Storm & Wind damage
What storm damage might look like. Sometimes, the signs of a damaged roof are pretty obvious, like water spots on a ceiling or curled, buckling or missing roof shingles. You may also see broken or damaged roof flashing, wet walls, water issues around your home’s exterior, or winter ice damming.
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Thunderstorms, wind storms, hail storms, and even tornadoes can all cause wind damage to your property – and even high winds can wreak havoc on unsecured structures or rooftops, causing roof leaks and other potentially catastrophic roof damage.
If you live in south Florida wind damage or wind storms are a regular occurrence, you should know how to handle wind damage insurance claims and similar insurance issues, which are often covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy – but as always, examine the policy and see if you are covered for wind damage to your roof or other property, or if you need to sign up for additional wind insurance coverage.
Did you have storm or wind damage and need some assistance with your claim? Rhino Roofs can help! Don’t go to the insurance company by your self have an experienced professional help you with that battle.
what is wind damage?
Wind damage to your property can occur when you experience any kind of storm or other weather event with high winds.
Most people associate wind damage with major storms like tornadoes and hurricanes, but any high winds can cause property damage.
“Damaging winds” or “straight line winds” are classified as exceeding 50 to 60 miles per hour but can reach up to one hundred miles per hour.
IDENTIFYING STORM DAMAGE
High winds can tear and remove shingles, leaving the roof deck, underlayment or old shingles from a previous roof exposed to the elements.
Wind can also lift and curl shingles by breaking the seal that bonds them together, leaving your roof vulnerable to wind-driven rain.
Debris, Tree Branches, and a Wind Damaged Roof
Wind storms and other significant weather events can also cause debris like broken glass from windows, tree branches, and other items that could potentially damage your property can often be just as or even more damaging to your roof than the strong winds themselves.
Tree branches and glass can gouge, scratch, or even puncture your roofing materials in addition to the wind damage.
You can protect your property as much as you can by keeping any trees trimmed and free of overhanging branches near your roof.
After a major wind storm, thunderstorm, or similar weather, you should check out your roof and the rest of your property for debris on the roof along with the gutters and downspouts, because tree branches, leaves, and such can clog them up, which can cause plenty of issues in the future.
Fallen trees and other large objects are best removed by professionals with the experience and equipment to execute these tasks safely – do not attempt to remove fallen trees, large branches, or similar debris from wind damage on your own.
How To Tell If You Have Wind Damage To Your Roof
The effect that wind damage has on your roof depends on the type of roof you have, as well as the range and power of the winds.
That’s why it’s important to immediately inspect your roof after a storm or wind event (of course, wait until the weather event is over and things are safe – and always call a local roofer if you’re unsure or don’t want to get up on a ladder on your roof).
You can start by checking for missing or curled, cracked, torn, or otherwise damaged shingles on your rooftop and around your home or other property, since shingles or other roofing materials may have blown off during the wind events.
Sometimes, you may be able to address the wind damage problem yourself, particularly if you are handy and experienced with DIY repairs and the damage is relatively localized (think less than 30% of the overall roof).
However, if you suspect the damage is significant, do not try to get up on your roof yourself – call a professional roof inspector who has the proper experience and tools to climb up and check out your roof for wind damage safely.
If you’re tech-savvy type and have a drone (or a friend or family member who can help you out with one), you can use that drone to inspect your roof safely and get detailed images of potential damage.
You should also be sure to examine the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, fencing, and gutters, since they can also become damaged by strong winds.
Inspect the roof from inside the attic or wherever you can access it from the inside is also essential – this may show you a different view of potential damage or spots where roof leaks may occur.
Brown, gray, or yellow water spotting, peeling or cracks in the wall paper or paint, and damp rafters or ceilings are one sign that your roof may have been compromised by wind damage or related problems.
If you have recently experienced a major increase in energy costs that can’t be explained in another way, you may have also have damaged ventilation in your roof.
Types Of Wind Damage to Your Roof
If you have a shingled roof, you may experience more wind damage during storms or high winds than property owners with flat roofs or other types of roofs, since winds can “lift” or curl the shingles.
Here’s a list of what type of roof damage that you should be looking for depending on the type of roof you have on your property:
- Wood damaged shingles or shakes: splitting, shingles blown off, curling, and mold or decay over time
- Composition shingles: broken, damaged, or missing shingles, curling, and a loss of granulation.
- Roofing cement: crumbling, ripples, and unevenness in the cement.
- Flat roof: cracks, tears, blisters, or wrinkles, especially in areas that have previously been patched. You should check those patched areas from inside the attic, crawl space, or top floor of your house if you have access.
- Flashing: tears, punctures, and buckling, especially around the corners.
- Chimneys: Look for damaged bricks, loose or missing flashing, or cracks in the joints or cap. Because a chimney can settle separately from the rest of the house’s structure, chimney flashing is especially prone to damage and tearing. The chimney may even be leaning or listing to one side if the wind damage is severe.
- Soffits, fascia, and ridge vents: decay, stains, curling or missing shingles, tears in the flashing, or clogged or damaged vents.
- Gutters: bent, sagging, or even missing sections of the gutters or downspout need to be repaired as soon as possible. Leaky seams, decay, rust, damage to where the gutters attach to the structure (the gutter will feel loose – like it might fall off easily). Also, be aware that clogged gutters can freeze shut in the winter, which can cause ice dams, excessive weight on the gutter attachment points, and slippery paths below the gutters.
Of course, more extensive wind damage to your roof from a storm that features strong or high winds or other weather events may require a complete replacement.
This may be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy.
Talk to a professional contractor for costs and a public adjuster to help you make an insurance claim – read on to learn more about that process.
YOUR STORM DAMAGE CHECKLIST
So you think you need a new roof. Don’t worry. This helpful guide will walk you through everything you need to know — and everything you need to do — to make your roof replacement go smoothly.
NOTE: We recommend that you do not attempt to climb up on your roof. Especially after a storm, the roof structure may be weakened and shingles may be slippery. If you suspect roof damage, call a professional contractor you can trust to assist you with your assessment.
- Assess your roof for storm damage. Walk around the perimeter of your home and photograph or take note of any damage. Obvious signs of damage may include dented, torn, curled or missing shingles.
- Check gutters, roofing accessories and windows. Though your shingles may appear undamaged, dents in gutters and roof vents may point to hidden roof damage. Also be sure to inspect windows for cracks, loose weatherstripping and torn screens.
- Inspect the area around your home. Check for fallen tree limbs, broken fences and damage to lawn furniture and exterior decorations. Look closely at flat surfaces such as patios and decks for signs of hail damage.
- Look for leaks and water spots in your attic and ceilings. Even though your roof may appear undamaged from the outside, wind and hail may have caused leaks that can lead to problems later. Check ceilings and light fixtures for signs of water and inspect your attic closely with a flashlight.
- Call a contractor you can trust. After a storm, there may be a lot of contractors competing for your attention. Make sure you choose a contractor you can trust — such as an Owens Corning™ Roofing Preferred or Platinum Preferred Contractor — to assess your damage, provide an estimate and replace your roof using proven products.
- Call your homeowner’s insurance company. Refer to your notes, report a claim with your insurance company and arrange for an inspection.
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