Your roof is designed to protect your home from rain and wind, but even the best roof will be vulnerable to storm damage eventually. Especially in states like Florida with stormy summers and devastating hurricane seasons, it’s important to be able to spot signs of storm damage to your roof so that you can make repairs as quickly as possible.
When Should I Inspect My Roof for Storm Damage?
No one’s saying that you need to inspect your roof every time that it rains. However, it’s a good idea to check for damage after a hurricane, once before storm season starts in early June, and again after the storm season ends in late November. The sooner you fix minor problems, the less likely they are to become major issues later on.
If you choose to inspect your roof yourself, you’ll need to take the proper safety precautions to reduce your risk of injury.
- Never conduct a roof inspection alone.
- Never walk on a wet roof.
- Never leave a ladder unattended.
- Keep at least 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times.
- If the storm damage includes hazards like downed power lines, do not attempt to access the area.
Don’t walk on the roof at all if you can help it. Instead, stay on the ladder and inspect the shingles from there. Not only is walking up there dangerous, but you may also do unnecessary damage to your shingles.
Assessing the Damage
The next time you inspect your roof, look for these 7 signs of storm damage so that you can save money on repairs and protect your home.
1. Damaged/Missing Shingles
High winds can cause your shingles to curl, crack, or fall off completely, creating gaps where water can get in and damage your home. The shingles on the edges and ridge lines of your roof are the most vulnerable to this type of damage, so these are the areas you’ll want to check first.
Wind can cause damage in other ways, too. Flying debris like tree branches and outdoor furniture can destroy shingles and put holes in your roof. However, not all shingle damage is this obvious. Something as small as a few loose nails in your shingles may lead to costly repairs down the road. This is why it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected professionally every few years.
2. Hail Damage
The sound of hail hitting your roof is hard to ignore, but the damage it causes can also be hard to spot. Hail damage can appear as round dimples in your shingles, or it can be as subtle as a few patches of missing granules. If shingles cracked by hail aren’t fixed, water can start to seep in through these small gaps.
3. Problems in the Attic
If you can’t climb up to your roof, the next best thing is to check your attic for signs of storm damage. Here, you’ll want to look for light shining through holes, water stains, and wet insulation.
Before you call a roofer, make sure that the water in your attic isn’t actually coming from your pipes. If that’s the case, you’ll want to call a plumber instead.
4. Water Damage on Walls & Ceilings
Discoloration on your walls and ceilings is a common sign of water damage caused by a leaky roof. If you notice a musty smell in your home the first few days after a storm, this could be a sign that mold has developed as well.
While you may be tempted to treat any stains or mold right away, the best thing to do is treat the source of the leak first. If you try to remove a stain before you fix the roof, it will just come back and all of your work will be for nothing.
5. Leaky/Clogged Gutters
Another good way to check for roof problems without having to touch a ladder is to inspect your gutters. It only takes a quick look to identify leaks, dents, rust, and bending.
The next time it rains, observe your gutter to make sure it’s not clogged. A clogged gutter may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can cause serious roof damage over time. After all, the purpose of a gutter is to direct water away from your roof – one clogged with debris after a storm can’t do that effectively. Water that’s left to sit on your roof will cause your shingles to sag, weaken, and crack.
6. Chimney Damage
Chimneys aren’t as common here in Florida as they are up north, but if you do have one, there are signs of damage you’ll want to check for after a major storm.
Start your inspection indoors by checking the moulding around your fireplace for water stains. Then, inspect the chimney itself. Can you see a gap between the chimney and the roof? This gap is allowing water to enter your home. To fix it, you’ll likely need to replace the flashing, which is what seals the joint.
7. High Energy Bills
If you don’t notice physical damage, you might notice the damage a roof problem does to your wallet. Cracks and holes in your roof can cause air to seep out, making your AC or heat work harder than it needs to. Fixing it can help lower your energy costs and keep your home more comfortable year round.
Protect Your Home with a Brand New Roof
Don’t want to be worrying about the condition of your roof every time lightning strikes? When repairs aren’t enough, you need a brand new roofing system installed by the skilled contractors at Westchase Roofing in Tampa, Florida.
The strong asphalt shingle roofing systems we install are guaranteed to protect your home from the unpredictable Florida weather for many years to come. And with a wide variety of shingle styles and colors available, your home is guaranteed to look great, too! Contact Westchase Roofing today to learn more about our installation and replacement services and to request a free quote.