Roofs are built to last but being subjected to the elements day in and day out does take its toll, eventually leading to damage. Different roofs may have to deal with different conditions but generally the same signs of damage arise. It’s important to be mindful of these signs because it clues you in on when your roof is in need of attention, giving you the opportunity to take action and get your roof back into shape.
Common signs of damage include:
- Ceiling Spots. Roof damage starts from the outside but you can also check inside the home to assess if you should call a roofer. Ceiling spots generally form when a leak is present so don’t ignore them when you see some.
- Damaged Flashing. Flashing is used to seal up joints in a roof but, as it is usually made of metal, it can rust over time. When flashing deteriorates, it ceases to be effective at its job, making roof joints susceptible to leaks.
- Missing Shingles. Whether you have an asphalt shingle roof or something else, missing roofing material is a problem. A roofing structure is supposed to protect you from the elements but it can’t do that effectively when it has a hole.
- Buckling, Curling, and Blistering. Buckling, curling, and blistering in roofing material occurs because of the constant shift in temperature. To prevent these in the future, it would be a good idea to choosing a roofing material that is impervious to changes in temperature.
- Algae Growth. It’s technically not a sign of damage but it does warrant your attention because algae growth will make your roof look unsightly, making it look way more aged than it actually is. Your roof is your home’s crowning glory so keeping it looking attractive is also important.
- Missing Granules. For asphalt shingles, granule loss is a sign of deterioration. If you’re seeing a lot of granules in your gutters, it may be time to replace your asphalt shingle roof.
- Decay and Rot. You don’t need to a professional roofer to know that decay and rot are bad news. Blatant deterioration not only makes your roof look unappealing but it also underscores that the structural integrity of your roofing material has been compromised.
Causes of Roof Damage
Aside from the usual suspects like rain, snow, heat, hail, and wind, even those that seem harmless, like nesting birds, can cause damage to your roof. Gaps in the roofing material caused by equipment protrusions are typical origin points for leaks so do keep an eye on them.
What to Do
It’s important to properly assess damage as that will tell you what your roof needs exactly. A professional inspection is best because roofers not only know exactly what to look for but they also have the proper gear and equipment to carry out an inspection safely. After an inspection, your roofer will provide you with a report detailing their findings and outlining recommendations for you to consider, like:
- Using metal connectors to improve your roof’s wind uplift resistance
- Installing roof sheathing
- Keeping your attic well-ventilated
Claiming Insurance for Room Damage
Having insurance when you’re dealing with roofing damage can help ease the process on the financial side but claiming insurance has its own process you should know about. Fortunately, the steps are generally straightforward so you don’t have to worry about too many things. You do have to make sure you cover your bases, like ensuring all your insurance docs are in place and taking pictures of the damage and gathering other forms of documentation. You should also let your insurance company know right away because some may require claims to be filed within a certain period.
If you need to have any repairs done right away, make sure you keep your receipts. Include them in the paperwork you will have to file to initiate a claim. Make sure all your documents have been properly filled out! Any mistake, even an honest one, can be used as a reason to deny your claim, says the American Association for Justice.
To support your claim, an insurance adjuster will pay your home a visit to assess your roof’s condition. Depending on their findings, it’s possible for the adjuster to provide you with a settlement quote right away. However, it’s not unheard of for weeks to pass before you hear word again.
Once your claim is approved, you can now have your roof fixed. If you feel the quote was too low, however, or if your claim was denied, you can make an appeal or even take your insurance company to court.
To learn more about roof damage and what you can do about it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a roofing expert in your area. Remember, the sooner you address roof damage, the better.
Colin Clark is the owner and president of Dynamic Roofing Concepts, Inc. Family-owned and -operated, the company has been offering high-quality yet affordable roofing in the Brandon and Tampa areas and nearby cities for more than 40 years now. For updates from Colin, check out the company blog!