What to Do After an Unexpected Roofing Disaster

Here are the steps to take after disaster shows up unannounced.

Whether it's an unpredictable and dangerous storm or unanticipated and damaging debris, your roof can take some serious hits from the outside elements. Although we do our best to plan and prepare for extreme conditions, our roof may not be able to withstand it all. When a roofing disaster strikes, it is crucial to stay calm and get to safety as soon as you can. Once the immediate danger has passed, it's important to be aware of your options for roof repair and replacement.

Roof Repair for Debris and Damage

Unfortunately, it's hard to predict the sporadic patterns of Mother Nature. Storms come with a multitude of hazards that can significantly damage your roof, including rain, wind, snow, and hail. But storms aren't the only danger - extreme heat can also harm your roof during the summer months.

Torn Roof and Gutters

Powerful wind gusts can cause a number of issues for your home, especially regarding the condition of your roof. Roofing tiles that are not completely secured onto the house will be most susceptible to being torn off by wind. In some cases, however, extreme wind may pull off tiles regardless of their quality and age. Along with ripping off tiles, high winds can also easily harm or destroy gutters on the edge of the roof. After a storm, consider having a local contractor visit your home to assess the damage and recommend steps for repair.

Tree Removal

When the wind picks up to dangerous speeds, there is the possibility of trees falling over. This can be devastating when it comes to your roofing; falling trees have the potential to not only destroy the tiles or shingles of the roof, but the frame of the roof as well. If a fallen tree strikes your house, be sure to immediately evacuate and call 911 if necessary. When it's safe to do so, consult a local roofing contractor. Due to the dangerous conditions of situations involving fallen trees, it is highly recommended to have a professional come in and evaluate the damage to your roof.

Hazardous Heat

Invisible UV rays shine down every day, causing your roof to slowly break down. Over time, your roof tiles may begin to warp, loosen, and crack, giving the roof a less-than-favorable appearance. Even worse - once these tiles separate, vulnerable areas of the roof are exposed that can cause unanticipated issues, such as large leaks or open areas for insects and pests to enter. Repairing just a few problem areas of the roof may seem like the easiest solution, but it is recommended to consider completely replacing the roof if it is old or damaged in multiple areas. Replacing a faulty roof can help you avoid continuous repairs over time that may add up to be more expensive than a replacement to begin with.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: To avoid repetitive replacements, try choosing stronger and lighter-colored roofing tiles when looking for new roofing material.

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Roof Leak Repair

With strong storms come heavy downpours. Whether the rain is harsh and powerful or happening for extended amounts of time, it's possible for many homes to experience leaking in some areas of their roof. Mold inside of the house is a key indicator of potential leaks, but it may be difficult to spot in some cases. If you're unsure about your roof being on the verge of having a leak, reaching out to a roofing contractor is a great option in avoiding any potential issues.

Cracked Flashing

Installing flashing in your roof is vital to ensure the structure's resistance to severe weather. After dealing with various elements such as snow, rain, and debris, flashing is susceptible to damage and corrosion. Repairing flashing involves taking out surrounding roof tiles, cutting new flashing patches, adding roof cement, and more, making it a tedious process that is often best handled by a roofing contractor.

Broken Shingles

Another common cause of roof leaks is broken shingles. Between harsh summer and winter months, the switch from intense heat to severe cold can cause roof shingles to bow and crack. Without proper attention to these cracks, rain of any severity can cause damaging leaks. The best solution to this issue is replacing the shingles, which requires the removal of old shingles, a full inspection of the frame, and an installation of preventative surfaces that ward off rain from entering through the roof. A local contractor can assist you in the intricate replacement procedure.

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Clogged Gutters

From tree limbs and leaves to messy moss and hard ice, unanticipated weather conditions may result in a blocked gutter. Often, the design and installation quality of a gutter determines if it will be susceptible to constant clogging. Consider consulting a local contractor to help decide if your gutters need to be adjusted or moved to generate a better natural flow that can help avoid clogging. After repairing or replacing your gutter, installing gutter guards can help prevent future debris from entering the spout.

Damaged or Leaking Skylight

If you're beginning to see water damage on the ceiling next to the skylight or notice a bit of moisture on the windowpane, it's likely that your skylight may have a leak. During a severe storm, debris or hail can damage or shatter your skylight window. At this point, the cracked or destroyed skylight will most likely need to be replaced completely. Skylight installation can be a complicated process, so reaching out to a local window contractor for advice and assistance on repair or replacement may be the best option.

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