Unexpected Damage From Storms
Many of us
love nothing better than watching clouds roll up a storm or hearing the rain from
a thunderstorm against the windows as we doze off to sleep. But it is the
aftermath that we aren’t fond of – especially if that rain and storm involved hail,
high winds, or worse, a tornado – when we discover roof storm damage.
Not all storms
will produce torrent rain or damaging hail though, but the wind that comes
along can do plenty of damage on its own. Enough in fact, that roofs sustain
damage from the straight-line wind bursts that come with every storm. Those
wind bursts can reach 50mph and will cause roof storm damage, topple trees,
knockdown power lines, and blow debris all over the neighborhood.
It is because
of these possibilities that experts and insurance companies recommend no matter
how small a storm may have been, once it has passed, every homeowner should do
a walk-a-round their home looking for possible roof storm damage.
What should you do if a storm is damaged?
The one thing that everyone has in
common after a storm, is the upheaval in their lives. Suddenly, your home and
the life you know is upside down and for the first day or two, it can be overwhelming
as you see the roof storm
damage and other damage. Here, we offer some tips that will help you get
things back on track and head toward normalcy again.
First Thing Is Safety
If your house as sustained any flooding, lightning, or wind, these
are the most serious dangers to be aware of. If the flooding isn’t addressed
quickly, the growth of mold is multiplying every second. If the winds pulled
own live power lines, the risk of touching them or worse, lightning strikes
them, electrocution or fire is a very real possibility. If your home has any roof storm damage, cover
those areas with tarps immediately.
The first thing you should do is leave and find a safe place to
take shelter, whether it is with family, friends, a hotel, or an emergency
shelter, you need a place to stay while the insurance company determines the
damage. Pack a few days’ worths of clothing and personal items and do not
return to your house until the authorities or your insurance company declare it
Document the Damage
Before any storm, take pictures of your home so that you have
something to compare should your home ever have storm damage. After a storm, document
any roof storm damage
and other damage caused by the storm at the earliest possible time. Taking
pictures of the damage and noting the possible problems that could evolve, such
as crumbled drywall, busted plumbing, and power line exposure.
Filing Insurance Claim
Before you find yourself in the position of filing insurance
claims, you should read through your policy and learn what storm damage to roof covered by insurance
that you have. Then, the first phone call after a storm should be to your homeowner’s
insurance company. They will assign an adjustor or claim representative to
visit the site and assess the damage.
This will require you working with them to get the repairs done,
and it is going to require a lot of patience on your part, especially if the
storm left a widespread amount of damage. Your insurance company will pay for any roof storm damage and
other damage after you have paid your deductible. Flood damage is not included in most insurance
policies, this is typically another policy with a flood insurance company, so
if you have any flood damage, you’ll need to contact them as well.
The next call to make is to a clean-up company that focuses on
disasters. They will visit the site and evaluate what needs to be done, working
with your insurance companies, and start the process of cleaning up post-flood,
including any roof storm
File For Federal Assistance
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will arrive in storm-damaged
areas to provide victims assistance in a variety of ways. This is government-funded
and will include temporary housing, meals, temporary repairs such as tarping roof storm damage, and assistance
with filing claims with your insurance company.
How do you know if you have roof damage?
There are obvious signs that your roof needs repair, like roof storm damage that
results in a tree sitting on top of it, a high-wind, or a tornado blew it off
your house. But there are other indicators you should look for, after a storm,
or no storm, that can indicate you have roof damage:
- Cracked, Curled, Missing Shingles: Any of these are standout indications that your roof is at the end of life, or at the very least, needs repairing.
- Dark, Dirty, Wet Looking Shingles: If your shingles are trapping moisture instead of shedding moisture, they are no longer doing what they are intended to do.
- Gutters Filled With Granules: Asphalt shingles will begin to shed granules as they age and when your gutters are filled with black sand-like granules, your shingles need replacement.
- Roof Is Deteriorating Around Objects and Openings: When the roof is deteriorating around the chimney, pipes, and vents, that stick up out of the roof, this is a good time to repair those areas before it spreads.
- Exterior Paint Is Blistering or Peeling: A poorly vented attic builds up humidity and moisture near the roofline and causes the paint to blister or peel. This is not the only indication of roof repair or replacement, but the gutter systems are failing as well.
- Interior Ceiling and Walls Are Stained: Discoloration and water stains on the ceiling and walls can because of several things, one of could be roof storm damage that has left the underlayment exposed and moisture is getting into your home. The fix for this is usually a new roof.
- Attic Leaks After a Storm:If the attic is taking in rain, the flashing may have come loose or needs to be replaced. But if the roof storm damage is more serious, such as exposed decking or underlayment, a roof replacement is needed.
- Sagging Roof Deck:If you see the decking or rafters sagging in the attic, this is most likely roof storm damage and moisture has gotten inside the attic. Sometimes the area is localized, but a complete replacement may be needed.
- Outside Light Streaming Into The Attic:After a storm, if no obvious roof storm damage is visible, climb into the attic during while daylight and if there are any streams of light, then water can come in there too. Have the shingles checked by a professional and get them replaced immediately.
- Energy Bills Higher Than Normal:If you have a sudden increase in the electricity bill, it could be that the air conditioning or heating is escaping through the roof. Often, this can be remedied by re-insulating the attic. If the insulation is in good condition, then your roof is probably worn out and should be replaced.
What causes roof damage?
Other than roof storm damage, there
are 5 main things that can cause roof damage. A defective roof can lead to
other unforeseen, unplanned, and unwanted expenses when left unattended. Those
5 things are:
- Maintenance Lacks – A homeowner to inspect their roof regularly, not just after a storm. If an inspection finds minor damage, getting it repaired right away can avoid any further damage and more expensive repairs.
- Ice Damaging – Not only can your home sustain roof storm damage from rain and wind, but ice and snow can damage it too. When snow piles up and then melt and turn to ice, that will eventually melt, and that water often settles under the shingles. It will then refreeze and lift the flashing and shingles, damaging the roof.
- Wind Damages – Wind will loosen the nails, shingles, and other roofing materials that hold the roof in place. Even the daily moderate wind gusts can start taking a toll on the roof, it isn’t always roof storm damage. The regular inspection mentioned above will help you find that damage and get it repaired before it gets worse.
- Other Weather – On one hand, Mother Nature is nurturing and on the other hand, she can be destructive, causing roof storm damage along with a plethora of other issues, like UV rays. These all take a toll on the roof, and when a roof has started getting close to its life expectancy, roof damage can become apparent, especially with asphalt shingles. After that damage has started, replacement is usually the only option.
- Improperly Installed – Roof installation, repairs, or replacements should always be done by an experienced, licensed roofing contractor. This will provide you peace of mind that the job is done right, and it will also give you the leverage of a guarantee and warranty.
How do you know when it’s time to replace
An asphalt shingled roof is
typically warrantied for 20 to 30 years. So, if the roof on your home is over
30 years old, you should start looking at a new roof, even if it looks okay
from your view down below.
We’ve discussed some of the major
signs of when you need a new roof, starting with extensive roof storm damage, dark
spots on the shingles, blistering paint, curled shingles, missing shingles,
etc. There are a few other things that can indicate a new roof is needed:
average asphalt shingle roof has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, depending
upon the climate and environment that it is exposed to. Also, another factor
that can make a roof age faster other than roof storm damage is if the old roof was completely
removed before it was installed, or several layers of old roofing were left
behind, you may get 20 years maximum from the newest roof.
The flashing around your chimney or where two pitches meet is important in keeping the rain out of the attic. If it was applied with cement or tar, and it comes loose, you should have it replaced with a watertight type metal flashing.
valleys are where the different pitches come together. If there are missing or
loose shingles, they need to be repaired or replaced immediately. The valleys of
your roof are where the ice, rain, and snow flow down and into the gutter system.
If compromised, your roof becomes susceptible to roof storm damage that can make your roof leak.
What happens if you don’t replace
Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it makes sense
to take care of it, from top to bottom as well as on the inside. By not giving
the roof the proper attention and checking for maintenance issues, any of the
following things could happen:
- Water Damage:Neglecting any roof is not good homeownership, but if you an older roof, that neglect could lead to water damage, and that will lead to more expensive damage. When water can flow into any area of your home that isn’t meant for water, it is putting the stability of your home and the roof at risk.
- Health Risks:A roof that is old and leaking allows unwanted things to enter your home such as insects, rodents, small critters, not to mention the possibility of water leaking into the house and mildewing the ceiling, walls, and more then mold begins to grow. All of this can be detrimental to the health of your family.
- Possible Structural Collapse:An old neglected roof is unsafe, and it can’t do the job that it is meant to do. When water finds a way to leak inside your home, the damage is invisible at first, but then it begins to rot the structural beams, weakening the roof’s support as well as the loadbearing walls.
- Lose Value: There is nothing that can devalue a house faster than an old, leaking roof. It makes the exterior look bad and the interior smell. If you’re planning to place your house on the market, the roof should be one of the first things you have checked out if you want to get full value for your home.
- Hazardous: A roof that needs roof storm damage repairs or replacement is putting you and your family at risk of a fire as well as all the things we’ve listed here. How? If there is a leak in the roof, that water is going to find its way to an electrical cord, outlet, wire, etc. and when it does, it could short out the whole electrical system and catch the house on fire.
When your house is dirty, neglect, old and worn, from the roof storm damage or age, all around the exterior of the house, it is nothing but a negative image on you. The aging roof, broken windows, peeling paint, dirty siding, unkempt yard, it all gives the neighbors a bad impression of you as a homeowner. For your roof storm damage repair needs in Houston, TX, dial __PHONE__ today!