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.
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.
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.