During the course of the year, extreme weather events, such as hail, wind and ice storms, can damage the roof of your home. This damage, however, isn’t always easy to spot because your roof is likely intact, and leaking may not be evident. To repair roof damage or other issues caused by extreme weather, you must first be able to identify the damage to your roof, and then you’ll have to file a claim with your insurance provider. Like any other damage to your house, you’ll have to make repairs immediately to avoid adverse long-term effects. To avoid this situation, there are certain precautionary actions you can take to protect your roof against nature’s elements.
What to Look For
Roof damage can be hard to identify. Most roofing damage that’s incurred during a weather-related event, especially to an asphalt-shingle or modified-bitumen roof, includes hairline cracks, loose shingles or small punctures, which are all difficult to detect. As water penetrates the compromised areas, the problem often worsens, which eventually leads to a leaking roof. If you suspect damage may have been caused by harsh weather or other events, it may be worth having a roof inspection completed address any problems early on and minimize longer-term impacts.
What You Should Do Next
If you suspect damage to your roof, it’s important to start a paper trail with your insurance company. It can also be beneficial to hire a trained roof inspector to ascertain any damage. They know where to look for weather-related damage. Most roof inspectors will provide you with a comprehensive report of their findings, which will list the cause of the damage. This can be a valuable asset to have when filing an insurance claim, and an inspector can also point you in the right direction on how to repair damage to your roof.
How to Prevent Roof Damage Due to Inclement Weather Conditions
Your roof is the first line of defense against inclement weather conditions. It protects you and your home, and you can take the following steps to minimize the chance of your roof being damaged due to severe weather:
- Remove tree limbs that hang over your house, especially the dead ones. If they fall, the limbs can puncture or penetrate your home’s roof.
- Clean gutters to remove dead foliage before bad weather arrives. An obstructed gutter can overflow and freeze, causing damage to your roof and home.
- Repair loose, cracked or missing shingles as soon as possible to prevent or minimize damage.
- Keep your attic fully insulated to prevent heat loss through the roof. If heat escapes through the roof, it can melt snow, which could then refreeze and cause an ice dam.
- Keep your roof free of leaves, branches and other debris, which could impair proper drainage and cause a backup.
- Have your roof inspected annually to help identify potential problem areas. This can minimize additional repairs by addressing any problems before your roof is fully compromised.
Although you can repair roof damage and other types of issues caused by extreme weather conditions, the key is to identify and address the problem before it leads to total roof failure. For more tips and resources for homeowners and prospective homebuyers, head to Owners.com.
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