Although a tropical storm is less likely to cause catastrophic roof damage than an all-out hurricane, it can still dump large quantities of rain and debris on your house. As a good homeowner, you'll want to nip any damage in the bud by getting out there once the storm is over and doing whatever needs to be done to get your roof in good shape again.
Here's how to care for your roof after it's been through a tropical storm.
1. Clean off Debris
If the rood surface is covered in wet leaves, you won't be able to tell what condition the shingles are in. Plus, saturated leaves glomming onto the shingles can hold water in place while it works its way through your roof's surface into the attic. While it may not be fun, you must remove the leaves to prevent leaks and assess damage.
Using a long-handled brush, try to clean the storm debris off the roof without actually walking on it. Use great caution if you have to stand on a ladder, and make sure you only do so in good weather and good shoes and with an assistant to hold the ladder steady.
2. Assess for Damage
Before cleaning, give the roof a once-over to make sure no large branches are either sitting on the roof or nearby on the ground in a position that suggests they may have fallen on the roof, then bounced off.
If any large branches were on the roof, you'll want to have a contractor come out and inspect that area particularly for damage.
Other signs you may need a professional inspection and/or repairs include:
- Darker splotches on the roof surface, indicating most of the granules have worn off
- Missing or damaged flashing, a common cause of leaks
- Shingle damages; not just missing shingles but bent, cracked, buckled, curled, ripped, or slightly lifted shingles
Some types of damage are difficult to detect, so if you see a couple of loose shingles, call for repairs rather than assume the damage must be small in scope. Those shingles could be the only visible manifestation of bigger problems, and it's better to be safe than sorry.
3. Clear and Inspect Gutters
While you're cleaning, check for any bowed or loose gutter sections that were overwhelmed by the weight of rain and soggy leaves. Loose sections can pull away and warp, and bowed sections indicate that the gutter doesn't have enough support or perhaps has became clogged.
Check for other signs of clogging, too. Gutter clogs can cause water to back up, allowing the fascia to become water damaged and, in some cases, even create a leak at the eaves.
4. Look Inside and on the Ground
Sometimes you can find evidence of roof damage lying around your yard. For example, a piece of flashing from the chimney or several roof fasteners, or even shingles that you find sitting in your yard could let you know that your roof needs repairs.
You also need to go up into your attic to check on the underside of the roof. A roof could possibly develop a leak that's invisible to you from the outside, but creates visible water damage on the roof's underside. Check for warping, discoloration, and drips in the attic.
These steps will help you get a handle on your roof's condition after a storm and make sure it doesn't develop any further leaks after the fact. Be sure to call a contractor if you see any damage, and if they're already overbooked, ask them to walk you through the process of tarping over any severe damage to minimize further leakage.
C & W Roofing, Siding & Window Co. is happy to meet all of your needs for a fully licensed and bonded contractor in the upstate area, so contact us today if you need help with roofing repairs or maintenance.