Spring is here, and as the old saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, including here in the Southeast, April showers can bring a lot more than flowers. Spring and summer can bring severe storms that include high winds, pelting rain, and even property-damaging hail. Throughout the spring and summer months, your roof can take quite a beating. But if you keep an eye on your roof and know what to look for, you can keep your roof healthy for years to come.
Know What to Look For After a Storm
One of the most important ways you can preserve your roof through a full season of storms is to keep a close watch out for damage. Knowing what to look for and how to spot hidden storm damage will allow you to make repairs as necessary. It’s always better to notice damage quickly and make the needed repairs than to wait until your roof needs major work. Letting damage pile up can even lead to a premature roof replacement. If you want to get the full expected life out of your roof, maintenance and care are crucial. If you think you have damage to your roof, try one of these TrustDALE certified roofers in your area.
Stay Safe After a Storm
After a storm, it’s important to take a good look at your roof to inspect for damage. However, safety is your first priority. Often, after a storm, your roof can be slick and dangerous walk on. The ground may be dry, but mold or moss on your roof can hold onto moisture. A misstep onto even a small patch of wet roof can lead to dangerous slips and falls. If you plan on getting up on your roof, remember to wear appropriate footwear with a secure grip. Work boots are ideal.
Even when you’re wearing the right footwear, moving around on your roof after a storm can be dangerous. If branches have fallen on your roof, the full extent of the damage may not be visible. A fallen branch may look like it hasn’t done much damage. But the undamaged shingles may be hiding more severe damage to the deck. If water made its way under the shingles in previous storms, you might have areas of water damage and rotted decking. When a branch falls on rotted out deck, it can loosen it even more. One step on a rotted and damaged patch of decking can send you through the roof, causing more damage to your roof and risking serious bodily harm.
Sometimes, the safest thing to do after a storm is not to get up on your roof at all. Leave the roof inspection to a trusted and reliable roofer. Instead, there are plenty of ways you can look for damage to your roof from the ground. Then, if you see any signs of damage from the ground, you can bring in a roofer to make the final inspection.
Inspecting for Hail Damage
Hail damage can be hard to spot, even by trained roofers inspecting from on top of your roof. But there are a few telltale signs to look for that might indicate further inspection is necessary. If you’ve just experienced a storm with significant hail, it’s a good idea to check for signs of hail damage, so you know if you need to get your roof inspected.
The first thing to look for is damage to other parts of your home and property. Check your deck or siding for pockmarks from hail. Check your car, too. If the hail was large enough and heavy enough to damage your home and property, there is a decent chance that it damaged some of your roof, too.
If you have an asphalt shingle roof, another place to look is around the downspouts of your gutters. Look for small bits of gravel collected at the mouth of the downspout. If you see what looks like gravel, you’re probably seeing protective granules from your asphalt shingles that were knocked loose by hail. Asphalt can be degraded by ultraviolet rays from the sun, so asphalt shingles are covered with granules that protect the asphalt from UV rays. When hail knocks the granules loose, they get washed into the gutters and out the downspouts, where they collect. That leaves your shingles unprotected from the sun. So it is necessary to replace the damaged shingles as soon as possible before they become damaged by the sun.
Finally, you can do a quick visual inspection of your roof from the ground. While hail damage can often be hard to spot, there are some types of damage you can see from the ground. Look for dark spots that might indicate granules were knocked loose by hail. If you see spots, call a roofer for a more detailed inspection.
Inspecting for Wind Damage
Wind damage is the most common type of damage to your roof during a storm. Hurricane season in the Southeast stretches from June 1 to November 30. However, even if your home is not in the path of a hurricane, less severe storms like tropical storms, tropical depressions, or just plain old rainstorms can damage your roof. After any storm with high winds, it is a good idea to look for signs of wind damage to your roof.
The first thing to look for when assessing the possibility of wind damage to your roof is any discoloration on your roof. Patches of the roof that look lighter or darker than the rest of the roof could be caused by shifted or damaged shingles. You can also search for any small pieces of shingle that have blown off of your roof and landed on the ground. You can also assess the severity of the winds during a storm by looking around your property. If you notice large items that have been knocked over or moved by the wind, that is a good indication that the winds were strong enough to cause damage to your roof.
How much wind a roof can withstand before it starts to come apart depends on the quality and condition of your roof. Some roofing materials fare better in high winds than others. Any asphalt shingle roof should come with a wind rating when it is installed, which will give you an idea of how much wind it can stand up to. If you live in an area that experienced severe windstorms and hurricanes, it may make sense to purchase a roof that has a high wind rating. These roofs have extra adhesive and use specially designed fasteners that keep the shingles in place during strong winds.
When to Get a Professional Inspection
If you believe that your roof may have been damaged in a storm, you can check for the damage we mentioned above. If you see any signs of damage, it is crucial to have your roof inspected by a trained and reliable roofer. Damage to your roof can quickly grow if you don’t catch it quickly. What started as a loose shingle can become a leak, a rotted deck, or a mold issue. Never ignore signs of damage. Instead, find a reliable TrustDALE certified roofer in your area.
Even if you don’t see any signs of storm damage, it is a good idea to have your asphalt or wood shingle roof inspected about once every three years. A tile roof can go a bit longer, but should still be inspected by a professional every five years. Keeping track of your roof’s condition and fixing any problems as soon as they arise the best way to extend the life of your roof.