What is considered roof damage?

damaged roof from hail

Issues with a roofing system

Roof storm damage for a homeowner is a worrisome thing, structurally safe-wise and financially too. Even with homeowner’s insurance, you’re still going to be out the deductible, which can be pretty hefty based on what you choose with your policy. 

Yet, storm damage and repairs exist, especially during the springtime, even here in Virginia. Hailstorms and high winds don’t stop at the border of Oklahoma and Texas. Unfortunately, there are those storm damage repair contractors that “chase” storms and blow through towns to make a quick dollar. 

They’ll tell a homeowner whatever it takes to get prepayment and then never show up to do the work. Fortunately though, there are honest and legitimate storm damage repair companies too, and those are the ones you want to work with when you do have storm damage roof work to be done. 

However, even with the most honest roof storm damage contractors and companies, as a homeowner, you should know what legitimate storm damage is, and that is what we’ll focus on in our piece today. The informed customer is the best customer! 

How do I know if my roof has storm damage?

The roof on your home can be impacted by things you can’t stop, namely the weather. What can be a beautiful day in Virginia today can turn into a stormy nightmare tonight. The winds can get high, the cold front meets the warm weather and creates a hailstorm, and heavy rains can go for hours. 

Roof storm damage can be found on the exterior of your home , which we’ll review here. You can also see storm damage from the inside too, which we will review as well. The roof storm damage from the exterior will be visible by the following:

  1. Roof Shingle Granules  – An asphalt shingled roof, storm damage is apparent by a collection of granules in your gutters and downspouts, as well as in the garden and yard. 
  2. Clogged Leaky Gutters – If your gutters are clogged and leaking, it can simply be time to have your gutters cleaned. However, after a significant weather event, it can also indicate you have roof storm damage too. This is why monthly inspection by you is so important. You will know if that gutter was leaking before the storm or not. Clogged gutters will damage your roof if not addressed too because the water has nowhere else to go but under the shingles. 
  3. Broke, Cracked, Missing Shingles – Even from the ground, you should notice any roof storm damaged shingles. Stand back and with binoculars, see if there are any missing, bent, or curled.  Walk around your house, you may find pieces or whole shingles laying around, a sure sign of roof storm damage. 

The roof storm damage to look for on the interior of your home would be any of the following: 

  1. Water Stains – If you see any water stains on the ceilings or the wall, that can be an indication of a couple of a few things: 1). Plumbing leak from an upstairs bathroom, 2). HVAC condensation, 3). Roof storm damage. This will need a little more inspecting by a professional and if you have exterior roof storm damage, start with a roofing contractor. If it isn’t the roof, they will advise you if it the HVAC or plumbing and you go from there.
  2. Attic Problems  – The attic is a key place to look for roof storm damage. Even the smallest leak in the roof that you couldn’t see from the ground will allow an accumulation of water in the attic. This can destroy your insulation, rendering it useless, and goes on to ruin your attic floor which is the ceiling to the rooms below. Any damp or wet framing is another indicator of roof storm damage. 

What causes roof damage?

The Weather

First thing that can cause roof storm damage is storms, right? The weather in general is harsh on a roof, even when the weather is good. However, it is bad weather with hailstorms, high winds, and all that goes with thunderstorms do a lot of roof storm damage. However, cold winter weather isn’t easy on a roof either. 

If any shingle is broken, cracked, or curled, it allows the moisture from the winter ice and snow to get under the shingles and to the roof decking. Then that moisture freezes, thaws, the shingles contract, expand, and before you know it, there’s a leak. Hailstones may cause the worse roof storm damage, next to the high winds. Hailstones break shingles and the high winds that come with hail will rip them off the roof.

The Age

A roof’s age will catch up with time and become brittle and weak. Even a heavy rain can cause roof storm damage if the shingles have reached their end-of-life. Once the 20 or 30 year warranty has expired, it is time to get a new roof before you do have roof storm damage and your insurance claim is denied.

The Installation

Very often, a poor roof installation can cause roof storm damage because flashing wasn’t installed, shingles weren’t overlapped correctly, or the roofing contractor just did a bad job of using sealant where it was needed. When a roofing contractor that takes short cuts, the homeowner pays. 

Lacking Maintenance and Repairs

Yes, if you don’t take the time to do the standard maintenance of gutter cleaning, roof cleaning, and keeping even the smallest things repaired, you’re leaving your roof vulnerable to roof storm damage. 

What does hail damage look like on your roof?

Hail can cause major roof storm damage, and it usually is widespread, but sometimes, it is just in one area too. Hailstorms do not discriminate!  You’ll know you have hail roof storm damage by any of the following: 

  • Metal flashing, metal chimney cap are dented
  • Hailstone size cavities and dents in the shingles 
  • Lost and missing granules 
  • Broken and cracked shingles
  • Ceramic, tile and wooden shingles are cracked

If there has been a hailstorm over your home, the best thing you can do for your roof is to have it professionally inspected. A roofing contractor will get on top of your house and inspect the roofing up close, better able to see what you can’t from the ground, including what you can’t see from lack of experience. 

How big does hail need to be to cause damage?

Hail can be as small as a pea (quarter of an inch) or marble (half inch) usually doesn’t do any damage. If the shingles are old and brittle though, even marble or pea size hail can do roof storm damage.  Of course, the large the hail the more possible your roof will suffer from roof storm damage, which can be as small as a dime or quarter (between three-fourths inch to one inch in size). If the hail is golf ball-sized, bigger than one and three-fourth inch size, and up to softball size  hail of four and half inches, you can be sure you will have roof storm damage. 

Crushed shingles

What do I do if my roof is blown off?

This is certainly not simply basic roof storm damage, but it would classify as emergency storm damage. Repair or replacement is obviously going to be necessary, but first things first, evacuate the property and seek safe shelter.  

Then call your roofing contractor. If the roof can be temporarily covered, they can do that for you while providing you an estimate for repair or replacement.  Once you have your written estimate from the roofing contractor, call your insurance company and file your roof storm damage claim. Have the written claim, pictures, and any documentation you have ready to file with the claim. Call 757-633-9949 today for your roof damage repair needs in Virginia Beach, [wn-data field=state].