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What Should You Do When You Have Roof Damage?

When it rains it pours, especially in Florida.  Known as the hurricane capital of the USA, the Sunshine State is renown for named storms and pop-up thunderstorms that occur on a daily basis during the long hot summer. Any squall can pack a punch that combines wind, rain and hail.  If you’ve ever hunkered down to weather a hurricane, then you know the aftermath of a storm can leave downed trees and power lines in its wake, along with a fair share of property damage.  Should you find yourself in a situation where your home sustains roof damage, do you know what to do to minimize the damage and file a claim with your insurance company?  Below are some helpful hints.

1.      Timber! – One of the things that strikes fear into the heart of any homeowner is the threat of a tree falling onto their house.  Since some oak trees weigh almost as much as a loaded Mack Truck, it should come as no surprise that if one were to fall atop your home, the damage it can inflict could be catastrophic.  Even branches on many full-grown oak trees weigh as much as a tree.  That means if one comes crashing down, don’t even think about trying to move it.  You’re going to need a chainsaw and a crane to safely shift a fallen oak.  The best you can hope to do in the short term is to try to cover the hole it makes with a tarp to keep the water from entering your home. 

What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
  1. Hail no! – Another common cause of roof damage is hail.  Depending on the size of the hailstones and the duration of the hailstorm, your roof can wind up as dimpled as a golf ball.  Hail damage can sometimes seem inconsequential.  Unlike wind or tree damage, most of the time hail damaged shingles remain in place.  What most people don’t understand is the way in which shingles are constructed.  Asphalt shingles are made with granules that block harmful UV rays which would otherwise dry them out.  These granules are gradually lost over the lifetime of a roof system.  But hail damage can accelerate the aging process or even invalidate the warranty.  Hailstones can also dent or damage flashing. If you experience a strong hailstorm and notice even the slightest damage to your home’s shingles, call a qualified roofer to take a look at them as soon as possible. 
  2. That she blows! – While hail, windblown debris and falling tree limbs can do a number on your roof, so too can the wind alone.  Depending on the age and condition of your roof, strong winds can bend, crack and even break shingles.  If roof damage goes unchecked, this can result in leaks that can take weeks or months to surface inside your home.  Internal water damage can cause more than unsightly stains on the ceiling.  It can lead to everything from rot and mold to electrical short circuits.  The problem is, even if you walk your roof, you may not be able to detect the signs of roof damage.  If your home’s roof is more than 5-years-old, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your roof inspected by a professional for damage that you may not be able to detect before more serious complications arise. 

Flash Bang – Another potential hazard with any electrical storm is the possibility of a lightning strike.   A lightning bolt can pack more than a million bolts and be hotter than the surface of the Sun.  Should a bolt from the blue strike your home, it can cause serious damage to your roof, as well as the contents of your home.  It isn’t unusual for a lightning bolt to drill a hole in a roof or even set one on fire.  It can also melt asphalt shingles in and around the area of the strike.  If your home is struck by lightning, you should call a roofing company to have them send someone over to give your roof the once over. 

  1. How can you spot roof damage? – While a tree limb sticking out of your roof is obvious, not all roof damage is readily apparent.  Other than detecting a leak from inside your home, the way to spot roof damage is to inspect the roof.  This can be sometimes be done from the ground.  If you stand in your yard and look up at the roof, shingles that are bent or missing should be readily apparent. Sometimes after a windstorm, you won’t even need to look up, since displaced shingles usually wind up in your yard.  If you detect roof damage, the first thing you need to do is to cover the damage to prevent leaks.  Then you need to have the damaged or missing shingles replaced as soon as possible.  
  2. Should you file a claim with your insurance company? – Filing a damage claim after a storm has damaged your roof is always a good idea.  One of the things that homeowner’s insurance is designed to handle is sudden damage due to wind, hail or a bolt from the blue.  Just make sure you document the damage before you cover or repair it if you want to get full value.  Also, make sure you document all the damage, including any water damage that was caused after the fact.  Whether the damage to your roof is significant enough to warrant a replacement or a repair is in the hands of the insurance adjuster.  Provided the roof was properly installed and maintained, you could wind up only having to shell out the cost of the deductible to make your roof whole again. 

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters…and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much needed structure for all our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.