Storm damage is a common occurrence and one of the main reasons why people end up having to replace the roofs on their homes. Tornadoes obviously pose the biggest risk since they can easily tear off the shingles or even rip off the entire roof. Luckily, severe tornadoes aren’t all that common in the Plano, TX area, but you do still have to worry about damage from large hail and high winds. We’ll discuss how to tell if your roof may have storm damage, what to do in this situation, and why having your roof inspected after a severe storm is so important.
Why Storm Damage Inspections Are Essential
Hail can easily crack shingles and roof tiles to the point where water can seep through, and the roof starts to leak. Even if the roofing materials don’t crack or break, hail can still leave behind dents. Hail damage compromises the structural integrity of tiles and shingles and weaken them so that they won’t last nearly as long, which is why a hail-damaged roof should always be replaced. Spotting cracked or broken shingles is fairly easy. However, dents from hail can be nearly impossible to spot with an untrained eye, so it’s important to have your roof professionally inspected after any major hailstorms.
Homeowner’s insurance plans typically warrant against hail damage and will cover the cost of the roof replacement. However, your insurance carrier could deny the claim if you don’t report the damage immediately, so always schedule a professional storm damage inspection as soon as possible.
Thunderstorms can also produce extreme wind gusts that can do major roof damage. Higher-quality architectural shingles are more flexible than many other roofing materials. This makes them less susceptible to wind damage, but major gusts can still tear some shingles loose or break them in half. Major storms can also crack tree branches and limbs and send them crashing down onto your roof, causing severe structural damage. Wind can also carry debris that may smash into the roof, causing the same type of impact damage as hailstones.
If any of the shingles on a roof are missing, cracked, or compromised by storm damage, water can easily flow underneath them. This is a serious problem, as it can it allow water to leak into your attic and potentially lead to mold growth. The roof sheets and trusses can also rot, warp, or crack. When a roof is properly sealed, you typically only need to replace the roof materials and possibly the waterproof underlayment. If the roof sheets or trusses are damaged, the total cost of the roof replacement will be much higher. The easiest way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to have your roof inspected both annually and after any major storms.
Why Annual Inspections Are Important
The main reason that annual roof inspections are important is to make sure your roof remains in good condition. A roof that is in good shape is less likely to suffer storm damage compared to one that already has issues. For instance, most shingles can withstand wind speeds up to 100 mph, but shingles that are already loose or have any damage can get torn off or broken at much lower wind speeds. Similarly, a roof that’s in good shape will be able to withstand the impact of larger hailstones than a roof that’s in poor condition.
Yearly inspections are also important for preventing the warranty on your shingles or roofing materials from lapsing. Roofing warranties protect against manufacturer’s defects and will pay the cost of the necessary replacement materials if the materials fail or the roof starts leaking because of a defect. However, the warranty won’t cover you if you’re unable to show documentation to prove that a licensed roofing contractor performed the required yearly inspections.
How to Know if Your Roof Has Storm Damage
Some types of storm damage are fairly easy to spot. For instance, you’ll usually be able to tell if some shingles are missing or broken by inspecting the roof from the ground. You may also see the broken and missing shingles strewn around your yard. Any larger branches or limbs on the roof after a major storm definitely indicate the need for an inspection.
In terms of hail, most roofs that are in good condition can withstand the impact of hailstones up to around 1/2 inch in diameter (around the size of a marble). The one exception is three-tab asphalt shingles, as they are much thinner and more likely to break, crack, or dent on impact. Hailstones around 3/4 inch in diameter have a much higher chance of denting the shingles, so it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection if hail of this size ever hits your home. You always need to have your roof inspected if hail that’s 1 inch or larger falls, as hailstones of this size will almost certainly crack and dent your shingles. If you notice that a hailstorm put dents in your car while it was parked, there is a high chance that it also damaged your roof.
Why Drone Inspections Are the Best
One thing that sets Riker apart from most other roofing companies is that we always perform roof inspections by using a drone. Most companies simply have someone climb up and walk around on the roof to look for any signs of damage. The issue with this is that walking on the roof without first fully inspecting it from above can often end up causing more damage and increasing your total repair costs. This is especially the case with slate and clay roofs, whose tiles are quite brittle and can easily break or crack when stepped on. Metal roof sheets can also bend and suffer damage if the person on the roof isn’t careful about where they step. If there’s extensive damage or any of the underlying roof sheets have started to rot, there’s also a chance the person could fall through.
By flying a drone over the roof, our team is able to get a full overview of your roof safely so that we can easily spot any signs of damage without the risk of causing further damage. Using a drone also saves time, as we have a better viewpoint and can quickly zoom in if we spot any issues or signs of damage. If we see any signs that may indicate the roof is unsafe to walk on, we’ll then climb up into the attic so that we can inspect the roof from below. This way, we can be 100% sure that the roof is safe to walk on before we start to replace it or perform any necessary repairs.
Roofers You Can Rely on in Plano
If you’re searching for an experienced, honest, reliable roofing contractor in the Plano area, look no further than Riker. We have a strong reputation for providing exceptional services at a fair price, and we’re always ready to take care of your roof inspection, repair, and replacement needs. We also install, repair, and tune up garage doors.
Give our team at Riker a call today, and we’ll be happy to show you what makes us the best roofing and garage door company in the area.