Tips for Recognizing Roof Damage

Summer is here and now is the perfect time to inspect your roof for damage that occurred during the winter months. And you need to know what to look for if you suspect roof damage after a severe storm.

Keeping your roof in good condition can help you avoid costly repairs down the road. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, you should begin your roof inspection on the inside of your home. From your attic, check for sagging, signs of water damage or leaking, dark spots and trails, or outside light showing through the roof.

Your exterior inspection should include a search for damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth. Some signs of roof damage include:

  • Cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.
  • Loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.
  • Excessive shingle granules in the gutters.
  • Signs of moisture, rot or mold.

Damage will present differently depending on your roof material and where you live. A cedar roof will often split and fall apart in dry climates, while it will get mossy in moist climates. Most cedar roofs must be replaced after about 20 years. If you have a tile roof, cracked or broken tiles are a sure sign of damage. In general, tile roofs can last up to 100 years, but individual tiles may need replacement if they are broken or damaged. Concrete roofs are very strong and rarely need repair or replacement. Wooden shake roofs may sustain damage from termites, carpenter ants and other pests.

A Note About Hail Damage

Hail damage is of particular concern this time of year. If you think your roof has sustained hail damage after a storm, contact your insurance agent. Your agent will want to determine if the damage is new, old, or the buildup of multiple incidents over time. Probably you will not be the only homeowner in the area who is reporting hail damage and your agent will be quite aware that a slew of hail damage claims are coming his or her way! Nonetheless, be prepared to provide the date that the damage occurred and some way of proving that the damage was, indeed, caused by a recent hailstorm.

Also, don’t take chances with questionable contractors knocking on your door after a storm. Rather, wait to talk with your insurance agent and adjuster to be sure that you actually have hail damage, then ask for a recommendation or find a reputable contractor on your own. Roof repair and replacement is a very serious and costly undertaking. You need to make sure that you are getting what you pay for, and that the work will be completed on time, as promised.

Do you have any suggestions about how to look for roof damage? Have you ever had to file a home insurance claim for hail damage? Have you ever been a victim of a shady roofing contractor? Share your experiences below.