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How to Spot Storm Damage to Your Roof

Severe winds and debris that fly from the roof during a storm can cause damage to the entire house. Observing your home’s exterior and taking note of signs like dents, broken shingle patterns, and holes can help you know when it’s time to call in a professional for repairs.

Start by walking around your property to look for loose yard waste, debris, and damaged lawn furniture or decorations. Then, check for dents on gutters, vents, and skylights. Read on to find out more.


During stormy weather, high winds are capable of causing a wide range of hazards on the property. This includes the obvious things like fallen tree branches and downed power lines, but they can also wreak havoc on roof structures themselves. Winds can tear or blow shingles off and move them around, and they can also loosen or break the nails that hold them in place.

The most common types of debris that can be blown onto roofs are leaves, twigs, and limbs. When these items accumulate, they can weigh down gutters and clog them. This can lead to water leaks on interior ceilings and walls.

Hail is another common culprit that can damage shingles. The force of hail hitting a roof can etch holes into them or knock off the protective granules that cover asphalt shingle surfaces. When granules are removed, shingles have less ability to resist sunlight, which can speed up wear and tear and contribute to a shorter lifespan for the roof.


Trees are a lovely addition to any yard and offer shade, privacy, and beauty. However, they can also cause damage to a roof during severe storms and high winds. Larger limbs can break or knock holes in the roof while smaller branches rip off shingles and create leaks. If you have trees close to your house it is a good idea to hire an arborist to trim them on a regular basis so that they are not too near to the home.

Typically, any damage done by a nearby tree to the roof is covered by homeowner’s insurance after you pay your deductible. However, it is a good idea to inspect the damage yourself to take pictures and videos to submit to your insurance agent. Inspect for weakened limbs, leaning or dead branches, and a mulch-like layer of leaves and pine needles under the tree that can encourage mold and moss. These will deteriorate the shingles and rot the roof structure underneath.


Your gutter system is an integral part of your roof’s structure. Its function is to catch and drain runoff and prevent water damage to your roof, siding, windows, basement, and foundation.

During extreme weather, your gutters can be dented or torn off the house. Gutter dents can affect the way water drains, leading to water leaks. Damaged downspouts and outlets, and loosened gutter hangers can also jeopardize your gutter’s drainage efficiency.

Many homeowners insurance policies cover functional gutter damage during a severe weather event. However, cosmetic blemishes, such as metal marring or dents may not be covered by your policy. Make sure to hire a roofing and gutter specialist rather than a general contractor. Also, remember to regularly trim trees in your yard. Overgrown limbs can damage gutter paint and caulking, bend gutter troughs, and cause leaks or rust. It is recommended to keep 10 feet of distance between tree limbs and the gutters.


The high winds of a major storm can do some serious damage to your home and property, especially when they reach hurricane-force levels. Look for ripped and tattered shingles, damp rafters in the attic, and even damage to the supporting elements of your roof, like the flashing around vent pipes or the chimney.

Flashing is thin pieces of impervious material installed to decrease water penetration at roof intersections and projections such as chimneys, dormers, walls, window openings, and skylights. Flashing can be made of aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, or lead and may have a corrugated appearance to allow it to bend with the movement of the roof and walls.

If roof flashing is damaged, it can cause leaks that are not easy for homeowners to spot. If left untreated, these leaks can become a significant problem in the future. Keeping an eye out for these problems can help you get your homeowner’s insurance provider to send an adjuster or roofing contractor to start on repairs sooner. Browse the next article.

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