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How to Check your Roof for Damage After a Storm

How to Check your Roof for Damage After a Storm

Storms damage thousands of roofs every year in Florida. Hail can damage asphalt and wood shingles and ceramic tiles, while tornado’s and hurricanes can tear, lift or shift asphalt shingles, strip shingles and tiles right off a roof, and even damage the structure of the roof itself. Many thunderstorms have heavy enough winds to do damage too.

After every serious storm, you should check your roof for damage. If you detect any, contact your insurance company to file a claim, then get in touch with a professional roofing contractor who can provide damage assessment and perform the repair. If you’re not sure whether there’s damage, call a Florida roofing contractor to make a determination for you, then contact your insurance agent if any is found.

How to Look for Roof Damage

If you have water leaks in or near the ceiling in the house, you’ve got roof damage – no question about it. But not all ceiling leaks go “plink, plink, plink” in the middle of the floor. Walk around inside the house, looking for damp spots where the walls and ceiling meet on exterior walls. If you dodged that bullet, it’s time to check the exterior.

Walk around your house, looking for pieces of roofing or flashing that have fallen on the ground and for shingles or tiles, pieces of flashing, or gutters and downspouts that are visibly displaced. If all looks good on the ground, it’s time to examine the roofing itself. Are all the shingles and tiles in place and lying flat?

We advise against climbing onto your own roof to do the inspection because more than 130,000 people are injured in the United States every year due to falls from ladders. Instead, use binoculars for a closer look.

What to Look For

Hail can cause a noticeable pattern of damage to asphalt, fiberglass or composition shingles. A really hard hailstorm can crush the mineral granules or knock them right off, leaving the shingles looking black and soft or shiny. Really large hailstones can produce visible dents on asphalt and wood shingles as if someone pounded with a ball peen hammer all over your roof. Wood shingles can also be split by hail.

Right after the storm, the splits will be darker than the upper surface of the shingles because they remain wet longer. Look for orange or brown lines running from top to bottom on individual shingles.

If hail was accompanied by really high winds – the kind that accompanies tornado’s and hurricanes – look for broken windows and dents and patterns of chipped paint on the siding too. You’ll want to report as much of the damage as possible all at once to your insurance company.

When large branches or trees fall on a roof, they may cause serious structural damage that could make a house unsafe. Get out and stay out until you can have a contractor assess the damage. If the home is determined to be unsafe, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of temporary housing.

If you do need roof repair or replacement, talk to your contractor. Experienced Florida roofing companies know what works best and last longest in our challenging climate.

In the Jacksonville area, contact Quality Discount Roofing for storm damage assessment, repairs, and complete roof replacement. They’re your trusted friend in the roofing business.