If a hurricane has been named and comes through your area it is always good to check everything even if it does not seem your home has been affected. A large proportion of homeowners do not regularly check the roof of their property. Neither do they check it themselves, nor do they have it checked by a specialist. But this can end badly and be expensive, and not just in the event of storm damage. What should be a matter of course after a named storm or maybe even a hailstorm, namely checking the roof, can also preventively protect against damage to the roof or the substance of the house.
Major weak points
When inspecting the roof, the first thing to do is understand the weak points the roof itself may have. A distinction must be made between flat and pitched roofs:
In the case of a flat roof, the roof cladding consists of bitumen sheets welded together. A roof inspection must therefore look for cracks, including hairline cracks or holes. Equally important is examining the connection points between the individual bitumen sheets and the connections to the chimney, ventilation pipes, or drains. The connecting rain gutters must also be checked so that the rainwater does not remain on the roof but is reliably drained away.
With the classic pitched roof, the most significant weak point is in the roof tiles themselves. It must be checked whether the roof tiles are still firmly in place or whether they are damaged. Furthermore, the gutters must be checked for functionality. They must not be clogged or dented. As with the flat roof, care must be taken to ensure that connection points such as chimneys and ventilation pipes are intact. Another central weak point in a pitched roof is the surrounds of skylights. They should also be checked regularly. The photovoltaic system must also be considered during the roof inspection.
If you check your roof regularly, you can usually save yourself significant (consequential) damage and thus a lot of money. For the layman, damage to the roof is not always apparent, so it may be advisable to consult a professional.
Strong winds not only cause roof damage but also tear shutters out of their guide rails and push windows in. Falling trees are also a great danger to people and buildings. They take with them whatever is in their way: Gutters, downspouts, scaffolding, canopies, carports, and fencing. The roots of falling trees can also damage pipes and ducts and pathways, patios, and exterior stairs.
While visible damage can be quickly repaired, some homeowners have not yet discovered other problems, such as a tree that the storm has loosened but still appears to be standing intact. It may fall over sometime in the next few months, causing damage. That’s why owners should be sure to check their homes and property for storm damage! But then it will be difficult to claim the damage from the insurance company.
If you call your insurance company to be sure to contact Altieri Insurance Consultants as we are on the Policy Holder’s side to make sure you are represented by professionals.
Storm damage caused to the Roof and similar areas – Be sure to go through the list!
- Check the roof: Are all the tiles still tight and flush in the seams?
- Are the tiles still mortared? Are the storm clips still in place? Does the roof even have storm clips?
- Are the roof tiles undamaged (damp spots inside indicate roof damage)?
- Did the storm loosen shingles or siding on dormers or gables that are now rattling loudly? Have them fixed!
- Has any leftover fall foliage been collected in storm drains and is now clogging drains? Remove!
- If applicable – Are the snow guards still tight?
- On a flat roof, are all drains clear, or did last fall leaves get caught there? Also, check the flat roof of the garage.
- Are the gutters and downspouts still in place, or have branches and trees chafed against them?
- Is the solar array still firmly seated, or has it sustained damage?
- Are the lightning protection system wires still firmly seated on the ridge and dormers?
- Has a lot of water run down the facade somewhere? Check to see if it has pushed through, for example, under window sills or on windows and doors.
- Is the wood cladding soaked in some places? Clarify cause and effect.
- After power failure: check all electrical and electronically controlled components, such as lifting systems. Also, readjust automatic shutter lifters and other timers.
- Check balcony doors, windows, roller shutters, and their guide rails. Strong, especially gusty winds can rip them out of their anchors.
- Check garden fences and wall tops for stability. Cover tiles can also become loose there.
- Check trees on the property!