Myth-Busting Roof Damage Misconceptions
Without a background in construction, it is often difficult to judge roof damage after a storm. Very often, roof damage isn’t as obvious as a hole in the roof or missing shingles. Here are some facts that can help you understand the different ways that a storm can damage your roof, and how to choose the right roofing for your home:
Fact: Not all roof damage is visible to the naked eye
Did you know that impact of hail on roofing shingles can result in small tears that create an entry point for moisture, yet still leaving a roof ‘looking okay’ after the storm has passed? Or that strong windstorms can loosen shingles and other parts of a roof system, causing damage that escapes a homeowner’s notice until a leak suddenly appears inside their home? Those heavy icicles that form at the edge of your roof may add a bit of winter charm, but they are also a sign of ice damming – a destructive freeze-thaw cycle caused by poor roof ventilation that literally separates shingles from the roof deck and creates an access point for water.
Fact: A patchwork of roof components is often inadequate
Some roofing contractors use underlayments, ventilation products, roof shingles, and other roof system components from a variety of manufacturers, which at first may not seem like a bad idea. However, installing a system of components from one manufacturer helps ensure that each component performs as designed for its full life expectancy. Also, using components from one manufacturer generally secures stronger warranties (ask about CertainTeed’s Integrity Roof System®). A properly installed asphalt roof system that uses components made by a reputable manufacturer should weather normal exposure to the elements for many years.
Fact: All roofs are not the same
When selecting a roof, you should choose a roofing material that is designed to combat the severe weather events likely to affect your home over time. Many regions are prone to factors like high moisture, strong winds, hail, extreme heat or cold, wildfires, etc. If hail is an issue, there are heavy-duty, rubberized asphalt shingles that are designed to withstand impacts from hail without tearing. Metal roofing, while generally more expensive than asphalt, is a great ‘all-around’ roofing solution that offers strong impact, fire and wind resistance, as well as a life expectancy of 50 years or more. There are even cool roof shingles with solar-reflective coatings or granules that can significantly lower a home’s roof temperature on hot days, which reduces cooling costs. Be sure to do your research.
After the storm
Staying on the offensive can prevent water from damaging to walls and other structures underneath your roof. Be observant and check attic areas, rafters and ceilings for signs of water intrusion, such as wet spots, water staining, or damp insulation. If you live in an area that experiences hail or strong winds, it is smart to have your roof assessed by a professional as soon as possible. A professional roofing contractor may notice damage beyond the surface and can make recommendations to insurance adjusters. Also, talk to your neighbors and remain vigilant of any restoration work being done on their homes. If homes in your neighborhood are having their roof replaced, and your insurance carrier thinks that your roof is still serviceable, you may want to have the condition of your roof assessed by a third-party.