Roof damage makes up some of the most common homeowners insurance claims year after year. There are a number of different types of roof damages that can occur to your roof during a storm. Within this guide, we’ll cover some of the different roof damage that will occur and how to avoid them and fix them.
If you currently have roof damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to Red Canyon Roofing. We’ll happily provide you with a free estimate for what it might cost to repair or replace your roof.
3 Types of Roof Damage
Hail damage is extremely common on the roofs of homes. There are a number of reasons why hail damage is so common and even more reasons as to why you should be aware of what hail damage looks like.
Causes of Hail Damage
You may think it’s obvious that the cause of hail damage is ice flying through the sky at your roof. While that’s definitely true, sometimes, what makes hail damage worse is the speed of the wind that blows the hail. Think of a golf ball falling from a high building. That golf ball will hit the ground very hard, but if the wind is blowing it as well, it will hit your roof at an even higher speed.
Wind and hail combined are one of the most common ways that roofs will be damaged. Hail is common across most of the United States and can be expected during spring, summer, fall, and winter, depending on where you live. Hail forms when warm air meets cold air during storms. Because wind is almost always common when hail forms in storms, roof damage will be expected from hail storms.
How to Spot Hail Damage
Spotting hail damage isn’t always difficult, but it will depend on how extensive the damage is. How badly a home is damaged from hail will almost always depend on how big the hail is. In some cases, hail can be as large as a grapefruit or as small as sleet. Some of the most common sizes of hail that cause damage are anything from pea size to the size of a quarter or silver dollar. Bigger sizes aren’t impossible to see, but they are far less likely.
Broken or Missing Shingles
It might seem easy to spot, but all too often, broken and missing shingles are ignored, and your roof may begin to leak. Spotting broken or missing shingles isn’t too difficult, and in many cases, you’ll be able to spot them from the ground. If your roof is steep or high, it can be difficult to see, but be careful if you decide to pull out a ladder. Ladders can be really dangerous, and if you’re not comfortable with them, you should call a professional to perform an inspection.
Bruised or Dented Shingles
Bruised and dented shingles can sometimes be seen from the ground, but they are much more difficult to spot, and in most cases, it takes a trained eye to see it. If any major hail storms come through your area, you’ll have to assume that you have some kind of damage. Many roofing companies will offer free inspections so that you don’t have to pay to get the roof looked at. Bruised and dented shingles look just like the name it implies. Dark circles form on the shingles where the hail comes in contact with the shingle and dents the fiberglass mat.
Damage to Vents
Vents are often designed to be very aerodynamic, and in many cases, they won’t perform as well if they become dented by the hail. Not to mention that they don’t look as nice, and your roof will lose its value because of the obvious damage. Insurance companies will almost always offer coverage on vents that become dented and damaged during storms.
Loss of Granules
Granules are the rock and sand-like substances on the outside of your shingles that help protect the shingles from hail or debris coming in contact with them. Unfortunately, the granules on your roof will only be able to hold up for so long. And, after a certain period of time or a big storm, the granules will fall off. You can look for excess granules near your downspouts, in your gutters, or you may be able to see your shingles balding if you have extreme granule loss.
The wind is another factor that can regularly affect and damage your roof. Too much wind can be detrimental to the integrity of your roof and can lead to several problems when it comes to roof leaks, damage, and more.
While there are several different ways that wind can damage your roof, here are a few of the biggest roof damages that you’ll need to be aware of.
One of the biggest things that is easily damaged on your roof from the wind is flashing. Flashing is the metal material that keeps water from running to the edge of your roof and into your siding. By having the proper flashing installed on your home, you’ll ensure that everything remains as water-tight as possible.
While flashing is always built to withstand the weather, sometimes the wind is too strong and can cause it to become bent or rip off completely. It’s always good to keep an eye on your flashing after any major weather system moves through your neighborhood.
Missing shingles can lead to water damage and eventually inhibit the structural integrity of your roof system. The wind is the leading cause of shingles coming loose and flying from your roof during a summer storm. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “fix” or way to prevent this from happening entirely, but there are precautions that you can take.
The best way to ensure that shingles stay on your roof where they’re supposed to be is to get them installed correctly. Incorrectly installed shingles will always be more likely to become a problem down the road. Another way to make sure your shingles stay on is to buy shingles that are rated for higher winds. Some shingles are designed so that they can handle high winds with ease.
Another way that wind can often cause damage is by clogging your gutters. Everyone knows that a windy day or high winds during a storm will lead to trees, leaves, and branches falling onto your roof. All of that debris can lead to clogged gutters.
While you might not think that clogged gutters are too much of a problem, you’d be surprised to find out that clogged gutters can often lead to rotted siding, roof edges and can even cause your gutters to become detached from your roof.
When winter comes, there is yet another factor to consider when keeping your roof clean and ensuring that it doesn’t get damaged before spring arrives.
Thankfully there aren’t too many different types of winter roof damage. But one of the worst things you have to watch for your roof is ice dams. When ice dams form on your roof they can put undue weight on your roof and destroy your shingles if left unattended.
What are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are build-ups of melted snow that reach your gutters and then begin to refreeze. As it refreezes at the edge of your roof, it begins to form a wall of ice that gets larger and larger every day.
As the ice dams grow over time, they can become so heavy that they can pull the gutters down. In most cases, ice dams are caused by poor insulation and venting in the attic area of your home.
Damage Caused by Ice Dams
As we already mentioned, the damage caused by ice dams can be somewhat severe. Large ice dams can damage your gutters, shingles, and if they get big enough can even damage the foundations of your roof.
Another problem they can cause is leaks. Because the ice dams trap water around the edges of your roof, water gets trapped and works its way into your home. This happens because your roof is designed to shed water and not to hold water. Standing water on your roof can work its way past your shingles and into your attic. The dams can also keep your roof from breathing and thus cause your attic to fill with humidity and cause leaks from the inside.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
There are a number of ways that you can work to prevent ice dams from building up on your roof. And, you really should try to keep them from starting to form on your roof at all because after they’re built up, you won’t be able to remove them easily. You may need to have a professional ice dam removal company come and get the ice dams off your home.
Here’s what you can do to prevent the ice dams from building up at all.
Use a Roof Rake
A roof rake can do a lot to help. All you need to do is stand along the edge of your roof and pull the snow from the edges. You won’t need to pull all of the snow off of your roof, but if you can pull off the majority of the snow, you’ll help the remaining snowmelt off in a clean fashion.
Shovel Off Your Roof
If you don’t have a roof rake and your roof isn’t very high or steep, you might be able to shovel it off. While we really don’t recommend that you do this because it can be very dangerous, it is possible, and some homeowners are comfortable with it.
Check Your Insulation
Ensuring that your attic and roof are properly insulated makes a huge difference and helps your roof handle the snow all on its own. Getting a home inspection where someone can come into your home and check the insulation for you is a great idea. Red Canyon would love to help you with this inspection. We can ensure that your roof is properly insulated and vented for the winter.
Condensation Damage in Attic
Moisture build-up in any part of your home is going to be a problem. Whether you find it in time or not, you’ll likely have to do some work to ensure that further damage doesn’t occur and that your home stays safe for your family.
Condensation build-up and damage in your attic can lead to long-term problems such as mold growth or rotting lumber. The last thing you’ll want in your home is expensive water damage that’s hard to control or contain as it spreads. Also, wet lumber is often more prone to pests and insects making their home in it.
But, there are ways to check for condensation damage and to ensure that your attic stays condensation-free throughout the winter months and the dramatic temperature changes that come with it.
Causes of Attic Condensation
Some of the leading causes of attic condensation are the same things that cause ice dams or uneven snow-melt on your roof, poor insulation. Over time, insulation can fall or get moved from its proper place in the home and be less effective. Older homes will settle, and the gaps in insulation can lead to significant energy escapes. When your home is warm in the winter and the warm air meets the cool air, condensation will occur. This can happen during the summer months as well when the cool air inside meets the extreme heat on the outside.
If you need help visualizing, think of how a glass bottle forms water on the exterior on a hot day. That water build-up can be extensive at times, especially when the temperature on the inside is close to 100 degrees different than the outside.
What to Look For
If you suspect that you have attic ventilation or condensation problems, there are a few ways to tell and a few things to look for:
- Signs of water or water trickling down.
- Musky and damp odor.
- Mold growing in your attic.
- Rust on electrical lines or on nails.
- Dark stains on lumber.
- Damp or wet insulation.
- Damp or wet wood.
- Watermarks on the floor of the attic.
- Moisture on glass window panes or other flat surfaces.
Any of these signs can show that you have some type of water damage in your attic. Knowing whether that water damage is caused by condensation or a leaky roof can sometimes be harder to tell. But, the easiest way to know is to call your local roofing contractor. They’ll be able to take a look and see what you’re dealing with.
How to Prevent Attic Condensation
If you’re sure that you have condensation in your attic, you’ll need to take steps to not only dry it and remove it but also to ensure that it doesn’t return. Here are some of the best ways to prevent attic condensation.
Seal the Attic to Reduce Air Leakage
Air leaks in your attic can be one of the leading causes of condensation build-up. Sealing your attic is usually a simple fix, but unfortunately, this task often gets neglected.
Improve Insulation in Your Attic
Insulation in your attic should be checked on every few years. With the hope of keeping your attic free of any pests and well-insulated, a check-up will help a lot. In addition, your roofing contractor should be able to check on your roof and let you know if you need to improve your insulation or not.
Improve Ventilation in Your Attic
Roof ventilation is essential to keeping your home or attic free of moisture and unwanted extreme temperature changes. When replacing or repairing a roof, be sure to check on the ventilation and that it’s getting the right amount of airflow. The last thing you’d want is stale air causing problems in the attic.
Ensure that All Vents Lead to Outside Your Home
The vents in your home, such as bathroom vents, dryer vents, and kitchen vents, should all lead through ductwork and directly outside. If steam or moisture is directed into your attic space, condensation will regularly build up and cause major problems in the future.
Venting a bathroom or dryer to the exterior of your home doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Contact the pros if you need help, or check out a YouTube video for some quick tips.
If you need help getting your roof repaired or replaced after a storm, reach out to us at Red Canyon Roofing! We’d love to help you take care of your roof and ensure that you don’t incur further damage due to leaking.