Weather Damage, How to find and fix common roofing problems

Summer break is coming to an end, and our kids are finally going back to school. Maybe they’re even moving away to college, which is always an exciting time. August is also in the midst of storm season here in Northern Georgia, meaning that harsh weather could have a substantial impact on any old roof. If you’ve just become an empty nester, congratulations! However, maybe you should check and see that your nest is in good shape.

Different storms have varying levels of impact on your roof, and we will let you know which weather conditions do the most. When it comes to fixing weather damage or filing a claim for weather damage, responsiveness is key. At the same time, it could be challenging to make a timely claim for damage if you don’t know what damage looks like. We will tell you how to best identify weather damage in the safest way. Ultimately, the best way to identify and fix a problem is to get a professional to take care of it.

Give us a call to schedule a free inspection on your roof! We can give your roof a checkup and show you if any weather prone areas would create some issues.

What Weather Does the Most to your Roof

For a more comprehensive guide on storm season, check out our previous post about all you need to know about storm season in Georgia.

In this region of the US, we get hit by a variety of weather conditions that could potentially harm your roof. Whether it’s the intense heat of summer, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, or windstorms, your roof could take a beating.

Rain and high temperatures can slowly deteriorate the state of your roof over time. If you don’t conduct proper maintenance and prepare for storm season, water may build up and erode the roof’s shingles. At the same time, the high temperatures could cause your shingles to curl and become brittle. Older roofs can become bare of shingles, causing rotted wood and water damage in the home. Regular inspections can help identify areas or signs of damage.

Here in Georgia, we can occasionally get hailstorms that produce uncomfortably large hail pellets. These pellets can be pretty rough on our capital assets that are exposed to the outdoor elements. After a hailstorm rolls through your area, it’s advisable that you check your roof for any visible signs of damage. Time is of the essence, as you may be able to file a damage claim with your insurance company that could cover the cost of the repairs.

Unfortunately, we can sometimes be in the path of tropical storms with incredibly powerful winds. These strong winds could cause direct damage to your roof by lifting the shingles and breaking them off, or by sending large debris onto or through your roof. If a hurricane comes through your neighborhood and sends a tree branch or electrical pole through your roof, give us a call!

Tree branch fall onto rouge asphalt shingle roof causing damage

If you just need an inspection, a small repair, or immediate storm damage restorations done. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We are happy to help and are always there for our fellow Atlanta neighbors!

Finding the Causes and Signs of Damage

It’s widely known that to live a healthy and happy life; you should treat your body like a temple. However, many people don’t realize the same philosophy should apply to your home as well. If you neglect the issues in your home, they won’t just go away on their own. Ignoring the leak in your roof will only escalate and cost you an arm and a leg in the long run. Below I will go over the most common roofing issues to look out for and be aware of.

Things to look for inside your home 

Leaks after a rainstorm

Leaks in your roof are a telltale sign that there may be an opening in your roof and are nothing to ignore. Even small leaks can result in more significant problems such as damaged ceilings, destroyed insulation, rotting sheathing and framing, and mold. It is always better to take the proper precautions and have a roofing professional inspect your roof. A quick free inspection could save you from scrambling for pots or buckets to catch the rainwater.

Water Damage

Even if you do not explicitly see the stream of water coming from a leak in your roof, it is crucial to be aware of the other signs that would indicate a leak. Stains and dark streaks on your ceiling are a symptom of moisture reaching your ceiling. This moisture from the roof can also reach the walls and leave stains from top to bottom. Aesthetically, but more importantly, structurally, this is a huge problem that you should address by contacting a roofing contractor to help repair the root of the problem.

A good test to see if there is any damage to your roof is to look inside your attic or a similar location where you can see the roof’s underside. With the lights off in your attic, you may be able to see small streaks or cracks of daylight shining through the roof on a bright day. This is a clear sign that the roof is damaged or that shingles are missing.

Things to look for outside your home

Shingle Health

There are various signs of damage that you can search for from the ground level. It is recommended that you should avoid climbing up on your roof if you don’t have to. The safest method is just to get a free inspection done by an experienced roofing contractor. They know what to look for and can give solutions.

Missing granules are essential for aesthetic beauty, fire resistance, and UV ray protection to your home. From the ground level, you can notice if your asphalt shingles are looking like they are worn out or bare. Shingles can begin to wear down over time and start to decay.

Decaying shingles happen over time and will become brittle, cracked, curled, or even fall off, leaving the bare roof exposed. An inspection of your roof can identify the health of your shingles and determine whether a replacement is needed.

Fallen shingles on the ground outside your home should raise some alarm as it could be a symptom of structural damage on your roof. Fallen shingles can result from old roof age, improper installation, or strong winds. Often, many broken or missing shingles are a strong indication that you may need a roof replacement.

Check for environmental damage

Our homes are so much better at handling the elements and weathering the storms than we are. But that doesn’t mean the external environment doesn’t take its toll on the roof over time. Be sure to frequently conduct proper roofing maintenance practices and be aware of signs of wear and tear on your roof.

Biological Growth, such as moss, will grow on your roof and be removed by cleaning the area with a mixture of bleach and water or easily brushing away. From the ground level, you can inspect your roof and look for these dark patches of growth.

Wildlife Damage can be a nuisance as the little critters that should be outside, try to make a home inside your roof. Once the little home-invader is removed (in a humane way) from your roof, the small holes in your roof can be repaired. It would also be wise to check your sources of roof ventilation to ensure that they are not clogged with nests or leaves.

Wind or Hail Damage can create exposures in your roof that will lead to further issues. After an intense storm, it is a good idea to inspect your roof for damage. Even small dents in the shingles from hailstones can build up and become a source of leaks in the future.

Gutter Build up

As per the Spring cleaning tradition, a good eavesdrops cleaning is a large part of essential roof maintenance. While you’re up there, it would be good to look out for gutters that may be sagging or showing signs of damage. If you notice a substantial build-up of granules, pieces of shingles, or other roof materials among the leaves during your cleaning, it could be an indication that your roof is getting old, and you may need a roof replacement.

Things to Keep an Eye Out For

There are many distinct indications of damage that you can look for both inside and outside your home. But there are also more subtle signs that might point to you needing a new roof.

Higher energy bills

Something that could be a sign that you need a new roof but easy to blow off as not as big a deal is an increase in your energy bills. You might think that your child is spending more time on their phone and racking up the energy bill. But a better explanation is that your roof is aging, becoming thin, and not doing as good a job at keeping the appropriate climate inside your home.

Roof is over a certain age

Dependent on the materials and the quality of installation of your roof, you should consider getting a new roof done when your roof is around 20 years old or so. However, if you go with a low-cost roofer who will cut corners and use cheap materials, that lifespan will be considerably shorter. It is better not to wait until a disaster strikes to consider getting a checkup on your roof.

So, for your physical and financial health, you should treat your home like a temple the same way you take care of yourself. Don’t let those nagging issues go undealt with. Contact a trusted roofing contractor to inspect your home today.

Fixing the Problem

You might think that the issue with your roof is just a simple fix and that with enough duct tape and your ingenuity, you can do anything. Who am I to say that you can’t. But you’re smart. Smart enough to know that some jobs should be left to the professionals. Below I will go through some of the reasons you shouldn’t try to be like superman and fix your roof yourself.

Your efforts may be counterproductive

Say you have a missing shingle in a somewhat visible spot on your roof. All you need to do is climb up there and nail down a new shingle or two in the exposed area, right? Wrong. Please, don’t do that.

If one shingle had fallen off your roof, the chances are that the surrounding shingles may be damaged or unstable. If you go climbing up there to fix the problem, you very well might disturb the structure of the roof and cause even more damage than what you started with.

You Don’t Really Save Money

Understandably, you would be able to save some money in a DIY repair job on your roof. The only thing that you would be saving money on would be the cost of labor. Regardless, you will still need to spend money to purchase the right materials for the job. But if you were to be doing the job yourself, you would just be spending your own valuable time and effort instead.

When you hire a roofing contractor, you pay for their expertise. They’ve done hundreds of repair jobs over thousands of hours. They are qualified to fix the problem and identify the other symptoms that might indicate your roof is unwell.

You could void the warranty

A “do it yourself” repair might save you a couple of dollars here in the short run. However, you are putting your future self in financial risk by doing so. If you try to install your own roof or take it upon yourself to do the repairs, you could void your warranty with the material manufacturer. So, if you need a new roof or repair in the future, it may not be covered by the warranty, and you would have to pay out of pocket.

You may get hurt

One would think that getting up on your roof to do some intricate repairs could be a thrilling experience, but it really isn’t. If your roof is old and some shingles are loose, maybe your roof slope is particularly steep, and it rained last night. These are the perfect conditions for a disastrous result. I don’t need to tell you that falling from your roof won’t feel very good.

It is better to leave the work to the professionals; they know how to be safe and know what they’re doing.

It Won’t Look as Good as a Professional Job

Now I’m not saying that your work won’t look as good or last as long as what a professional roofer can do. Maybe you’ll figure it out on your own. But why go through all that stress? I would say that “DIY” roofing jobs don’t have the same hours of experience that a certified GAF contractor would have.

ProRoofing Crew working on installing a new roof on a two story red brick home

A common phrase we hear a lot is “work smarter, not harder.” Mind you, this is often said as someone gets their colleague with less seniority to do the job’s brunt. But you should take this same philosophy to heart as well. Don’t try to be a hero and do the job yourself. An experienced professional can do the job much quicker and with professional quality. So, I encourage you to be smart by not working hard. Contact us for a free roofing inspection and estimate.