Although late-spring thunderstorms are enjoyable for some, homeowners enjoy them while crossing their fingers for no major roof storm damage or siding damage.
If you live in Minnesota or other areas of the Midwest, you’re familiar with the wide range of severe weather we endure. From dumpings of snow and ice buildup to hail and harsh winds, we’ve seen it all. As a homeowner, understanding how to spot damage after a storm and when to call in a professional is key.
Noticing storm damage to your roof? Don’t forget to check for storm damage to your siding.
Causes of Roof Storm Damage
Severe storms can cause roof damage in many forms, such as cracks, holes, and dents, depending on the type of material your roof is made out of. You’re probably aware of hail, snow, and ice wreaking havoc, but roof damage from wind can also result in some pretty serious damage. Here, we’ve identified the top offenders for storm damage to roofing.
- Hail or Ice: Hail is oneof the most common causes of roof and siding damage. It can cause holes, cracks, dents, and other forms of damage to shingles, siding, gutters, and more.
- Strong Winds: Wind speeds between 47-54 MPH can be damaging to buildings, and speeds after 55 MPH can lead to severe roof, or structural damage. High winds cause shingles and siding to loosen up or even blow off, and this leaves your home at risk of more severe damage from water or snow.
- Heavy Rain: Water damage is one of the worst types of storm damage to deal with, and heavy rains can cause flooding and structural damage
- Snowstorms: Snow and ice buildup can result in ice dams, leading to cracked siding and gutters. Heavy snow on a roof can also lead to structural damage over time and put your roof at risk for collapse.
10 Common Signs of Roof Storm Damage
Here in the Midwest, we experience thunderstorms, rain, hail, and of course snow and ice during the winters. Wind damage to a roof is a little more difficult to spot, but luckily hail is easier and the most common form of roof damage from storms in this area. Below, we cover how to check a roof for hail damage, including what you should leave in the hands of a professional roofing company.
From heavy rainfall to winter winds, trust MEI’s experts to handle storm damage and restore your home.
One of the easier types of roof damage to spot are missing shingles, depending on the pitch of your roof. Missing shingles from roof wind damage put your home at risk of water seeping in. Do a thorough inspection from the ground and from any upper windows that allow for views of parts of your roof. You may even find full or partial shingles on the ground as you are doing the ground inspection of the property.
A storm-damaged roof will almost always involve some form of shingle damage. Wind, rain, hail, and ice can all result in shingle damage. Wind damage to shingles often looks like warped, lifted, or creased shingles, while hail damage results in dents and missing granules. Similar to missing shingles, these forms of shingle damage can leave your home at risk of water getting in but are much more difficult to spot so is best left to the professionals.
Visible Shingle Granule Debris or Loss
Roofing damage to asphalt roofs will likely involve the loss of the granules that sit on top of the shingles. These granules protect your roof from the elements. As your roof ages, it’s normal for the granules to start to fall off, but heavy rain and wind can expedite granule loss and leave your roof exposed.
Take a look at your shingles from the ground or any vantage points inside your home. If you notice any bare spots or horizontal lines, that may be a sign of damage. In addition, look out for piles of granules in the gutters or downspouts.
Soffit, Fascia, Gutter, or Flashing Damage
A DIY storm damage inspection sometimes overlooks these components of your home, which is why working with a professional is so important. The soffit, fascia, gutters, and flashing all exist to weatherproof your home and keep water out. Check these areas for signs of dents and cracks, and make sure none of them are loose or falling off.
Tree or Other Loose Debris
The most obvious on the list of signs of storm damage is a fallen tree on your roof or other parts of your home. Depending on where the tree landed and how hard, you may be looking at extensive repairs, or replacements entirely. Keep in mind that wind damage to a roof can happen without any obvious physical evidence. Having a full roof inspection is your best bet for ensuring all signs of damage are checked for, as broken branches can hit your roof and then blow elsewhere.
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For those in Minnesota, ice dams are an all too common gift of winter snowstorms. Ice dams are the layers of ice that build up on the edge of your roof due to cycles of thawing and freezing, moving up further and further on the roof. Allowing ice dams to form for longer periods makes them more difficult to remove and increases the resulting damage to your shingles, gutters, and roof.
Roof Support or Accent Damage
We’ve covered the shingles and other elements like gutters and soffits, but it’s important to look at roof supports and accents as well. Do an exterior check on any brickwork or cement for any cracks or crumbling. On the inside, take a peek in the attic for signs of discoloration or dampness to the support beams or insulation.
Ceiling or Attic Leaks
Rain damage to your home can present itself in plain sight or more discreetly. The more obvious sign is a physical water leak into your home through the ceiling or attic. Water leaks don’t always mean dripping – check for discoloration in the ceiling or dampness in the walls. Treating leaks and moisture as soon as possible is important because they can result in more severe issues down the line, such as mold and mildew.
Extreme wind and hail storms can cause damage to your chimney and allow water in. On the interior, check for signs of water entering like discoloration in the bricks or nearby walls. When inspecting the exterior, look for missing or crumbling bricks. While this is more difficult to spot, look for signs of slanting in your chimney as this can be an indication of damage and water entry.
Hidden damage is the most scary and a perfect example of why hiring professionals can really pay off in the long run. It’s relatively easy to spot dents in your siding or shingles blown off of your roof, but even a slightly displaced or warped shingle can allow for water leakage into your home. When you work with a roofing company like Minnesota Exteriors, you can guarantee our team leaves no stone unturned when it comes to evaluating your home for storm damage and getting the job done right.
Don’t risk further damage; let MEI’s experienced team help with all your roofing needs.
What To Do If You Have Roof Storm Damage
After a dreaded severe storm, knowing what next steps to take can feel daunting, especially if you are a first-time homeowner. We’re here to remove those barriers and get your home back into tip-top shape, all while saving you time and money. Let’s cover our simple checklist of what to do if you suspect roof damage from a storm.
Document the Damage
When evaluating your home for possible storm damage, be sure to take pictures of everything you notice. Save the photos in your phone or your storage place of choice. You may want to consider starting a central spreadsheet or document where you can keep all relevant photos and information. While most roofing companies will take care of this for you, it’s good to have a copy for your personal records.
Call a Professional For Roof Inspection
While DIY projects are great for certain things, roof inspection and replacement is definitely not one of them. Putting the safety hazard aside, the untrained eye will likely miss spots of damage that a professional would catch. Working with a professional will also guarantee that you complete the work properly, on time, and that your insurance covers it. Reach out to a verified roof contractor right away if you suspect storm damage to your roof.
Make Temporary Repairs
For severe signs of storm damage, you may have to implement temporary fixes if a professional cannot get to your home immediately. For water leaks in particular, do what you can do (safely) to stop the water from entering your home and avoid electrical outlets or wiring. When in doubt, reach out to a professional for temporary repair options to avoid long-term damage to your home while waiting for inspection and replacement.
Call Your Homeowner Insurance Provider
Once you’ve documented the damage, reached out to a professional for a roof inspection, and made any necessary temporary repairs, it’s time to contact your insurance provider to file a claim. It’s best to file a claim as soon as you can since some companies have a time window in which you must file after damage has occurred.
Depending on your provider, they may send an adjuster out to evaluate the damage. Some roofing professionals will choose to meet the adjuster at your home to ensure they account for all damage. From there, the insurance company will compensate you for the damage and the roofing company will coordinate with you to schedule the project.
Explore the Minnesota Exteriors blog to learn more tips for navigating all your home restoration and replacement questions.
How To Prevent Roof Storm Damage
While it’s impossible to avoid storms entirely, there are some steps you can take to keep your home more safe and secure. The suggestions below are important not just for preventing storm damage, but also ensuring that your home is functioning well and prepared for the storm seasons. You can incorporate most items in the list below into your home winterizing checklist and routine maintenance.
- Get A Roof Inspection: Work with a roofing company to get a professional inspection on your roof on a regular basis
- Clean Gutters: Keep your gutters free from leaves and other debris to maximize water flow and drainage. If you work with professionals like MEI, you can even get gutter screens installed to keep the gutters clear and easy to clean
- Winterize Your Home: Check your home’s exterior for cracks or holes in the siding, roof, and foundation, and make sure you have a plan for preparing your home for winters
- Regularly Check Your Attic: Make it a point to get up in your attic with a flashlight to check for signs of water damage at least once a year
- Let the Professionals Handle It: Although it might be tempting to try at-home repairs and fixes, entrust the big jobs like gutter installation and roof replacements to the experts to ensure they are done right.
Secure Your Home: Book A No-Cost Roof Inspection with Minnesota Exteriors
Keep your home safe and secure so you can enjoy it for years to come. With a few small steps like routine seasonal maintenance and proactively getting your roof inspected (especially post-storms), you can make sure your home is ready to weather whatever storm comes your way.
At Minnesota Exteriors, we offer free estimates on roofing, siding, gutters, and beyond. Check out our blog for more helpful tips and tricks for keeping your home in good shape. Whether you need a storm damage roof replacement or just an inspection to see if you have storm damage, trust the experts at Minnesota Exteriors.