Your home is designed to stand up to all kinds of weather. Every once in awhile, however, a storm comes through that has you wondering if parts of your home are now in need of repair. Storms here in Colorado can spring up suddenly producing large amounts of hail, wind, rain, and even tornadoes. Microbursts, large, high-velocity, bursts of wind that descend from a thunderstorm are not uncommon along the front range. Their speed once they hit the ground can be in excess of 100 MPH. 

Although storms bring necessary precipitation to our area, it is not without harm either. A Colorado hail storm in 2017 caused more than $2.3 billion in damage. In 2013, Boulder, Colorado and the surrounding area received almost 40 inches of rain over 2 days in September, causing over $1 Billion in damage. Colorado, which is part of what is known as “hail alley”  averages 7 to 9 hail days per year.

So what do you look for after a storm to assess your home? It’s important to take care before you ever get on your roof. If you doubt your ability to be safe it is very important to call a roofing/exterior professional to help you assess your situation. Attempt to view your roof and exterior from the ground. Use binoculars if necessary. It might be helpful to view part of your roof from a window. Now that you know the importance of assessing, let us show you what to look for.

Roof Construction

It’s important to know how your roof is built to protect your home. This knowledge will help you better know what to look for when you are trying to determine if problems exist. Your roof will typically have 3 layers, decking (sheathing), felt, and covering (shingle, metal, tile). 

Decking or sheathing should be secured to roof joists and have minimal space between sheets. All decking should be firm and able to support a person walking on it without any soft areas. 

Felt is what provides the moisture barrier for your home. Think of it as large rolls of paper-like material. This is rolled over the decking and secured. Felt that is old or deteriorated will no longer provide the appropriate protection from the elements needed.

Shingle, Metal, Tile provides durability and an aesthetically pleasing finish to your roof. This material protects the felt and decking from damage. This outer layer takes most of the beating in a storm. Once an area of this layer starts to wear away or becomes compromised then its time to get help. 

Wind

Even without a storm we experience high winds along the front range. This can wreak havoc on your roof. Shingles and even tile can lift and blow away or mov out of position. Even this adhesive seal on a shingle edge can become loose and no longer provide the moisture resistance it needs. Look for shingles out of place, edges lifted up, and loose shingles.

If you notice thin horizontal lines about 1-2 inches beneath the shingle above; this could indicate that the shingle seal was broken and the shingle was flapping in the wind rubbing against the shingle above and granules have been worn off . To stand strong against the elements, shingles must be sealed to each other as one water tight roof deck.

Your shingle most likely has a wind warranty from the manufacturer. It’s important to know the limits of this warranty. If the wind reported in the area is higher than the warranty allows you should check with your insurance provider for coverage. 

Hail

Hail damage can sometimes be hard to detect unless a widespread event occurs. If a major hail event happens you will most likely have roofing contractors knocking on your door within a day or two of the event. Use extreme caution when working with these contractors. Many of them are not a local established business that have an investment in the community and are in town to earn what they can before they chase the next storm. If you are looking for someone to help you maintain your home and to be around after the job is done then choose a local well-established, well-rated company. 

When hail strikes your roof it can leave a depression in your shingle causing cracks around the edge of the hit. Over time this accelerates the deterioration of the shingle and allows water to come through. Generally, hail over the size of a nickel can begin to cause serious damage. It’s important to photograph and video a hail storm if at all possible. 

Look for collateral damage on vent caps and flashing. Assess your siding and windows for hail strikes and chips at their corners. It is important to note that granules in your gutters are normal for asphalt shingles, but a large pile at the end of your downspout may be a sign of more significant problems.  More than likely, if there was a major hail event in your area, you need to bring out a professional to help assess the damage. Arvada Roofing and Home Improvement has extensive experience navigating these waters and can help guide you through.

Falling Debris

This might be the most obvious damage to find on your property. Branches from trees, especially cottonwood trees being somewhat brittle, can break easily and damage your roof or siding. If a branch is on the ground, but near the structure, visually assess the roof from the ground or a window for damage. Look for cracked or missing shingles, visual depressions in the roof deck, and piles of granules at the end of downspout.  If you need help performing this in a safe manner Arvada Roofing and Home Improvement is happy to help. 

If you would like an honest professional to come out and assess your property we would be honored to help guide you through this process.