Your roof is meant to withstand a lot of repetitive forces from storms throughout its lifetime. While it might be a strong and stable structure to your home, its gradual deterioration is something that a lot of homeowners tend to overlook. If there isn’t a present hole that is leaking into the house, they assume the entire roof must be fine. The more this damage is allowed to continue, the more it asks of critical stress points on your roof. This can eventually lead to major malfunctions, which come with a hefty repair cost. Here are some subtle (and not so subtle) damages to look out for after different types of harsh or inclement weather.
All roofs are meant to withstand normal rainfall. The threat comes from torrential downpours. This can impair the shingles on the roof, and can lead to pooling of water if your roof has flat spots or an inverted design scheme. With every inch of standing water being equivalent to 5 lbs. of force, and since your roof is only allotted to withstand 20 lbs. of pressure, it will only take 4 inches of standing water to cause your roof to completely collapse in affected areas.
Wind is kind of like a gateway for other types of damages to affect your roof. With any roof design, the corners and edges take the brunt of the force. Over time, the wind will eventually peel back these areas and expose the insulation. Once this happens, you have an opening to allow water to flow into your home.
Depending on the size and severity of the storm, hail can be nothing to worry about or incredibly destructive. If they are large enough, the hail can damage individual shingles, allowing them to deteriorate more quickly than the others. In addition, a sustained storm can damage the material underneath the shingles, compromising its ability to prevent future water damages.
Ice and Snow
In many areas of the country, heavy snowfalls are fairly common through the winter months. As was earlier stated, the roof is only slated to withstand 20 lbs. of force. Using the same comparison as earlier, you should know that an inch of ice, 3-5 inches of compacted snow, or 10 inches of fresh powder all equal about 5 lbs. To make matters potentially worse, snow can refreeze on the edges of the roof, which prevents water from easily being able to roll off the sides. This can lead to added stress from the weight of the pooled water and snow.
Tree Limbs and Debris
While it stands to reason that you would notice a tree falling into your house, you may not notice a tree limb breaking off and rolling off of your roof and onto your lawn. This impact from the falling limb can damage the shingles and the material beneath them. This can lead to a likelihood of water damage.
This form of energy production is becoming more and more popular. The trouble is, a lot of times people don’t take the time to consider the damage that it could cause to a roof. While the installer might have done his job well, if you are concerned about the stress your unit could be putting on your roof, you should speak to a licensed professional to assess if there is any cause for concern.
Metal roofs are particularly susceptible to the damages caused by excessive heat. As metal sits in the hot sun, it flexes and stretches, putting stress on connections and seams. If these points become weak (as such conditions will do), they will be a quick avenue for water to penetrate the roof.
Spotting The Damage To Your Roof
Some people simply aren’t comfortable getting up on their roof. If this is the case for you, you should consider hiring a professional to do this checklist for you. If you are doing it yourself, here are some warning signs and damages you should be on the lookout for:
- Shingles/Shakes – You are going to do a thorough inspection of your entire roof. Look for missing and damaged shingles, signs of molding, and otherwise suspicious looking shingles.
- Flat Roof – Here, you will check for cracks and tears, irregularities in the seams, blistered areas and noticeable indentations.
- Cement – Here you are looking for any signs of crumbling.
- Flashing – Look closely for any tears or buckling.
- Fascia and Soffit – Start by inspecting the vents for any clogs that might exist. Additionally, pay close attention to any nearby shingles for damages.
- Chimney – Inspect the flashing that will go around the base of the chimney, also inspect bricks for damages or cracks.
- Gutter System – You will want to get rid of any clogs immediately. In your inspection, pay close attention to sags, leaking, rust or loose fitting connections.
Ensure that you are taking a look through the attic of your house as well for any signs of potential damages. Good indicators of roof damage in the attic are moisture, mold, drywall crumbling and peeling paint.
Repairing This Damage
Roof repairs need to be something that you take care of immediately. Even if it seems as though certain issues you found were more aesthetic, there could be underlying damages that you cannot see from your point of view. There are many spot repairs that can be done, but based on the severity of the issue, it could be something that genuinely requires an entirely new roof.
It would benefit you to talk to your insurance company if recent storms might have caused damages that you found, as repairs to these areas might be covered by your home insurance.
Do what you can to prevent the problems on your own. You can help by reducing the stress on your roof by removing built up snow, regularly checking after storms for damages to your roof, and understanding how your roof works completely.