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How to Properly Inspect Your Roof After a Major Storm

Posted by Art Valentz on February 19, 2018

Major storms damage roof materials

There are many ways to inspect your roof after a major storm, hurricane, or hail event. You could inspect it yourself or have your roof inspected professionally.  Some important factors to consider are the overall size, the height, and the material of your roof.  Especially for homeowners or building owners with much larger and higher roofs, always put safety first and know when it might be a good time to bring in a professional to help.  Regardless, experts agree, it’s critical to have the inspection done directly after the storm event, so as to locate and repair damage in a timely manner.

If you are going to self-inspect your roof you should start with your attic space (given that you have one) and try to conduct your inspection on a bright, sunny day, if possible.  Try to examine the plywood underlayment or substrate of the roof and check for any signs of daylight streaming through.  This would indicate a hole or breach of the roof’s integrity.  Also closely inspect the visible surfaces of the attic by using a flashlight, or even light from your phone, to check for moist spots and mold, as wells any surface deformities like sagging or bowing.  Moisture is a strong indication that water is beginning to penetrate the roof assembly.

On the exterior of the roof, check for broken pieces of shingles or flashing that may have fallen from the roof, nails that appear loose, and to the extent you can visually either with your eye or binoculars try to look for any form of debris.  It is often easiest to spot any material that may be bent or just plain missing.  Use a ladder help you to the extent that you can do so safely.  Again, it is important to remember that detecting and fixing minor issues at the roof in a timely manner can truly help you to keep small problems from quickly becoming bigger, more expensive problems.

If your damage truly is the result of a major storm, you should also document all of the damage extensively and exhaustively, in any way that you can.  Real estate companies also recommend keeping receipts related to the work done on the roof and compiling these receipts and invoices in order to help estimate losses.  That way you may be able to be properly reimbursed by your insurance company.  Also be sure to recall if any of the work done on your current roof has been warrantied and therefore may be eligible for replacement.

If you plan to hire someone to inspect your roof, make sure you hire someone who is licensed, insured, respected by the Better Business Bureau, and generally has a good track record in your community for conducting routine roof inspections.  Many companies now also provide helpful DIY checklists for those you who my attempt to do your own roof inspection.


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Topics: Rooftop Support Engineering, Roof Architecture

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