Storm debris from hurricanes, high winds, and other stormy weather has taken a nasty toll on roofs all across the country this year. If you haven't already done so, arrange for inspections now so roofing contractors can make any repairs before winter.
Below, we outline some helpful tips for properly evaluating your home after a storm.
1. Inspect your attic first.
Begin by checking out the attic during the daytime. If you notice sunlight coming through the plywood decking, it might indicate a serious problem—holes in need of immediate repair. If there are no obvious holes, inspect the attic more closely with a flashlight.
Be on the lookout for dark stains, streaks, and/or sagging. All of these are a sign of moisture penetration and will need to be handled ASAP.
Pay attention to your energy bill, too.
High-energy bills are a common result of roofing damage, like punctures or missing shingles. If there are holes in your roof or attic, air can escape, causing your heating or cooling system to work overtime.
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2. Look for damage from the ground.
You should be able to see almost your entire roof from the ground. Walk around the perimeter of your home and look for the following signs of damage...
- Organic Debris: Small tree branches may not seem very threatening, but over time, they can rub shingle granules loose and may penetrate other roofing materials, allowing water to pool.
- Missing Shingles: Shingles ripped off during a storm should be replaced as soon as possible.
- Cracked and/or Curling Shingles: Cracked shingles allow for moisture penetration, and are usually caused by high winds or flying storm debris.
- Dark Patches: Patches of irregular color are the result of missing granules. In addition to decreasing the aesthetic style, bare patches result in UV damage and may lead to leaks.
- Bent or Misshapen Flashing: Flashing is placed around chimneys, skylights, vents, and other roofing additions. Bent or cracked flashing from a storm is one of the more common areas for water intrusion.
3. Carefully survey your roof.
If you’re comfortable getting on top of your roof, you’ll be able to get a close-up view of possible problems. Wait until the weather conditions are right, and climb a ladder to inspect your roof.
Hammer down loose nails.
Use a hammer to nail any loose or raised nail heads above the shingle's surface back into place.
Clear away gutter debris.
Clogged gutters contribute to a number of roofing problems, like pooled water, ice dams, and collapsed downspouts to name a few. Thankfully, clearing gutters is an easy task and will quickly get your roof back in shape.
Carefully inspect flashing.
Closely inspect any flashing around skylights, chimneys, and other roof additions. Keep a lookout for bent or cracked areas, and repair them quickly.
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4. If you find serious damage, hire a contractor.
If you notice serious storm damage that you can’t fix yourself, call a reputable roofing contractor as soon as possible.