Roofs And Storm Damage: A Homeowner's Guide

All homeowners realize the importance of a sound roof in safeguarding the house from structural damage. When a roof is damaged in a severe storm, it's essential that you react immediately to prevent water from entering the house and undermining its structural integrity. Here is a brief guide for homeowners regarding this precarious situation.

Inspection

Naturally, the first step after the storm has passed is to inspect the roof and your home for any damage. The best place to start is inside your house with an inspection of the attic, if you have one, and your ceiling. If you notice any water stains in the ceilings or in the attic, this could indicate that shingles were damaged in the storm and need repair or replacement.

After inspecting the interior of the house, perform a visual inspection of the roof. Look for any missing or obviously damaged shingles. Also, look at the metal flashing around such areas as the vent pipes and chimney. If any metal flashing has been knocked loose by the storm, this will allow water into your home. Look around the yard for any signs of damage as well. You might find shingles or portions of shingles that have been blown off the roof by the high winds.

Another important point is to check the shingles for hail damage. This type of damage often results in dimples appearing on the individual shingles as a result of smaller pieces of hail striking the roof. Dimples on shingles reduce their ability to protect your home from rainwater. Damage of this kind can be hard for the average person to spot, so you may want to contact a roofing contractor who can inspect the shingles.

Of course, if the storm has knocked a tree onto your roof, this will be noticed immediately. In this situation, stay out the house until it's been inspected by a professional and declared safe.

Insurance

The typical homeowners insurance policy will cover storm damage associated with wind and hail. Some exceptions to this exist, so be sure to check your policy to learn exactly what is covered. Keep all of the receipts for any work your roofing contractor does so that you can be reimbursed without any unnecessary difficulties.

Replace or Repair

If your roof has sustained significant damage from the storm, it may not be easy to decide if you need a new roof or just some repairs to the current one. Talk with your roofing contractor about the best way to proceed.


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