Written by Andy Gurczak

August 1, 2021

Roof Damage: Signs of Damage and Hiring a Contractor

Roof Damage: Signs of Damage and Hiring a Contractor

Under normal circumstances and as a responsible property owner, you should have your roof inspected at least once a year. However, If you suspect any kind of roof damage after a storm, you should hire a professional to take a look right away. A damaged roof can be a pain to fix and in fact, it can be quite costly. But if you leave as it is, it can cause even more serious damage to the rest of your home which is why you should address roof damage immediately.

Common Types of Roof Damage

Roof Damage Flashing

Weak Flashing

The flashing are thin bits of metal installed underneath the shingles and on the joints in order to create a barrier to water. If the roof is leaking, it is likely that your flashing has cracked. It could also mean that the flashing is not fastened properly, and for this reason, it will not be water-resistant. In fact, the tar used to seal the flashing also corrodes over time and it leaves your roof vulnerable to cracks and leaks.
Roof Wind Damage

Wind Roof Damage

When shingles are installed, they’re purposefully overlapped to create a water-tight seal. Strong winds can break this seal, blow-off and tent poorly installed flashing, as well as, cause seams to open up. As wind damage gets worse, it can become quite an expensive repair, costing a homeowner up to $10,000 in roofing repair and maintenance.
Roof Damage Hail Damage

Hail Roof Damage

Hail storms tend to be relatively short, and rarely last for longer than 15 minutes. However, hailstones can leave dents or pockmarks in shingles and even knock granules loose. These granules help protect your roof against rain and sun damage. Furthermore, hail damage can also ruin the pleasing aesthetic appearance of your roof’s surface.
Roof Damage Water

Water Roof Damage

Leaks often occur as a result of storm damage. For example, after heavy rainfall, hail, or snow accumulation. If you live in an area that sees heavy snowfall, you need to be sure that your roof is able to support the weight of the snow. Moreover, your roof should be properly sloped so that the snow will not sit on the roof for long periods of time. Melted snow can cause serious harm to the roof and consequently, the moisture produced can leave your home vulnerable to mold infestation as well. Likewise, clogged gutters can also cause backed up rainwater under your shingles, which allows moisture to potentially penetrate the underlayment or the roof deck.
Roof Damage Debris Damage

Debris Roof Damage

After a severe storm, debris can end up on the top of your roof. For instance, small branches, larger tree limbs or even construction material from other homes. Large objects can dent or impact the surface of the shingle, leaving that area of the roof vulnerable to moisture intrusion.

Do I Need a New Roof?

If your roof isn’t very old and all you can spot is a few loose or damaged shingles, you may be able to just replace them. However, in case of broader or more extensive damage, it may be time for a new roof. The key is a regular roof inspection so you know what’s going on up there.

Signs You Need Roof Damage Repair

Sunlight Coming Through is Definite Evidence You Need Roof Damage Repair

Big enough holes, that let sunshine in, are a dead giveaway you need either repair or roof replacement. This sign is typically the most obvious but it’s sometimes overlooked, especially in attics and other usually unused rooms. We recommend turning off all the lights, shutting the blinds and closing the doors. Basically, make the room as dark as you can and check for even the smallest sparkle of light coming through the roof.

Similarly, Leakage When It Rains

Another obvious sign that your roof needs repair is leakage when raining. Only, it’s not always that obvious. Even a small leak lets moisture in and consequently, spreads as far as it can into your roofing material. Then, this moisture expands and contracts with temperature changes, widening the opening in your roof. This deterioration spreads quickly, weakening the integrity of your roof. Check for dripping next time it rains, even if you aren’t aware of any leaks. Remember, don’t overlook the attic.

Stains and Discoloration is Also an Indication You Have Roof Damage

A way to determine if you have a leakage problem is to look for water, dirt and dust stains running across ceilings and down walls. Filthy water leaking from the roof can also cause paint discoloration.These discolorations are grey, brown, or yellowish in color. On the ceiling, it often appears as a circular ring. In fact, these stains are signs of very advanced water damage and need to be fixed right away.

These stains can also be spotted on your shingles and they may be an indication of moss, lichen, or blue-green algae. This may not require a new roof, but if and when you do replace your shingles.

In the Same Way, Blistering or Peeling Paint

Poor ventilation may cause moisture to get trapped in your house. As a result, it may cause exterior paint to peel and blister.

Roof Damage also Manifests as Sheathing Decay and Sagging

Another issue with poor ventilation is sheathing decay. Also known as decking decay. This is the layer of plywood that forms the foundation of your roof. If you notice a sagging ceiling, broken gutters, leaks or missing patches of shingles, your sheathing may be decaying.

In Addition, Damaged or Missing Shingles

When shingles reach the end of their useful life, you may notice they fall off or become cracked, brittle or curled. In other words, it may be time for a new roof. If shingles or tiles are missing, cracked, broken, peeling, or damaged in any way, have it fixed as soon as possible.

Wind and Tree Roof Damage

Believe it or not, even gentle rustles from tree branches can also crack tiles, abrade asphalt shingles and damage fascia boards. For this reason, you should prevent tree damage by keeping branches at least 10 feet from your home, as well as ensuring that trees can’t hit your home if they fall during high winds. If a tree does hit your home, evacuate until an engineer or general contractor ensures your home is safe to inhabit.
Roof Wildlife Damage

In Like Manner, Wildlife Causes Roof Damage

Raccoons can be as destructive as they can be cute. They are known for ripping off shingles, nesting in attic insulation, compressing it and leaving excrement. Likewise, squirrels and roof rats may cause similar problems. In short, inspect your attic once or twice each year to ensure it’s not home to unwanted wildlife. If critters have invaded, contact a wildlife specialist to remove them, then find and seal their entry points and repair any damaged roofing.

Moreover, Moss Roof Damage

Moss on the roof can look lovely, however it is more harmful than beautiful. Its spores collect between shingles, thus growing and spreading to form mats a few inches thick. These mats store rainwater that wicks underneath shingles. It then soaks the underlayment and rots the roof sheathing. If you have moss, remove it.

Damaged Chimney can Cause Severe Roof Damage 

Chimney damage is no joke. A chimney with cracked or broken bricks may collapse inward or onto your roof, causing serious damage. Not to mention, it’s dangerous for anyone in your home when this happens.

An Increase in Energy Bills can Also Be a Sign of Roof Damage

Meanwhile water and light can leak inside your home through the holes in your roof. Air conditioning and heat can leak out as well. When there’s a temperature leak, your heating and cooling system has to run more frequently to make up for the breach. If you notice your energy bill keeps costing you more each month, air leaking through your roof may be to blame.

That Your Roof Is 20 Years Old or More is a Determining Factor you Have Roof Damage

A new roof only lasts about 20 years. If yours is older than this, get it replaced.
Roof Damage Inspection

Schedule and Conduct a Roof Inspection to be Aware of Any Roof Damage

Safety is first. The best way to determine if you have roof damage is by hiring a professional inspector. Contact a trusted, professional roofing contractor to schedule an inspection and help you with damage assessment.

It’s important to work with a contractor you can trust since they can assess your damage with a professional eye, provide an estimate on repair costs, as well as replace or repair your roof.

Talking to a Trusted Roofing Contractor

It’s important to know what to ask and what to look for when talking to and choosing a reliable roofing contractor. For this reason, you should look out for the following things:

  • Make sure you hire a licensed and insured roofing contractor. Who can also offer a strong warranty for the work they do
  • Ensure the roofing contractor is capable of assessing and estimating damage
  • Always verify online reviews about other people’s experiences using their services
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