Quality materials and superior craftsmanship create roofs that can capably stand up to the elements. However, frequent exposure to high wind speeds can take a considerable toll on even the best-made roof. If your home has recently weathered a serious windstorm, it’s important to be on the lookout for common signs of roofing damage. Identifying and addressing the five problems that follow early on can prevent serious and progressive moisture problems.
1. Bent, Broken, Discolored, or Missing Shingles
Your roof is a multi-layered system that works seamlessly together to create an impenetrable barrier. Its outermost layer is comprised of shingles that have a fine coating of granules. When these shingles get lifted up and off by strong winds, or when they’re bent or broken, everything that lies beneath them becomes vulnerable to moisture damage.
Survey your yard after every major windstorm to look for stray shingles. Take a look at your roof from ground level to see if you can identify missing or seriously damaged shingles. Replacing a few missing shingles after a windstorm is a minor issue. However, if you neglect these repairs, you may wind up with rotted wood beams at the roof’s substrate, roof mold, and other moisture-related concerns.
2. Shingle Granules at the Base of Your Downspouts
When roof shingles reach the end of their lifespan, they often shed their granules. When they do, these granules usually wind up in the gutters or at the base of downspouts. These gritty accumulations can be dark black or the exact color of your roof. If your shingles start shedding their granules after a windstorm, it may be that one or more of these roofing components have come loose. Loose shingles aren’t easy to see from the ground until time, rain, and other factors cause them to curl. However, whenever the wind blows again, these shingles will flap vigorously to and for which, much like aging, causes granule loss.
3. Flashing Damage
Flashing is found everywhere on roofs where two sections are joined together or where the roofing is built around existing features. You’ll find flashing at your roof’s valleys and edges, around chimney vents, and around all pipes and skylights. Just like shingles, flashing can be pulled loose by heavy wind. Damaged or missing flashing is a major issue. Flashing is installed to route water away from critical roof areas. Given that this material is located in areas that are already highly vulnerable to moisture damage, problems with flashing should be handled right away.
4. Roof Debris
If you’ve got a few large twigs or one or more moderately sized tree branches on your roof, there’s a high likelihood that these caused structural damage during a storm. Heavy roof debris warrants more than a quick inspection from the ground. You can get out your ladder and survey the scene for yourself, or you can schedule a roofing inspection. Whenever there are massive amounts of roof debris present after a storm or when there are heavy items that have struck the roof, it’s generally best to assume that the need for a professional inspection is high. Not only do inspections either confirm or rule out damage, but they also give homeowners the benefit of a comprehensive inspection report. This can prove helpful in many ways. For instance, a roofing inspection report done by a Richmond roofing company can be shared with your home insurance company if you ever need to prove that you’ve done your due diligence.
5. Water Damage at the Interior of the Building
The surest sign of roof damage is evidence of water in the interior of the building. After all, this is exactly what your roof is intended to prevent. Water damage may manifest as a discoloration at the ceiling or upper walls, or as blistering, bubbling paint. If you’ve got a slow leak from the ceiling, this can likely be attributed to roof damage as well. When checking for water damage caused by a failing or wind-injured roof, be sure to look in inconspicuous areas too. You may have a roof look that’s causing ceiling discoloration in your closet, pantry, or another less noticeable area.
Well-made roofs often weather even the worst windstorms without sustaining substantial damage. However, being watchful for seemingly minor issues like torn flashing, bent, broken, or missing shingles, and heavy roof debris is always important. With timely attention, you can keep issues like these from undermining the integrity, value, and functionality of your roof.