Roof Inspection Hat Trick: Identifying Damage From Wind, Hail, and Rain

Your roof is your home�s first line of defense against the elements, invariably taking a beating whenever severe weather comes around. Storm damage comes in different forms but all compromise your roof. To ensure that your roof is up to the task of protecting your home at all times, you have to make sure that all damage are addressed right away. To get you started, here�s a guide to identifying damage from the wind, hail and rain.

Wind Damage: Push, Pull, and Blenderize
Direct damage from high winds is a result of the wind blowing at and into your roof, and the subsequent suction effect applied to your roof as the wind blows past it. This combined push and pull effect leads to a loosening of roofing materials, which the wind then proceeds to peel off from your roof.

Wind typically starts small and grows as the roof goes through repeated cycles. Look for missing roofing, or even denuded sections of the roof. Start at the edges as this is where the pressure is usually the highest. Debris blown about by the wind can also cause damage, leaving your roof looking like something cut and stabbed it. If the damage is particularly severe, your roof can even look like something tried to shred it, with remaining roofing looking lit was popped in a blender.

The Heavy Hand of Hail
Haildamage can be difficult to spot as most common roofing materials have a certain �give� to them. This means that unless the damage is heavy enough to directly puncture a roof, a closer inspection will be needed to spot damage exactly.
Aside from the more obvious tears in the material, hail damage can also manifest as dark bruises around the area of impact, if you have asphalt shingles. A roofing inspector will tell you that this bruise is soft to the touch and feels a lot like bruising on an apple.
If you have a wooden roof, on the other hand, hail damage will be evident as splits or broken material. If a hail strike is not identified right away, it can cause the area around it to turn brown or range due to exposure. Sharp corners and edges along a shingle are also indicative of hail damage.

While metal is generally resistant to hail, a strong enough impact can dent and distort the material enough that the seams at the edges no longer interlock properly. This break in the roofing material can cause loss of wind resistance or allow water to enter and lead to leaks.
With more rigid roofing materials like tile or slate, hail damage will typically show as cracks or chips in the tile, generally along the corners and edges.  Hairline cracks can also form but may not be easy as easy to discern, needing a closer inspection.

Rain Damage: Insidious and Invisible
Short of actual leaks, a telling sign of water penetration will be dark stains on your walls and ceiling. If rain damage is not addressed, it can grow to become mold and rot, making its way to roofing insulation as well. Left along long enough, rain damage will compromise roofing material, leading to a possible collapse.

The only way to identify roof damage after a storm is to inspectyour roof. Call on a professional right away to give your roof a check once the weather clears. The sooner you identify damage, the sooner you can address them and get your roof back in shape.
Dawn Smith is Peak Roofing Contractors�General Manager and, alongside her dad, has been swinging a hammer since she was little. She�s been in the roofing and construction industry for about a decade now and she�s taken to writing to share her passion for home improvement. For updates from Dawn, check out the company blog!

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