Is Roof Storm Damage Always Obvious?

When you think of home damage following a storm, you're probably picturing some pretty dramatic outcomes. Everyone has seen news footage of hurricanes ripping roofs right off their supports, and you may have even experienced severe damage to your roof from fallen trees or other catastrophic events. While these problems certainly require prompt attention, damage can sometimes be less noticeable.

You should always check your roof for damage following any storm, but you should be especially careful to look for signs of trouble after severe weather. However, just looking up isn't always enough. You also need to know what you're looking for to determine if you'll need roofing repairs.

How Can Storms Damage Your Roof?

Storm damage typically comes in three varieties: wind, impact, and water. Wind damage usually occurs when gusts create excessive pressure against exposed portions of your roof. This pressure can tear off shingles or even cause more severe damage. Existing problems, such as loose flashing, can provide a weak point for heavy winds to cause significant damage.

Impact damage is another common issue. Some impacts are spectacular and prominent, such as an entire tree crushing a portion of your roof. Many blows are more subtle, however. Small branches can damage roof shingles if they land with enough force, such as during driving winds. Hail can also dent shingles and knock asphalt granules loose, accelerating wear on your roof.

Finally, water damage is often the most challenging problem to spot. Issues usually develop when water remains trapped against part of the roof, allowing it to infiltrate beneath flashing and enter your home. Heavy winds can also drive debris into your gutters, clogging them and preventing water from escaping. Water issues can lead to mold growth, failed roof decking, and interior leaks.

How Do You Know if You Need a Roofer?

Since roof damage can come in so many forms and may not be obvious, it can be hard to know when you need to call a roofer for repairs. A good rule of thumb is to check your roof from the ground regularly. Look for noticeable changes after a storm, such as shingles that look darker or that seem to remain wet after the rest of the surface dries.

It's also a good idea to inspect your lawn for shingles that may have flown off entirely. Missing shingles leave portions of your roof deck exposed to water and usually require attention. Remember that unaddressed roof damage can lead to more expensive repairs, so it's a good idea to schedule an evaluation with a roofer anytime you suspect issues following a storm.