  
  2. Keeps trees cut back close to your home.
  3. Remove loose objects that can get blown away or damaged like vehicles, lawn furniture, grills, etc. 
  4. Keep your roof repaired and a routine maintenance system up to date.

These are all things that can be incredibly beneficial in the long run.