How Do Storms Damage Roofs

Roof storm damaged caused by lightening strike outside of residential home.

If you live anywhere in the Midwest, you already know that oncoming storm clouds can be both breathtaking and terrifying. You also know they can spell trouble for your roofing system. 

In Minnesota, for instance, we're no stranger to hail, high winds, and even tornados. In fact, between the years 1950-2000, we've averaged an annual 29 tornadoes a year—with the highest activity taking place during the summer months. Prior to the hotter weather, the late spring is also known to bring some stormy weather our way. In May of this year, for example, residents in Albert Lee, Minnesota reported hail the size of baseballs. 

For most homeowners, hail, severe thunderstorms, and yes even the dreaded "tornado watch" or worse "warning" are all part of life. But that doesn't always make it easier, does it? 

Although you can't prevent storms, you can educate yourself on the types of damage they can inflict on your roof. This way you'll know how to assess the damage and get the repairs needed to help extend the longevity of your roof and protect your family.

Types of roof storm damage

Though there are different types of roof storm damage, these are among the most common and require immediate action to prevent future damage.

  • Missing or loose shingles
  • Damaged, clogged gutters
  • Fallen debris (trees branches and/or limbs)
  • Hail impact
  • Damaged flashing
  • Granule loss
  • Lightning damage

Missing or Loose Shingles

It's easier to detect missing shingles after a windstorm. Just be sure to inspect your roof for shingles that have become loose (meaning they're still attached, but they are not securely fastened to your roof). Loose shingles can lead to moisture buildup, leaks, and mold.

Damaged, Clogged Gutters

While hail and strong winds can loosen and bend gutter systems, heavy rain can wash debris into your gutters, causing excess weight and blockage. And if water has nowhere to go, it will stay on your roof, causing severe damage and leaks. 

Remember to clean your gutters regularly to ensure there is no buildup to begin with.

Fallen Debris

Hopefully, you've never experienced a tree landing on top of your roof, but this type of occurrence happens more often than you think. If your home is surrounded by woods, be sure you're inspecting your trees. 

Though a severe storm can take down a healthy tree, if you notice signs of decay on the trunk, or if its roots are damaged, this could create a hazard down the road—and a strong wind could do the trick.

Hail Impact

We've written several articles on the impact of hail on your roofing system. The reason being is hail is a fact of life in the Midwest, and as we just discussed in Minnesota, the bigger the hail size, the worse the damage. 

From how to identify roof damage caused by hail to understanding how to file an insurance claim, we encourage you to check out these resources for further information. 

Damaged Flashing

Roofing flashing helps prevent water from leaking between the joints in your roof. Though general wear and tear can cause flashing to become damaged over time, strong winds and heavy rain can do the same to a younger roof, too. You should be able to spot any missing pieces, bends, or cracks to the flashing after a storm. 

If you notice leaking from your roof, the cause may be due to damaged flashing, as well.

Granule loss

After a windstorm, you may discover granules in your gutters from your asphalt shingles. Losing a large amount of this protective barrier at once means there's no time to waste. Be sure to call the pros for help to prevent more damage.

Lightning Damage

They say lightning doesn't strike twice. But striking even once is scary enough. Lightning can puncture your roof, tear off shingles and gutters, break apart chimneys, and cause fires. You'll know instantly that lightning has hit your house, as the power will go out and you may hear humming or smell smoke. 

Though this type of storm damage is not as frequent as the items listed above, it does happen, and it's important to be aware of what type of damage it can cause.

Need Storm Damage Roof Repair?

If you're dealing with the aftermath of hail, rain, or wind damage to your roof, we want you to know you don't need to go at it alone.

At All Elements, Inc., we've helped many homeowners and businesses tackle the toughest roofing problems caused by storm damage.

We'll help you through the process of inspecting your roof for damage, walking you through your options, and providing you with an estimate, so we can begin repairs and get your roof back to pristine condition. Our thorough inspection services will also assist you through the insurance claim process

To learn more about how we can help, contact us today!

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