Your home’s roof is its first line of defense against unfavorable weather conditions. It protects your home from leaks, moisture buildup, mold growth, structural issues, and much more. However, like any other shield, it accumulates wear and tear over time. That’s why it’s so important to inspect your roof for storm damage from time to time.
Especially after a big storm hits your area. You might find signs that it’s time to fix your roof during the inspection. And the sooner you find them and do all the necessary repairs, the better.
Sadly, only some homeowners know how to properly and safely inspect a roof. This comprehensive guide should help you get all the necessary information and directions to do just that and find any storm damage before it causes too big of a problem.
Inspect the ground first.
Ironically the first thing you should do when inspecting your roof for storm damage is to check the ground around your home. By doing this, you are looking for any noticeable collateral damage. This part of the inspection assesses how much you must do to inspect your roof. If you look around your property and don’t find any damage anywhere, there’s no need to be extremely thorough when inspecting the roof.
Chances are that there’s little to no damage up there either, so there’s no need to risk your safety by claiming up on your roof to inspect it in detail. However, a lot of collateral damage on the ground level is a sign that you should be very thorough in your inspection. Here is a short list of some of the main things you should be looking for:
- Dings or scratches on your garage door,
- Holes in window screens,
- Damage or splatter marks on outside fixtures (ex., HVAC unit, electric meter, grill, and so on),
- Dents in your downspouts,
- Damaged or missing siding,
- Shingles on the ground,
- Asphalt granules on the ground,
Check for gutter damage.
Your gutters can suffer serious damage during heavy storms from being hit by debris. If your gutter system stops working properly, your roof is at risk of collecting too much moisture and leaking. In general, there are two main things you should do when inspecting your gutters after a storm:
- straightforward. All you have to do is walk around your house and look at your gutters. You should be checking for any visible dings, dents, or holes. These can be patched up quickly. In the worst-case scenario, a heavy piece of debris, such as a large branch, could pull the gutters away from the roof. Again, this calls for immediate repair. It doesn’t just make your roof system more sensitive; it will also pose a safety hazard if it falls.
- Check for clogs with a ladder – Clogs are more of a long-term issue. If your gutter is blocked for too long, the debris buildup can become so heavy that it pulls the gutter away from the roof. It also stops them from adequately draining rain away from your roof. This means your roof will be even more susceptible to damage when the next storm happens.
Inspect for piles of leaves!
Another way you can inspect your roof for storm damage safely from the ground is by checking it for piles of leaves. These piles are both a sign of damage and can cause it. If you see that debris and leaves are easily piling up in one spot on your roof after a few storms, there’s a chance your roof caved in in that spot. These piles also trap moisture. A moisture buildup such as this one doesn’t only create leaks. It also has the potential to warp or damage shingles.
Check for damage to roof flashing and/or vents
If prior inspection calls for you to go up on the roof, the first thing you should check up there is the flashing and vents. This step is most often necessary after hail storms. If it was strong enough for you to find dents in metal parts of your roof, like the vents and flashing, chances are that your roof has suffered serious damage and requires more intense repairs. Keep in mind that these repairs are usually very strenuous for your whole home, and you likely won’t be able to live there while they’re going on. Additionally, experts from State to State Move advise protecting any valuable possessions and furniture during the repairs by storing them in a short-term storage rental or at a loved one’s place.
Check if any shingles are damaged or missing
The essential thing to do to inspect your roof for storm damage properly is to inspect the shingles. Harsh storms can lift, damage, and even rip shingles off your roof. Loose roof shingles should be addressed rights away, and ignoring them can be very dangerous.
One important thing to note is that climbing up on the roof to inspect the shingles is very dangerous. The best option is to get a professional roofer to help you out. But, if you have experience with doing so, make sure to take all of the necessary safety precautions. Also, remember to inform someone about what you’re doing so they can respond quickly and appropriately if something goes wrong.
Remember to inspect the attic
Finally, inspecting your attic is a much safer way to check for storm damage and leaks. This should be done after every storm with heavy rain. This can help you notice damage that you might not be able to see from the ground/your ladder/the roof exterior.
Firstly, you should check the wooden parts of your attic’s construction. If you notice any soft spots, there’s a chance they have rot. Secondly, you should also check for water damage on the attic ceiling.
Water damage is a clear sign of leaks, and you should immediately call a professional if you find any. Leas should be less common if your home is newly built, and you move there during the rainstorm season. And while bad weather doesn’t have to stop you when it comes to moving, it might prevent you from relaxing in your new home immediately. So no matter how low the chances are, you should still check your new attic for leaks.
To wrap up
Just like your roof protects your home, sometimes it needs to be protected. One of the best ways to do that is to inspect your roof for storm damage regularly. If you find anything serious during an inspection, make sure to call professionals. Most of the time, trying to DIY roof repairs won’t pay off. Some forms of damage can turn into serious problems. However, as long as your inspections are regular and your responses are swift, your roof should be able to serve you for years to come without problems.