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Storming The Weather: Roof Storm Damage Checklist

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Storms happen throughout the country. Some aren’t so bad, but every so often, a home can get hit with a bad storm.

Depending on where you are, you could experience anything, from a full-blown hurricane to a hailstorm. In Florida, you can deal with hurricanes, hailstorms, severe summer thunderstorms, winter fronts, and your roof absorbs the brunt of it.

When these hits, you should assess the damage, which is why a checklist is vital.

Types of Roof Storm Damage

Wind

Wind can reach scary speeds given the right conditions. When the wind reaches 74 mph or more, experts call this hurricane-force winds. These are dangerous winds, and they can harm your roof.

Even worse, the winds don’t have to hit these high speeds to cause damage. Gale-force winds, which fall between 39 to 54 mph, can cause some significant damage to a house.

Homeowners who face these sorts of winds could see torn shingles on their roofs.

Some see a few missing shingles after a wind storm. Homeowners have to figure out a way to repair their roofs as soon as possible or risk more issues, like water damage, among other problems.

Even if the shingles are just slightly lifted or curled, the homeowner has to fix this. When shingles are installed, they are made to be water-tight. The seal is strong but not strong enough to handle mother nature if she’s determined.

Hail

Hailstorms can be a pain for homeowners, too. Everyone knows that hailstorms don’t last too long. Most of them don’t last longer than 15 minutes, but they can do some damage in their short lifespans.

Homeowners may see dents after a hailstorm or pockmarks. Sometimes, the storms get so bad that they cause loose shingle granules.

If you’re wondering why this matters, that’s okay. Those granules help protect your roof from rain and sun damage, two things Floridians get a lot of during the year.

Standing Water

Rainstorms present varying issues if the roof has a few problems.

For example, if there are uneven areas of the roof, then a rainstorm will lead to standing water. Given enough time, that water could penetrate the roof.

A roof that isn’t draining water as it should, may develop a leak. Unkempt gutters are usually the cause of this.

Debris

A big storm can make all sorts of things fly, including large debris like tree limbs and who knows what else.

Those large items can be thrown on your roof, causing untold damage. You can see major dents and even penetration depending on the storm’s severity and the size of debris.

Any significant damage has to be assessed because it can lead to water damage and structural issues given enough time.

A Good Roof Storm Damage Checklist

The first thing to do is to schedule a roof inspection. This should be done by a professional roofing contractor, preferably someone local who’s familiar with the area’s weather.

Sure, you can conduct an inspection yourself, but contractors know how to do so safely. They train for this, so let them take care of the inspection. Inspections are free, most of the time, so there’s nothing to lose if you let them do this part for you.

Visual Assessment

1. You can walk around your home’s perimeter. Take notice of any visual damage that you can see by simply walking.

Take a few pictures of anything that is not right. See if you can get a better view from some of your windows.

Be sure to take notes to accompany the pictures so that you can refer to those notes later. Your insurance company may ask for details.

2. The next thing you want to do is check the gutters, vents, and windows.

You’re going to be looking for dents or any other sort of damage. Windows could have cracks, or their weather stripping might have weakened during the storm.

3. While you are checking for damage to your roof, you’ll want to pay attention to all of your home’s exterior.

Look for large debris like tree limbs. If they’re on your property, they could have done some damage to your roof or the exterior of your home and just bounced off afterward.

4. Even if your roof looks good, that doesn’t mean that it is. You want to go into the attic or ceiling of your home.

Inspect your roof from the inside out. This doesn’t put you in any danger. Look for leaks or flashes of sunlight where there shouldn’t be any. Document anything you find for later reference.

After doing a quick visual check, you need to look for a trustworthy roofing contractor. There’s no way around this because these specialists know what to look for.

A good roofer can do the following for you:

  • Discover all damage after the storm
  • Give you an honest estimate on repairs
  • Repair or replace damaged parts

Tips on Finding a Good Roofing Contractor

There are many options, so this can feel overwhelming, but the good thing is that there are tips that can make it easier on you, like the following:

  • This person should be licensed and insured.
  • The professional must offer a warranty on the work.
  • They must be able to assess the damage.
  • You must receive an estimate before work is started.
  • You want to see mostly good reviews.

Getting in Touch With Your Insurance

No one loves dealing with the insurance company, but they have to get involved after a huge storm and discover the damage. Your roofer may even be able to help here – they often work with companies that deal with insurance claims on their client’s behalf. Be sure to ask if your roofer knows of any that serve your area.

It’s important to make the call to your homeowner’s insurance provider as soon as you can. Doing this will make it easier to file a claim. Any delay could hurt your chances of getting the help you need right now.

Most of the time, the insurance company sends an inspector to ensure e the damage you are claiming is there. The sooner you get this going, the sooner you’ll get assistance.

Go through this checklist and get the help you need to make sure your home is safe and in good condition with the help of a good roofing company.