Damaging Storms are not unusual, especially here in Texas. Relative to roofing, these damaging events are associated with hail storms and/or wind (straight-line wind, tornados, hurricanes, etc.). The damage caused by hail is very different than the damage caused by wind, but the end result of each is the same… a roof that is no longer an adequate waterproof covering for your home.
The information below will introduce and explain why these events are damaging to your home and hopefully help to answer the common question of, “Why is the insurance going to pay for a new roof?”
Hail storms can occur any time throughout the year but they are most likely from April to July and again in September and October. These storms usually occur in the afternoon or early evening hours and are more likely when there are large temperature differences between the high’s and low’s of the day. These temperature differences are key factors to creating volatile upper level winds that will circulate the hail stones up into the atmosphere multiple times, causing them to increase in size with each rise into the atmosphere. Eventually the hail will become heavy enough to overcome the force of the winds and will fall to the ground. The stronger the upper-level winds, the larger the hail will be.
Small hail stones (pea and marble size) don’t cause much damage unless strong lower-level winds exist, increasing their speed and force of impact. But, hail stones 1 inch or greater in size are much more likely to cause damage. These hail stones will damage roofs, dent cars, break windows and siding, dent garage doors, damage fencing, destroy trees and flowers, and even kill people if they are caught in the storm with no protection.
The most common type of steep slope roofing and the most vulnerable to damage are asphalt shingles. In addition, damage to these shingles is also the most misunderstood type of damage because it is not obvious to the untrained eye, it usually cannot be seen from the ground, and the roof will likely not start leaking right away. But, hail damage to your roof is very real and very serious to the safety of your home. This is why Andes Contracting recommends for you to give us a call and schedule your Free Inspection. Andrew will personally meet with you, inspect your roof, and discuss whatever concerns may exist.
Hail Damage to Asphalt Shingles
These shingles will not crack like some types of shingles, but the hail stones do leave “bruises” on the shingles. In these impacted spots the shingle has literally been crushed, reducing the waterproof integrity of the shingle and usually causing the granules of the shingle to release and fall off. These granules protect the middle asphalt layers of the shingle from exposure to the UV sunlight. With the granules now missing, the sunlight will deteriorate the asphalt of the shingle at an accelerated rate and it will begin to become brittle and eventually crumble away.
This is one reason hail damage is so deceiving; often a water leak does not become visibly evident until weeks or even months after the storm. The real enemy after a hail storm is time, the longer you wait the greater the chances are you will have problems inside your home as well as on the outside. Don’t expect your roof to leak right away, but it will eventually leak if it is not taken care of.
Other Damage Caused by Hail
If your roof is metal, the damage will likely be cosmetic not creating a leak concern – but cosmetic damage is still damage. Wood, tile, or slate roofs will likely also have cosmetic damage but there is also the possibility of the hail cracking and breaking the individual roof pieces creating the possibility of water to enter the home.
The primary cause of wind related damage to roofing is from hurricanes. Other wind events such as tornados or straight-line winds do also cause damage but they don’t affect even a fraction of the number of people affected in just one hurricane. Hurricane season officially begins June 1st and ends November 30th but the greatest chance of a hurricane is in August and September. Hurricanes can affect any part of the southern and eastern coastlines from Texas to Florida and up to Maine. They will have sustained winds of anywhere between 74 to 155 miles per hour and cause major damage to large areas when they make landfall (roofs blown off, windows blown out, trees blown down, signs and billboards completely gone, personal possessions blown completely gone, etc.). Water damage caused by flooding and storm surge can be extensive, but will be limited to close coastal areas. But it is not just the coastline that is subject to wind damage. Depending on the size of the hurricane, damaging winds can carry hundreds of miles inland. Yes, even North Texas could be subject to damaging winds from a hurricane.
Specific to Roofing
The greatest factor on how well your roof will withstand the wind will be the age of the roof. With age the sealant between the shingles and the shingles themselves begin to dry-out and become brittle, this makes it much easier for the wind to get under the shingles, break and damage the shingles, and even blow complete sections of the roof off the house. It is true that certain shingle types and designs will withstand wind better than others, but if it is too old design will make little difference.
Bottom line, there is no roof exempt from wind damage; metal, tile, wood, slate, asphalt, for one reason or another they can all be damaged. Tile, wood, and slate roofing all have a membrane under the top layer of material that plays a key role in waterproofing the home. If this membrane is punctured for any reason the house is no longer waterproof, even if the top layer is still in place. For metal roofing, as long as wind is not able to get under the metal it will withstand very high winds, but once the wind is under the metal it will lift and bend like paper. Asphalt shingles, the most common steep roof material, can withstand high winds but age and installation will greatly affect how much wind it can handle.
Wind and Asphalt Shingles
The obvious needs no explanation; when you walk outside and the shingles are gone – there is obviously a problem. But it is important to understand the whole roof likely sustained damage from the wind and not just the area of missing shingles. The reason for this is that all asphalt shingles have a strip of sealant that “glues” the upper shingle to the lower one; if the wind was bad enough to completely remove shingles from the roof it was likely bad enough to break the sealant line in multiple places around the roof. Another result of wind damage is that fasteners (nails or staples) can and will pull through the shingle allowing the shingle to “flop” but not necessarily be blown off the roof. Broken seals and torn fasteners cannot be seen from the ground, but are considered direct physical damage as a result of high winds and are covered under your insurance policy.
Another indicator of damage from high winds is crease lines along the length of the shingle. This happens when the wind has lifted the shingle and after multiple times of lifting and falling the shingle forms a crease before it breaks off. Many times creased shingles will remain “hanging on” to the roof and are not easily noticed from the ground. Creased or cracked shingles are also an indicator of an old roof, and possibly a roof that is not repairable. Similar to hail damage, many aspects of wind damage cannot be seen from the ground and require a physical inspection of the roof to accurately determine the scope of damage.
We pride ourselves on quality and service and we want to see your home protected as if it were our own. Partial roof replacements or repairs are not something we recommend after a severe weather event. If you are like many of our customers and the insurance has only provided partial replacement of your roof, we can help. We will document and present the reality of the damage to your home and work to ensure you have the funds to properly repair your home.