My roof doesn’t look damaged from the storm, why should I have it inspected?
Unfortunately, that’s how a lot of people think once the storm is over.
Yet, after last year’s storms and now this years (including yesterday’s derecho that destroyed homes all over the state ( pronounced “Dey-ray-chos” or land hurricanes) it’s a wise homeowner who have their roof inspected. Derechos may be a relatively new meteorological term in the Midwest, but the power of 50+ mph winds should be nothing new to homeowners. It’s high time to think about inspecting your roof.
Three very compelling and money-saving reasons to have your roof inspected after the storm is over, even if it doesn’t look like there is damage.
1: If there is damage that could allow water to infiltrate your home getting it fixed right away is going to save you money caused by water damage. Sometimes very tiny leaks are not noticed inside the home, but slowly rot away the roof. Most insurance policies don’t cover this type of damage. So having it inspected now could save you thousands in the future!
2: The sooner you have your home inspected after the storm, more likely you’ll be able to establish the evidence needed for an insurance claim. Many insurance policies will only pay for damage if reported within a certain time period. Some as little as 6 months! So you don’t want to put it off till next year.
3: Most roofing companies, like ours, offer free inspections. If there is damage, we will let you know. If not, we will let you know that too. We work hard for our money just like you and wouldn’t want you to pay for anything you didn’t really need.
How can you tell if my shingles are damaged, they look fine to me?
Damaged shingles often don’t look damaged from the ground. Most people go outside their house after the storm and take a look around their house. If they see shingles on the lawn or some missing or sticking up on the roof, they think DAMAGE! No brainer right? You definitely have a reason to call a roof inspector, even though damage may be slight.
Unfortunately this does not that mean that if you find no shingles on the lawn, or shingles that are missing or sticking up that there’s no damage? NO! You may have a great deal of damage that you just can’t see.
The simple truth is that sometimes it means damage, sometimes it doesn’t.
This picture from Uehling, NE taken June 3, 2014 by Johnny Coltrane shows how the siding and windows are destroyed yet what you can see of the roof looks fine right? Wrong! This roof is totaled and needs to be replaced!
Visual Signs of Roof Damage
1: Some hail damage is easy to spot. If you have holes in the roof, or even your gutters and skylights, you know you’ve got damage. If your windows screens are dented and dinged, or if your siding has holes in it, you know you’ve got damage. Maybe your gutters are just dimpled real bad like they broke out in a case of the hives, or your car is covered in dents, or maybe you had an old roof and now it is black because all the granules were knocked off, then you know you’ve got damage. Often times though these things aren’t noticeable.
2: Were your gutters clean before the storm but are now filled with mineral granules, (the gritty stuff on your shingles that give them their color) that used to be on the shingles? Or, are there a piles of it at the end of your downspouts? This is a sign of hail damage. If there is a significant loss of those materials from your shingles a roof replacement is often warranted.
Our photo above comes courtesy of the smart folks over at the Extreme How-To website, where you can learn a bit more about do-it-yourself inspections and repairs.
Not so obvious signs of roof damage
The problem is that many roofs look just fine from the ground… even though they may have been totally compromised by storm damage. At Laramie Construction, in our over 25 years of roofing experience, we’ve seen cases where not a single shingle was blown off the roof and yet there was significant damage that warranted a complete new roof. Here are two examples of the dilemma.
1. Storm damage or Aging Roof? Many homeowners, unfamiliar with roofing materials, have difficulty visually distinguishing hail damage from a storm from the general wear and tear on the roof. For instance, it can be difficult for an untrained eye to tell shingle rash blistering, cracking and granule loss associated with aging from specific damage associated with a storm.
2. Sealing Strip Damage. Now this one’s plain tricky. You see, shingles have a sealing strip between them. And with a storm, the wind may lift the shingles, breaking this strip. But – here’s the tricky part – after the storm, the shingles settle back onto the roof and everything looks normal. Looks okay? Good. Functions okay? Well, if the sealing strip is damaged, it may take a year, even two years, before the roof will start leaking or blowing off. Now we aren’t trying to give you an after storm paranoia, we are just trying to educate you so that you can protect your investment.
What actions should I take then?
1. To be conservative, even where you see no physical damage from the ground or even have no fear in getting up on a ladder on your roof and see no damage, get a roof inspection by a qualified and experienced roofing professional. (Did we say that we offer free roof inspections? 😉 )
2. Want to handle this as a Do-it-Your-Selfer? Whether or not you call in a roof professional, it’s good homeowner practice to visually inspect your roof at least once per year. That gives you a baseline for assessing any damage that may occur after a storm. So enter a roof inspection in your family Google Gmail calendar or Outlook calendar as a repeating event to occur once per year.
3. Want to be able to cross-check your professional roof inspection? Sources like Inspectapedia are a great start towards understanding the technical ins and outs of roof damage.
4: Something else to think about. If your neighbor(s) are getting their roof replaced after the storm, you
really NEED to stop what you’re doing and have your roof inspected.
Oh No! I Need to Replace My Roof! What Shingles Should I Look For to Avoid this Again?
If you like the look of asphalt shingles, you should check into hail damage resistant shingles which are rated ”Class 4.”(Class 4 or IV is per the ASTM D2218 Roofing Test Standard, a test which propels steel bearing balls of various sizes at high velocity against the shingle material.) Many home insurance companies in parts of the US actually provide discount premiums when Class IV shingles are installed in place of regular asphalt shingles. Some as high as a 20% discount.
Need examples? We at Laramie Construction can provide several brands of Class IV shingles manufactured with SBS. (SBS stands for the chemical term for the polymer, Styrene Butadiene Styrene, a rubberized substance applied to shingles that not only enhances flexibility, durability, impact resistance for storms, but also provides crack resistance and resistance to the hot sun’s ultraviolet radiation.) While we mostly sell Certainteed products for roofing we can get you just about any roofing product that you desire.
So give us a call at 402-275-3200 or use our web form for your free inspection and/or estimate. You can also visit our Facebook page and Like us for even more tips and updates.