Understanding Roof Damage after Storms

IMG_5885Florida is famous for its balmy weather and abundant sunshine. It’s also well known for its destructive and tumultuous storms, particularly during warmer months. Quite often, this results in roof damage from storm activity such as this. While you can’t prevent the ravages of nature, you can take action by making sure your roof will be able to sustain weather damage, and knowing how to spot a roof in need of repair. Here are a few ways to spot roof damage from storm activity.  

Keep an Eye Out for Wind Damage

Bad storms are typically accompanied by heavy winds. So if you’re keeping an eye out for roof damage, always inspect the structure after a particularly windy storm. Signs that wind has ravaged a roof could include missing shingles and dislodged roof-adjacent structures, such as gutters.

On June 20, a severe thunderstorm swept through Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, knocking out power to more than 10,000 homes and businesses at its peak, according to JEA. First Coast News reported that the storm toppled power lines and uprooted a massive oak that fell atop a woman’s car on 3rd Avenue in Jacksonville’s Northside. She was extricated after being trapped inside the vehicle briefly.

In the summertime, Florida’s weather creates the perfect condition for a severe thunderstorm to occur with little to no warning.The perfect condition for a severe thunderstorm to occur is instability through a reasonable depth of the atmosphere, enough humidity to sustain deep convection, cloud tops reaching a level where the temperature is at least -18°C, and a “trigger” which could be mass convergence, or coastal and sea-breeze convergence.

Fortunately, wind-based roof damage is easy to deduce because of its external impact on the roof itself. Other types of damage may not be as easy to spot.

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Be Vigilant About Spotting Water Damage

The elemental inverse of wind damage is water damage. Heavy storms bring both rain and wind. While wind damage is a bit more upfront, only water can seep into the underlayment of a roof, disappear for a while and wreak havoc weeks later. Water damage can rott wood to be point of necessary replacement, forcing property owners to cough up more money than a simple repair would cost. After a storm occurs, be proactive and search for signs of water damage. If you see dampness, water vapor or spots on walls and ceilings, bloated fixtures, or any other signs suggesting leakage, it may be possible that water from the storm has compromised the roof. In situations such as these, the sooner a professional assesses the roof, the less damage it will incur.

Learn to Listen for Damage, Too

Violent storms bring whipping rains and merciless winds, of course. However, this type of weather – particularly due to heavy wind – also whips debris around the affected area. So, it’s not unusual for roof damage from storm activity to include debris. Tree branches and hail are particularly common during bad storms, especially tornadic ones. Fortunately, damage-by-debris has the potential to be heard before it’s seen. This is a helpful tip off for you to inspect the roof area after the storm has safely passed.  

Know Your Roof Composition

Sometimes, knowing what your roof is made of helps you gauge storm damage potential. For example, if you have a metal roof, the damage you look for may not be anything other than a few dents. However, if your roof is covered with asphalt shingles, you should look for any shingles that may have been broken, or displaced due to wind damage. While metal roofs can better withstand severe elements of nature like heavy storms, lighter materials, such as asphalt shingles, are more susceptible to damage during severe weather. Asphalt shingles, while cost and energy efficient, can get brittle over time and break easily.

Make Safety a Priority

Looking for roof damage from storm activity can be tricky. After a storm, step outside and look at the roof of your home 10-20 feet away from your home at different angles (Front of home, right side of home, left side of home, rear of home). While you may be able to eyeball the damage without climbing onto the roof, there may be instances where a rooftop trip is unavoidable. Depending on your physical capability, the roof’s pitch, present weather conditions and other numerous factors, it may be possible for you to make your way up and take a look at the roof yourself. However, if it is not possible, or even a slight risk, it may be in your best interest to contact a reputable roofing contractor to assess the roof’s condition.  

If you suspect that your property has sustained roof damage from storm activity, read through this list to learn some tips. Remember to stay safe when taking the steps toward having a roof repaired.

If you are considering a roof repair or replacement in Northeast Florida, contact us. Our team of trusted experts will provide you with the highest level of customer service and inspect your roof for damage (e.g. wind, hail, etc.), to provide you with a fair estimate on what you need to do to repair it.

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