Roof Inspection Tips for Storm Damaged Areas

Residential | July 16, 2021

Has Your Home’s Roof Been Damaged by Storms?

Summer storms pass through southeastern PA and they produce considerable damage to properties. If your home or business is one of the many buildings in Pennsylvania that are damaged in a storm, this weekend, you’re wondering: what should I do to fix it?

hand holding pieces of hail with hail on the floor in the back

Types of Storm Damage for Roofs

Severe thunderstorms can wreak havoc on your home’s roof – no matter the current age or condition.

  • Strong storm winds can lift and dislodge shingles or other roofing materials. High winds can also damage large tree branches which can fall onto your roof.
  • Hail can weaken or puncture your roof, especially on metal details or on old, brittle shingles.
  • Tornadoes, which have appeared recently in Lancaster and Berks counties, can lift shingles and the entire roof structure from your home.

 

What You Should Do About Storm Damage to Your Roof

hand pointing to roof damage from storm

Is it important to inspect your roof after a storm?

Yes! After any major storm, whether it’s snow, ice, wind, or hail, it is a good idea to do a general visual inspection of the exterior of your home.

It is important to inspect soon after damage occurs because home insurance companies only need to cover damages which have occurred within 12 months of being notified. If you wait too long to report damage to insurance, they will deny the claim because it is “late.”

Additionally, not all damage to your home will present itself as a leak at first. You could have storm damage but not have a leak until months down the road, at which point there may be extensive internal damage to the structure of your house.

Does the age of my roof matter?

Sometimes! The older your roof is, the more worn out the materials are which increases the likelihood of shingles being more greatly damaged by storms. 

Aged shingles:

  • Have lost a good portion of the protective granules, making them more susceptible to great damage from hail or ice. 
  • The adhesive strip which seals the shingles together is worn out, and they become brittle.  Leads to more shingles blowing in windy conditions and breaking off. 

Aged metal:

  • Paint chips off faster when hit with hail, leading to premature rust and failure.

Wood shingles/shakes:

  • Hail impact causes them to split and crack, which reduces their lifetime dramatically.

This doesn’t mean that newer roofs won’t suffer storm damage! Depending on the intensity of the storm, any roof can suffer from intense hail or strong winds.

 

How do I inspect my roof for storm damage?

The safest and easiest option to view your roof is from the ground. You can walk around the exterior of your residence to view all planes of your roof! Use your cell phone or digital camera to take pictures of the roof. You can zoom in to get a closer look at any potential damage! Depending on your property’s topography, this may not be very effective or possible.

Will I be able to identify specific types of storm damage from the ground?

Not all types. You will not notice hail from the ground. Hail will not likely puncture the shingle but will leave a dimple that cracks the underside of the shingle which will eventually wear through.

Find a HAAG-Certified roofing contractor to perform an inspection. Being HAAG certified means that the roofer has gone through training and exams to gain the skills & assessment knowledge necessary to identify hail & wind damage.

What to look for when inspecting:

  • Loose siding
  • Missing shingles
  • Lifted or buckling shingles
  • Disturbed flashing
  • Clogged or overflowing gutters
  • Debris on your roof

If anything seems out of place or if you suspect hail damage, we recommend contacting a professional to come out and perform a thorough inspection and evaluation of your home’s exterior.

asphalt shingles are blown off from a commercial building

What is my roof is actively leaking?

First, you’ll want to determine if it is a roof leak or not. Should you notice the water damage on your uppermost floor after a rainstorm, it’s likely caused by a roof insecurity. However, if it hasn’t rained or if the leak is happening on an interior room with a floor or so above it, it’s likely not a roof leak.

After identifying if it’s a roof leak to the best of your ability, contact a roofing professional as soon as you can! The longer you allow a roof leak to go unfixed the worse the damage will be.

 

Does Insurance Cover Roof Storm Damage?

If you have insurance that covers storm damage to your roof, get in touch with your insurance company immediately. Be sure to read our Guide to Roofing Insurance Claims to see what steps you should follow.

 

Contact Joyland Roofing

We know that your home is important. Suffering storm damage is incredibly frustrating. Our inspectors and estimators are committed to thoroughly diagnosing the state of your roof, helping you interact with your insurance adjustor, and recommending the truly best repair plan for your roof.

To schedule a roof inspection, or to learn more about storm damage, call our office at 717-459-3499.

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in July 2021.