7 Tips for Evaluating Roof Shingle Damage from Wind or Hail

Dec 20, 2013 | Roof Repair, Roofing

The Southeastern United States is sometimes subject to high wind velocities, often associated with severe thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. In those cases, damage may occur to your roof that may or may not be visible. Many shingles carry a wind-resistance rating of 60 miles per hour, but laboratory tests don’t always correspond to actual events.

Wind damage is caused by negative air pressure providing uplifting forces around the roof’s perimeter and on flashing. It may take more than one high-wind event to create visible signs of damage, as these effects are cumulative. In a rain storm, rain driven by strong winds can enter a home from any open site, such as soffit vents and gable ends, as well as through improperly sealed windows and doors. Within a few days, mildew and mold may develop, leading to severe problems.

Less common in the Deep South but no less damaging are hail storms. For example, in the early spring of both 2011 and 2012, Savannah saw damage to both houses and automobiles from hail storms. Depending upon the size of the hail and the strength of accompanying winds, shingles and flashing may be severely damaged. Signs of such damage include missing granules and cracks in shingles as well as dents in flashing, metal vents, and metal in roof valleys.

After a storm, you must act quickly to prevent problems from worsening over time. It is essential to make a thorough inspection of your roof before any damage leads to more significant problems. Avoid getting on the roof; use binoculars and, if necessary, a ladder, but again, stay off the roof. Follow these tips to ensure your home is prepared for future storms.

  1. Examine your roof carefully and note any missing tabs or shingles. These are sure signs of wind damage.
  2. Look for cracks in shingles or areas where the shingles have buckled or curled.
  3. Are there areas where substantial granules are missing from shingles?
  4. Have any roofing nails been pulled up (nail pop), causing shingles to loosen and nail punch-through?
  5. Inspect multilevel roofs at intersections with walls to ensure nothing has opened where water can seep in.
  6. Separating flashing from chimneys, vents, skylights, and attic fans might be too small to see but still lead to interior water damage. Check in the attic around these areas for signs of leakage.
  7. Inspect interior ceilings for telltale discolorations or bubbles in the wallboards.

Working on a roof is dangerous and should only be done by qualified, licensed, and insured roofing contractors. After performing an initial inspection, if you suspect any damage, you should call American Roofing & Vinyl Siding today or complete our online estimate request form for a roof inspection you can trust.

If you have other tips you would like to share, leave them in the comments below.