How Storms Can Damage Your Roof
Your roof has a pretty important job to do. It’s your first line of defense against the elements and critical to the overall integrity of your home. But, the weather is your roof’s most powerful nemesis. From snowstorms to high winds to hail, storms can be incredibly damaging to your roof.
What weather events cause the most storm damage to roofs? Keep reading.
Hailstorms usually leave behind evidence of their wrath. We’ve all seen broken windows, dented car hoods, cracked siding, mashed plants and even some missing roofing shingles. However, there could be some more subtle signs when it comes to your roof.
Regardless of the roofing material you use, hail can create small fractures in the shingle and weaken the roof as a whole. Over time, this can lead to larger cracks and tears. In addition, depending on how big the hail were and the intensity of the storm, sections of your roof could have been weakened during the madness. Think about it. Your roof just got pummeled over and over again by ice balls.
How can you catch this before it turns into a problem? Make sure that whatever roofing material you’ve chosen for your home is strong and durable and always call for a professional inspection following a hailstorm. Inspections are free and you can get a little peace of mind.
When your roof goes through a windstorm or high winds in general it can loose the tiny granules on shingles that help keep water out. In addition, you roof could straight up be missing some shingles. Missing shingles most definitely leave your roof vulnerable to the elements.
What should you do? Inspect your roof and make any necessary repairs right away. (Be careful if you’re doing it yourself.) Again, if you’re really concerned about your roof, call your local roofing expert for an inspection.
This one seems pretty obvious but needs to be included. Rain is water, and water is wet. Your roof is regularly exposed to these kinds of conditions and after a while it can certainly take its toll--especially if any other weather event like wind or hail is mixed in there.
What’s our advice? Again, check out your roof after any major storm and be aware of your home. Have you noticed any mold or fungus inside your home or on your roof? Are your heating and cooling costs really high? This could be a sign of a bad roof. (Read: Common Signs of a Bad Roof)
The most common issue when dealing with snowy roofs are ice dams. Ice dams are large ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof or gutters, and prevent melting snow from running off the roof. When water can’t runoff the roof, it can back-up on the roof and cause leaks.
What can you do? Remove snow from your roof after each storm. This eliminates one of the needed components for ice dams. In the unfortunate event that you discover that ice dams are already present, do not start hacking away at them. The best way to remove them is to have a professional come out to perform a steam removal. Steam removal is effective, non-damaging and much more quiet for your neighbors. (Read: Everything You Need to Know About Ice Dams)
Now, we realize that trees are not a weather element, but during weather events they can be damaging to your roof. If there are branches hanging over or touching your roof, during a storm they could be rubbing the small granules or poking small holes in your shingles.
One way to remedy this is to prune these branches back. A professional arborist is your best bet to making sure that branches are pruned properly and safely. If you want to be a do-it-yourselfer, check out these tree pruning tips and please be careful. Heavy pruning is usually best done in the tree’s dormant season, so keep that in mind. Also, make sure you’re using proper pruning techniques. Again, a professional arborist can be a great resource.
The Bottom Line
Weather and storms take a damaging toll on your roof. Make sure that you're getting your roof inspected after major storms and get the necessary repairs done as soon as possible.