Roof Repairs After A Storm
In parts of the country, particularly in the area referred to as “tornado alley”, springtime weather can mean storms that come with hailstones, high winds, and torrential rains. All of this can cause storm damage to roofs and require repair or total replacement. In order to best handle a roof with storm damage, it is important that you have enough information on what you need to do if you experience storm damage. Knowing how to get roof inspections, repairs, replacement, and more when you face this type of situation will make for an easier time for you.
What Causes Roof Damage?
Several things can weaken the stability of a roof, with or without actual storm damage, which is why it is recommended to regularly inspect your home’s roof. You can often find minor issues and correct them before they turn into a more costly, major issue. Five of the most common major roof damage causes are:
- Lack of Maintenance – Preventative maintenance is imperative in keeping your roof from damage and reinforcing weakened spots. During this inspection, any minor issues can be discovered and remedied. This is a preventive maintenance step that every homeowner should practice. Without this step, your roof can have underlying damage.
- Ice and Snow Damage – The lifespan of a roof is shortened by ice and snow. When they begin to melt and thaw on the roof’s surface, some will creep up under the shingles and then refreeze. That causes the flashing and shingles to lift, which can create more water damage.
- Damage from Wind – The wind can weaken shingles and nails with moderate daily gusts. Stronger winds during a storm can threaten the stability of your roof and the storm damage that hail can cause can be critical and cause further damage.
- Other Weather Damaging Conditions – Mother Nature has many issues that can be either nurturing or destructive, like storm damage and UV rays. While we can’t live without sunlight, those UV rays can gradually deteriorate a roof, especially asphalt shingles. Once they are damaged, the interior sheathing is exposed, and more damage can ensue.
- Installed Improperly – Roof installation, repairs, and replacements that are done improperly can weaken a roof’s stability and cause damage. Using the services of an experienced, licensed roofing contractor is the best way to prevent this from happening.
How Do You Know If Your Roof Is Damaged?
- Cracked, curled, or missing shingles are excellent indicators that our roof is damaged or at the very least, your roof has reached its life expectancy.
- Dark, dirty, wet shingles indicate that moisture has gotten trapped beneath the shingle, meaning the shingles may be loose or missing.
- The gutter system is filled with shingle granules is an indicator that the asphalt shingles are shedding their granules and is a sure sign they have reached their life expectancy. Heavy rains that leave behind storm damage often include washing off loose granules.
- Objects on the roof, like the chimney and plumbing vent pipes, and any openings are showing signs of wear and tear is an indication the roof is beginning to deteriorate.
- Paint has blistered or is peeling can indicate that the attic is not properly ventilated, allowing humidity and moisture to build up at the roofline. This can also indicate the gutter system is not working properly.
- Interior ceiling and walls are discolored or stained can indicate several things, but most likely is because the underlayment for the roof has allowed moisture in.
- Attic leaks after a rain can be just loose flashing. But if the leak has made its way to the underlayment, total roof replacement may be necessary.
- A sagging roof deck is apparent when the decking or rafters are no longer straight. If they are wet, there is moisture leaking into the attic and a repair of specific areas is possible, but usually, a total roof replacement is necessary.
- Outside light coming into the attic during the day indicates that the sun is getting through cracks and that means that rain can too. Those cracks could be caused by storm damage or just basic aging of wear and tear.
- An increase in energy bills means that your air conditioning and heating is going through the roof, literally, and that is costing you each month.
Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?
There are several considerations when trying to determine if a roof repair is enough or if you need a complete roof replacement after your house has experienced storm damage. If you’re standing there with an umbrella while reading this, then the decision is easy: replace the entire roof! But if your house isn’t giving you those bold hints that make it blatantly obvious, here are things you should look for:
- Moisture on the interior walls, indicated by brown stains and streaks, peeling paint, etc.
- Damaged or missing shingles can be the result of storm damage and may be in isolated places. If so, these can be repaired or just a few replaced. However, if this is the case in large areas of the roof, 30% or more, an entire roof replacement is needed.
- Recent catastrophe in the area that left behind storm damage, localized or widespread, such as a hurricane or tornado. Entire roof replacement should be considered simply because the high winds could have loosened the roof’s structure and you won’t know this until the next heavy rain.
- The roof’s age is a major factor in whether a repair job is enough or if complete replacement is needed. If your roof is over 10 years old, the entire replacement should be considered.
Can You Replace Just Half a Roof?
If storm damage was only to part of your roof, it is not recommended to have just a partial roof replacement, and roofing experts offer the following reasons:
- Asphalt shingles have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 yearS, some up to 50-years. By replacing just a part of your roof after storm damage, the part that isn’t replaced will need replacing sooner than the part that is done. In general, a reliable roofing contractor will not do just a partial roof replacement, because getting the two roofing areas to tie together is difficult and could lead to future leaks. If you can find one that will get your guarantee in writing.
- Aesthetically, the shingles will look different as they age, therefore, the part that is replaced will never match the older part. Look at this as wearing one new tennis shoe and one old tennis shoe.
- Logistically it is difficult for the roofing contractor, so if your insurance adjuster determined that any storm damage was to a certain area or portion, that doesn’t mean that the roof itself doesn’t need to be replaced. If your roof is older, it is brittle and it may not stand up to a partial replacement, thereby, it will only create more damage or set the stage for more damage to happen.
What Should You Do If a Roof Is Damaged?
Your insurance company considers the roof of your home to an important part, and with good reason. It protects you, your family, and your home from the elements, and hopefully, prevent insurance claims on your homeowner’s policy. If your home sustains storm damage on the roof, there is a good chance that you will have future problems and they too could lead to filing a claim on your homeowners’ policy.
This may the most important part of our article today. Filing storm damage claims with insurance companies can be challenging, confusing, frustrating, and intimidating. We hope the following steps we provide will minimize those things for you should your home suffer any storm damage.
- Immediately, once you are safe, reach out to your insurance company and find out what your policy covers in the case of storm damage. No two policies are going to be the same, do not assume that whatever your neighbor’s coverage is or isn’t will apply to you, even if you have the same insurance agent or company.
- Provide your insurance company pictures before and after storm damage. This can help them access and review all the damage.
- Schedule an appointment with your insurance company’s claims examiner to visit the property for review of the storm damage.
- Call several qualified roofing contractors as soon as your insurance company indicates it is time and get quotes. If the damage is intense, cover the area with tarps to prevent any more damage from rain. And arrange to have the storm-damaged roof repaired as soon as possible.
Some insurance companies will require an older home or a home with an older roof to have an inspection performed before insuring it. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to decline coverage on a roof that is over 20 years old.
Review your policy before the next storm season arrives so that you know clearly what is covered and what isn’t. If you have concerns or questions, call your agent and ask for clarification. If your roof isn’t covered, ask what needs to be done to have that coverage added. With quality roof storm damage repair from Oley, PA in Mast Roofing and Construction, Inc., you can rest easy knowing your roof is ready for the next storm. Give us a call today at 610-689-3737.