As your primary barrier against the weather, your roof takes a serious beating during spring and summer storms. High wind, heavy rains and golf ball size hail can damage the roof significantly, leading to leaks and structural deterioration.
Both hail damage and wind damage are common occurrences with devastating consequences, but fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to lessen or prevent damage from a powerful storm.
High Wind and Hail Damage Prevention Tips
High wind and hail damage can be a costly problem, and while home insurance policies typically cover most forms of it, there are exceptions and exclusions that can leave you on the hook. That’s why it’s important to implement some simple but effective storm damage prevention strategies:
- trim nearby trees, check them for cracks in the trunk and other signs of decay, remove if necessary
- clean your gutters to maximize water drainage
- upgrade to storm-proof windows and doors
- inspect your roof and fix any issues you discover
- invest in impact-resistant shingles when you replace your roof
- install wind shutters to protect vulnerable windows
Dealing With Winds And Hail Damage
Step #1: Assessign the Damage – The improtance of Roofing Inspection
The best way to assess the condition of your roof after any type of storm is to hire a professional roofing contractor to perform a thorough roofing inspection. Your roofer will assess the extent of the damage including the condition of your roofing material, and integrity of your gutters. It is important to have damage evaluated before you incur a costly attic or interior leak, so don’t wait to initiate a claim. This is especially important of shingles have been damaged all the way through to the fiberglass matting, as water infiltration is then likely to take place.
Unfortunately, wind and hail damage is not always easy for homeowners to spot, so it is important to hire an experienced professional to assess the condition of your roof. They will consult with you about what they find and can make recommendations about whether a repair or a call to your insurance company is warranted.
7 Signs of Hail Damage
Hail can be very damaging to your property. Ranging in size from ½ inch to golf ball-sized, hail can cause:
- Missing asphalt granules
- Bruises or blistered indentations in shingles
- Cracked, split or loose shingles
- Damage to the underlayment
- Damage to soft metal (valleys, roof vents, flashing)
- Damage to skylights
- Damage to siding and windows
7 Signs of Wind Damage
While many homeowners understand the hazards of storm, hail and tornado damage, few realize that high winds can also cause significant damage to your roof. Most wind damage that occurs on roofs start on the edge of the roof systems. Wind gusts of 75 to 85 miles have been found to damage shingles or even lift them from rooftops, especially if the shingles are aging or are improperly sealed. Unfortunately, missing shingles can expose your home’s roof to costly water damage if they’re not replaced before the next storm comes along.
It is typically changing wind speed and changing wind direction that causes shingles to become dislodged. When this occurs, dirt, leaves, branches and other debris blows underneath the shingles and speeds deterioration of your roofing underlay. Between the underlay damage and the shingles loss, you may need to repair or replace large portions of your roof.
- Tears in window and door screens
- Visible window cracks or caulking displacement
- Porch and garage light damage/breakage
- Broken tree limbs
- Water seepage in attic
- Water stains on ceiling or drywall
- Visible shingle or gutter damage
Step #2: Filing Insurance Claim
If you discover you roof sustained damage due to the windstorm, contact your insurance agent to determine whether you should file a claim. Coverage is not guaranteed and depends on the age of your roof, the area you live in, your insurance type/details, and many other factors, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the policy, preferably before you need to file a claim.
There are certain steps you should take to make your roofing repair claim process smooth and easy, so ensure you’re following the rules and standards: be proactive, know insurance claim pitfalls to avoid, ask questions, and provide adequate documentation. Your roofing contractor should also guide you through the process, so selecting the right contractor is key.
Step #3: Handling Repairs
If you detect problems, you can repair them yourself if you’ve got the confidence and know-how. DIY roof repairs can save you some money, so long as you have the skills to get the job done properly. If your roof needs only minor repairs, chances are you’ll be making an affordable investment in preventing much more costly problems down the road.
However, and especially if you’re filing an insurance claim, it’s best to leave storm repairs to professionals who have the right skills and are experienced in handling these types of problems. Hiring a professional contractor will provide confidence that your roof is restored to its full functionality and will protect your home for years to come.
Beware of storm chasers: fly-by-night companies who come through the area trying to profit from the recent damage. Storm chasers follow severe weather from region to region, going door-to-door to sell their services and often leaving before your roof can be properly completed. Even when they do finish the job, be assured they won’t be around when you have questions—or need warranty work done.
We Handle All Types of Roofing Repairs
Unfortunately not all wind and hail damage is preventable. If you find your home or business damaged after a major storm, you can count on LGC Roofing to help you get back on your feet. If you experience wind or hail damage, call on our experienced team to schedule a FREE ESTIMATE – call 609-712-8157 in NJ or 215-932-7850 in PA.