A few short weeks ago in early May, severe rainstorms in Houston brought with them golf ball-sized hail, reaching the size of baseballs in some regions. If you were among the thousands of affected families, it may be time to have a professional inspect your roof and home for damage.
Drastic hail damage, such as smashed windows, is easy to spot and arrange repairs for. However, don’t assume you just got lucky if your home escaped severe damage. Even without knocking a hole in your roof or dislodging shingles, hail can leave subtler problems behind. A professional roof repair company can help you assess the total damage and decide whether a full replacement or a few repairs are necessary.
Your roofing materials will help you determine the extent of the damage and potential repair costs. For instance, a metal roof will dent when exposed to heavy, rapid-fire hail. A minor dent might cause a little trouble with water flowing off your roof, while a major dent could be an indication of more severe damage underneath in your home itself. Meanwhile, clay or wooden shingles will split or shatter in a hailstorm, allowing damage to spread quickly.
Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material, may lose granules during a hailstorm. In a severe case, the damage will be obvious. Other times, the missing granules will be so subtle that only a professional eye can spot them. Either way, missing granules indicate a high level of force from the hail and could be a symptom of more severe damage under the tiles. At the very least, the newly formed weak spot can turn into a leak.
What Will Your Insurance Cover?
Your roofing company can help you negotiate with your insurance provider and determine your next course of action. If the damage is severe enough that a full replacement is necessary, your insurance company will pay for a new roof. However, repairs get tricky. Some insurance providers consider certain minor repairs as cosmetic and not as critical as emergency storm repair. Your best strategy is to have your roof professionally inspected and then negotiate with your insurance company with an estimate in hand.
Pro Tip: From time to time, have your roof inspected even if you aren’t sure any damage has occurred. A professional opinion can help you prevent a minor problem from becoming worse in severe weather.
Is More Damage Likely?
Is local weather projected to get even worse and potentially damage your roof further? More importantly, how long can you really wait to fix the immediate problem? A few missing granules off a shingle ultimately require a new shingle, but your roof won’t start leaking immediately. On the other hand, missing shingles or leaks require immediate attention. Talk with your roofing contractor for a long-term plan and timeline for your roof repair.
Repair or Replace the Roof
Ultimately, your decision to replace the whole roof or pay for a few repairs will depend on your roof builder’s suggestions, the extent of the damage, your insurance’s contribution, and the likelihood of things getting worse. Different circumstances call for different solutions. Find the solution that works best for your situation.
A well-built roof is your home’s first line of defense against heavy rain, hail, and other damages from severe weather. But what happens when the roof takes damage? Depending on the severity of the storm and the extent of the damage, you will likely have to take action quickly to repair your roof.
When your roof has suffered storm damage, the best course of action is to determine how bad the damage is and contact a professional roof builder immediately. Don’t delay! The longer your roof sits unrepaired, the more likely you are to suffer further damage in the meantime.
As soon as it is safe to do so, go outside and perform a self-assessment of your roof damage. Take pictures to document everything for insurance purposes later. A few missing or dislodged shingles might not need repairs quickly, but huge patches of missing shingles or cracks in the roof need immediate attention.
Contact a Professional for a Repair Estimate
Once you know the extent of the repairs you’ll likely need, contact your local roofing company for an estimate on repair cost and time. If the same company built your roof originally, talk to them about their warranties and insurance. How much of the payment will come out of your pocket? Contact your own insurance company as well to see what they will cover.
Pro Tip: If your local roofing company can’t perform repairs immediately, ask for a temporary fix or covering to prevent further problems with your roof.
Don’t Hire a Storm Chaser
Above all, don’t get scammed! After severe weather damages several local houses, “storm chasers” often appear out of the woodwork offering quick roofing repairs. However, very often these companies perform subpar repairs or none at all and just disappear with homeowners’ money. If a roofing company you’ve never heard of tries to solicit your business, ignore them. More than likely, they’re trying to scam you. Stick with a verified roofing company you can trust to actually help you.
Dealing with Severe Weather Damage
Don’t let your storm-damaged roof sit in disrepair and continue allowing the elements into your home. Get in touch with a professional roofing repair service and keep the problem from worsening. Your newly repaired roof will be able to withstand future storms.
Connect with us to learn more about the storm damage repair services we offer.
While weatherproofing your roof and home can drastically decrease the damage caused by a storm, no protective measure is perfect. Particularly nasty storms can still cause some damage to your roof. This hurricane season, we can expect severe thunderstorms that could give you trouble. After a storm passes, make sure to inspect your roof for any damage that requires an immediate fix.
Catching roof damage in its early stages prevents the problem from spreading and costing you more in repairs later on. Even if you’re fairly confident your roof can withstand a storm, perform a brief inspection after a particularly nasty bout with wind and rain. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Even if you can’t see any uncovered spots on your roof, a water stain on the inside will tell you there’s a leak. Water spreads quickly and can cause expensive damages, so the sooner you can catch a water stain, the better. Check the inside of your roof for dark, warped, or damp spots.
Pro Tip: If you find mold growing inside your roof, you’ve likely had a water leak for a while. It’s time to call for emergency repairs.
Houston doesn’t get hail often, but it definitely leaves an impression. After a hailstorm, look for dents or fractures on your roof that could let in water. Check the inside for water stains as well even if nothing seems immediately obvious. Hail is not a force of nature to be reckoned with. Make sure it doesn’t destroy your roof.
Cracked, Missing, or Curling Shingles
Asphalt shingles do a remarkable job repelling water as long as they’re in place. If wind or falling debris dislodge your shingles, water can get in through your roof and damage your home. Shingles can also curl in the hot sun if they aren’t nailed down properly, providing more entryways for rain. Always check after a storm and note any shingles that are missing or appear to be broken. An emergency repair service will provide you with a temporary leak cover while they work on a long-term solution.
Inspecting for Roof Damage
As you assess the state of your roof after a storm, remember that you will likely not catch everything. Call a professional roofing company for a roof inspection and assessment of the damage. Once you have a better idea of what happened and how much damage occurred, you can make plans to repair your roof.
Hurricane season is coming up! Is your home ready? You’re probably stocking up on nonperishable food, checking for leaks around windows, and performing general maintenance to keep out the weather. These are absolutely important when severe weather can come at any time. But what about the roof? Your entire house needs to be prepared.
Don’t wait until the last minute to weatherproof your roof. With the proper forethought, you can have a few preventive measures and weatherproof roof features installed during the initial project. Talk to your roof builder about a few roofing materials or strategies that could save you trouble during hurricane season later on.
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have shingles on your rooftop. Asphalt shingles do an excellent job of repelling rainwater, but if they blow off your roof in high winds, the rain can get inside. Ask your roofing service about adding a few extra nails to hold your shingles onto the roof and prevent potential leaks.
Pro Tip: For a tiled roof, your repair service will probably add a sealant around any cracks and edges to further repel water. Talk to your contractor for details and options.
When a roof is installed, the builders line the interior of the roof with a final layer of underlayment, usually tar paper. See if your roofing company offers an option for waterproof underlayment for further leak protection. The waterproof layer costs more than standard tar paper, but you don’t need to cover the entire roof, just edges and weak areas that could leak in a storm. Those few extra dollars could save you hugely expensive repairs later.
The gutters around your roof direct rainwater to flow away from vulnerable spots on your roof. In a typical rainstorm, they function just fine. But the high winds of a hurricane or severe thunderstorm could throw leaves and debris into your gutters, clogging them up and causing water to pool in dangerous areas. Installing a gutter guard, a grate over your gutters, will allow rainwater to flow out while preventing leaves from clogging them up. In addition to a reinforced roof, redirecting the rain will reduce your risk of water damage.
If you’re getting an entirely new roof ahead of hurricane season, consider switching to a metal roof. Solid metal is hands-down the most durable roofing material on the market, leaving almost no room for leaks. And don’t worry about appearances! Modern metal roofs come in as many colors as tiles or shingles. Your new roof can be both stylish and weatherproof.
Preparing for Severe Weather
As you reinforce both your home and your rooftop in anticipation of hurricane season, remember that no preparation is entirely flawless. A particularly severe storm could still cause some damage to your home. But your efforts can keep damage and leaks to a minimum. Talk to your roofing contractor about the best methods and materials to protect your home this summer.
Join the conversation to see how other homeowners reinforced their roofs to withstand severe wind and rain.