How to check for roof damage after a storm
Call a roofing contractor if you notice any damage after a storm. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Matthew H.)
The roof is the most exposed part of the home, and it constantly takes a beating from the elements. Hail storms, strong wind, ice and tree limbs are all know to cause considerable damage to roofs.
The best way to ensure a long life for your roof is to perform regular inspections - especially after storms.
Wind can cause considerable damage to a roof. During major thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes, the force of the wind can tear shingles from the roof or knock objects like tree branches into your roof. Shingles have a sealing strip between them to protect the roof. During a storm, wind often breaks the seal between the shingles, allowing water to compromise the system. Although this damage may not be visible, it often leads to roof replacement.
Other signs of wind damage include missing shingles or metal fascia (including the metal pieces around the chimney), damage to the exhaust pipes, valleys, outer edges and changes in the angle of the roof to the walls.
Hail is another common cause of roof damage. Generally, hail damage comes in three forms: cracks, dents and dimples. Cracks are the most severe of the three, and are caused by large hail. Dimples, on the other hand, are the least severe but the most common, caused by small-sized hail. In most cases, dimples do not cause major roofing problems, but they do damage the outer layer of shingles, leaving the roof more vulnerable to the elements.
If you live in an area where hail is common, you should pay attention for signs of hail damage. "In Colorado, there is at least one hail storm a year," says Tyler Moore of Denver-area roofing company Masters Touch Roof Co. The size, density and length of the hailstorm are all indicators of the severity of the damage. If you suspect roof damage, or if problems are found, call a roofing contractor for an inspection.