Since ancient times, shingles have proven to be the single best way to keep water out of a home. Whether they are made of clay and wood like the shingles of old, or whether they are made of modern materials, they all have one weakness. That weakness is the wind. The overlapping structure that makes them so able to shed water is also responsible for their tendency to get ripped off by the wind. Anytime your area experiences high winds in any form; it’s a good idea to take a quick look at the roof.
How Bad Can Wind Damage Be?
If you live in an area that experiences regular hurricanes or tornadoes, you can probably skip this section. Chances are, you already know just how bad wind damage can be. However, wind damage can still do some serious harm below the hurricane level. Technically, a storm does not become a hurricane until it reaches a speed of 74 miles per hour. Winds below that speed can certainly tear the shingles from a roof.
As we mentioned earlier, the overlapping structure of a shingled roof creates a lot of places where the wind can lift. Because everything is overlapped, shingles tend to come off in big sections rather than single pieces. The result could be described as a chain reaction, and it’s one that could end up costing you quite a bit. Tin roofs are also quite vulnerable for the same reason, as you can see here.
A Word Of Caution:
There is no way to inspect your roof without climbing. We generally recommend that a person should climb a ladder and inspect the roof without actually climbing up there. After a storm, your roof will probably be much more slippery than it would normally be. Also, loose shingles can translate to a terrible fall when you step on them. Thus, we want to remind you that you should never climb on the roof after a storm.
How To Inspect Your Roof After A Storm
First, set a ladder next to the roof. Climb high enough to get a good look. You don’t want to get on the roof, so just climb until you can get a good view. Look at all the shingles and determine their condition. Obviously, you are looking for any sign of missing, torn, or hanging shingles, but not all problems will be this obvious. Sometimes, the wind will lift a chunk of shingles and detach them without actually pulling them off. This kind of hidden damage is harder to detect, but not impossible. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a quick walk around the yard to look for detached shingles or flashing.
Second, use your ladder to get a good look at all the gutters and flashing around your roof. High winds are often accompanied by heavy rain, and that will put a lot of strain on your gutter system. As long as you’re checking those gutters, take a look, and see how many black granules are at the bottom. As asphalt shingles degrade, they shed little grains of something that looks like black sand. These particles tend to settle on the bottom of the rain gutter, where they can easily be seen. If you see a whole lot of these things, you should have a professional perform a more detailed inspection.
Flashing is very important for protecting your home from water damage. Even if the flashing is not fully detached, it can sometimes develop leaks at the point where it joins with the rest of the roof. You or your repairman may need to put a little bit of silicone sealant in place to re-seal the gap.
Third, Perform an interior inspection. Go into the attic with a strong flashlight and start checking for leaks. If it has rained recently, your job will be a lot easier. Dark spots on the underside of the roof will usually be the most obvious sign. Look at the things that are stored in the attic to see if any of them show signs of water damage. After checking the attic, go ahead and check every room on the top floor. If your home has only one floor, check every ceiling in every room.
What To Do If Your Roof Is Damaged
If you find that your roof has suffered damage, your next steps will depend on how bad the problem may be. If it’s just a couple of shingles that have been pulled loose, you might consider a DIY repair. If you are not able to do that, you might hire a friend or family member to do the job. It doesn’t take an expert to climb a ladder and drive a few nails. However, significant damage should only be repaired by professionals.
Finding the right contractor should not be a quick process. Do as much research as you can. You want to make sure that you are dealing with someone who can be trusted to do a good job. Check local reviews, and run the name of their business through the BBB’s website. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) keeps an extensive database of crooked companies, and they can help you to avoid those who have been dishonest in the past.
The good news is that roof damage is usually not that hard to find. With a little bit of knowledge and a discerning eye for detail, you can quickly determine if you need the services of a professional. It is essential to make this evaluation quickly, as the problem will only get worse.
A leaky roof can quickly translate to a lot of other problems as water seeps into vulnerable plywood surfaces. Thus, you will have to make a quick decision. We hope that this article will aid your evaluation and help you to find those roof problems before they become a crisis. Please fill out the contact form below so that we can continue to bring you interesting and informative articles like this one.