How Storm Damage Affects Your Roof | Checking Your Roof For Damage (2022)

Storms can damage a roof in a number of ways. The most common sources of damage to a roof during a storm are hail, high winds, rain, and falling debris. Hail and falling debris can damage shingles, while high winds call rip shingles right off your roof. Heavy rains can cause water to pool, creating or worsening leaks.

Checking Your Roof for Storm Damage

Hurricanes and tornadoes are obvious culprits for wind damage. But even a thunderstorm will have straight-line burst of wind that can cause damage. In addition to direct damage from wind, debris that is blown around by the wind can damage your roof. In a hailstorm, hail larger than 1 inch can cause damage to shingles.

(Video) How Storm Damage Affects Your Roof |

To check for damage from a storm, follow these steps:

  • Look for any signs of damage visible from the ground. Check for shingles that have been blown off or are missing. Pay special attention to metal flashing around chimneys or in valleys. Look for peeling or missing flashing. Also, be sure to check any vents, exhaust piping, or other protrusions for obvious damage.

  • Check inside your home for leaks. Leaks may appear first in an attic, so be sure to check there. Of course, if any water spots or leaks appear on the ceiling or walls of your home, it could be a sign that your roof has sustained damage in a storm.

  • Check for hail damage. If a storm produced hail, damage could result in the form of dents or dimples in the shingles. Also look for bits of material that has been broken off from the edge of individual shingles.

  • Consider safety first. Any roof can be a dangerous place to walk around. A roof that is wet, mossy, or damaged can be even more dangerous. Slips, falls, and roof damage are real concerns. Stay on the ground and hire a roofing contractor like Eagle Watch Roofing to do a rooftop inspection.

Wind Damage to Your Roof

A hurricane, tornado, or even a strong thunderstorm can cause wind damage to your roof. There are two ways that a roof can be damaged by wind. Strong winds can blow off individual shingles. Even a single missing shingle can cause leaks that lead to serious damage if left untreated.

Sometimes winds from a particularly storm can blow off an entire roof. In that case, it is rarely the wind that blew off the roof. Instead, the damage is due to air pressure differences above and below the roof. Fast moving air from a storm creates low air pressure. Meanwhile, the still or slower moving air inside the house maintains higher air pressure. This difference in air pressure causes lift as the roof is “pulled” toward the low pressure zone. This is the same way an airplane wing can lift a heavy jetliner high into the sky. But in case of your roof, this pressure difference can lift the roof right off your house. This is also the cause of burst windows during storms with high wind, as the glass is pulled outward toward the zone of low pressure.

(Video) How Storm Damage Affects your Roof

Hail Damage to Your Roof

Most roofing materials begin to sustain damage from hail when it reaches about 1 inch in diameter. The damage from hail will usually look like pock marks or small dimples on shingles. Hail can also break of bits of shingle or tile around the edges of the shingle or tile. Larger hail will cause more severe damage. The amount of time the hail falls also makes a big difference. A short burst of hail above 1 inch in diameter will cause some damage, but a sustained hailstorm can seriously damage a roof, requiring extensive roof repairs or even a full replacement.

Metal roofs are generally more weather resistant than other types of roofs. But large enough hail can dent some metal roofs, depending on the material and the type of roof. Copper is a soft metal and is the most likely to be affected by falling hail. If you have a metal roof, be sure to inspect for dents after a severe hailstorm. Steel roofs, the most common type of metal roof, are coated with zinc or a zinc alloy to protect the steel from rusting. A large enough dent can pierce that coating, leading to rust and eventually a leak. Eagle Watch Roofing can inspect your metal roof for free to be sure there is no damage that threatens its long term integrity.

How to Prevent Shingles from Blowing Off Your Roof

There are some simple things you can do to lower the likelihood that shingles will blow off your roof. Damaged shingles are much more susceptible to high winds than shingles in good shape, so be sure to keep an eye on your roof to spot any damage before a shingle is blown away. Signs of damage include curling around the edges of a shingle or loss of granules on an asphalt shingle. Shingles damaged by hail or falling debris are also due for replacement. Replacing damaged shingles will keep your roof safer in a storm.

(Video) Spotting Hail Damage on your Roof (and how it affects roof performance)

Besides repairing existing damage, you can prevent wind damage to your shingles proactively by installing shingles with a high wind rating. Check both the average wind speeds and the peak wind speeds for your geographic location. A shingle with a 100 mph wind rating will withstand gusts of wind up to 110 mph, so making the right choice early on can save you on costly repairs in the future.

Filing an Insurance Claim for a Damaged Roof

Typical homeowners insurance covers damage to a roof from unpreventable incidences, like fires or vandalism. It should also cover unpreventable “acts of God”, such as severe weather and storms. Every insurance plan is different, so if you are unsure of what your plan covers, be sure to check with your insurance company.

To help in insurance claims, take some “before” pictures of your roof and property. Make sure to take new pictures any time your property is updated, like after a roof repair or replacement. If your roof is damaged by a storm or severe weather, you can take “after” pictures and compare them with your “before” pictures as proof of your insurance claim.

(Video) How to inspect your roof for hail damage | Pro Exteriors

Filing an insurance claim for a damaged roof can be a complicated process. Eagle Watch Roofing is dedicated to our customers, and we will make sure you get a fair deal. Eagle Watch Roofers will come to your property to meet the insurance adjuster and help file your claim. We will ensure that you get a fair and thorough investigation and all damage is covered at industry standard rates. Because we are there to work with you and your adjuster, after the claim is filed we can make all the necessary repairs for the cost that your insurance coverage has provided. If there are upgrades, you will pay only for the cost of the upgrades, not the initial repair.

Keep Your Roof in Good Condition with Eagle Watch Roofing

Some amount of roof repairs are inevitable over the lifetime of your roof. However, keeping an eye on your roof and making repairs at the first sign of damage will keep repair costs down and help prevent larger problems from developing. Eagle Watch Roofing is here for all your repairs. When you’re ready for a new roof, we can provide the excellent service, knowledge, and expertise and get your job done right. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.

How Storm Damage Affects Your Roof | Checking Your Roof For Damage (1)

(Video) How to inspect a roof for wind damage (Training)


What factors can cause roof damage? ›

  • Tree Branches. Limbs from nearby trees can break and fall during heavy ice, wind or snow. ...
  • Roof Debris. ...
  • Critters. ...
  • Downspouts / Gutters. ...
  • Excessive Wind. ...
  • Strong Rain / Hail. ...
  • Ice / Snow. ...
  • Flashing Damage.
Apr 17, 2017

How does wind affect roof? ›

Signs of wind damage on a roof include loose or missing shingles, chimney issues, curling or peeling shingles, granule loss, damaged soffit or fascia and indoor leaks. High winds can also cause tree branches to fall and damage a roof. Like hail, wind can cause loss of granules (the sandpaper-like part of the shingle).

Does sitting on a roof cause damage? ›

There are many potential hazards of sitting on your roof. While your roof is certainly designed to withstand many things, lounging is likely not one of them. Sitting on your roof could cause you personal injury, roof damage, or even structural damage to your home.

What size hail causes damage? ›

Hail around 1” in diameter or bigger will damage your roof and warrant an insurance claim. When hail is this size, it will actually cause dents/dings and compromise the integrity of asphalt shingles.

How does rain damage roof? ›

If storms are common in your area, heavy rains will wear down shingles and other elements of a roof. The damage left in a storm's wake can involve lost shingles and moisture penetration in the underlayment. This water damage can penetrate the roof deck and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the home.

What can damage a rubber roof? ›

Even though EPDM is incredibly durable and hard wearing, it can still suffer from punctures, caused by weather damage, objects such as tree branches falling onto the roof, animals, or other trades.

What are the damages caused by wind? ›

Wind disasters (WDs) contribute to tremendous physical destruction, injury, loss of life, and economic damage. The effects of WDs may not be limited to wind damage, as concurrent heavy rains and flooding often wreak additional havoc.

What is considered storm damage to roof? ›

What storm damage might look like. Sometimes, the signs of roof damage are pretty obvious, like water spots on a ceiling and curled or missing roof shingles. You may also see broken or damaged roof flashing, wet walls, water issues around your home's exterior, or winter ice damming.

How do you prove storm damage to roof? ›

Any visible signs of storm damage should be documented, such as dented, torn, curled, or missing shingles. Gutters, Vents, and Windows: Check for dents on your home's gutters and roofing accessories, such as gable vents and other overhangs.

How do you tell if a roof is safe to walk on? ›

Roofing professionals wear soft-soled shoes and step carefully to avoid damaging your shingles. They know which areas of the roof they absolutely can't step on, including the valley. If you step on into the valley with regular running shoes, or heavy work boots, you could create a leak.

How much weight can my roof hold? ›

Per those guidelines, an ordinary roof on a home needs to hold 20 pounds per square foot at absolute minimum. Depending on your type of roof and what it is used for, it may be required to hold more weight. For example, a flat roof intended to hold a home garden needs to hold 100 pounds per square foot.

Is my roof strong enough to walk? ›

Walking on your roof (unless absolutely necessary)

Beyond the potential of falling off, there is the actual damage to the roof that may occur as a result of your walking on it. Walking on your asphalt shingles can leave the shingles bare, dislodge them or create gaps that can increase the potential for leaks.

Will blankets prevent hail damage? ›

The thick blankets you wrap the furniture in to prevent scuffs and scratches during a move can be a great option. Wrap them around your car and cover the windows to prevent hail damage. Submitted by Karen Robinson via Report It.

How do you know your roof is damaged? ›

9 Signs You Have Roof Damage
  1. Collection of Granules. As your roof ages, the granules loosen due to time and the elements. ...
  2. Leaky/Clogged Gutters. ...
  3. Broken, Cracked, or Curling Shingles. ...
  4. Missing Shingles. ...
  5. Hail Damage. ...
  6. Water Damage on Walls or Ceilings. ...
  7. Problems in the Attic. ...
  8. The Extent of Shingle Damage.

Can you roof in rain? ›

Short Answer: Don't Install a Roof in the Rain

But roof installation must happen in dry conditions. Roofing contractors always monitor the weather. They won't install roofs when it rains because any moisture can sneak in, get trapped, and affect the quality of your roof.

Can heavy rain damage roof tiles? ›

Heavy rainfall can cause damage to your home or business that goes beyond flooding, but can also include damage to your roof.

How long does it take a roof to dry after rain? ›

How Long Does It Take a Roof to Dry After Rain? Two days of drying time is the guideline many roofing professionals stick to. If heavy rain strikes, or if your new roof hasn't dried, an additional third day may be warranted to allow things to fully dry out.

What is a rubber roof called? ›

A rubber roof, known in the roofing business as an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roof, has a lot of advantages and only a few disadvantages.

How long does a rubber roof last on a house? ›

Rubber roofing, when installed professionally, can last 25 years or more. TPO and EPDM roof systems have similar lifespans of 20 to 25 years. High-quality TPO roofing that is reinforced with fiberglass can last even longer.

Do rubber roofs leak? ›

Leaks and moisture

EPDM rubber is a waterproof material that should protect your home in all weather conditions. However, if you've had poor installation or little maintenance, leaks can still occur during rainy periods.

Does homeowners insurance cover roof damage from wind? ›

Yes, as noted above, homeowners insurance typically covers most types of wind damage. Usually, the dwelling coverage of your homeowners policy will help pay to repair or replace damage to the roof, siding or windows due to a wind event.

How can wind damage be prevented? ›

Secure outdoor objects like furniture, gutters, and downspouts. SEAL CRACKS AND GAPS Prevent wind or water from coming in. Make sure caulking around windows and doors is in good shape and not cracked, broken, or missing. Fill any holes or gaps around pipes or wires that enter your building with a waterproof sealant.

What wind speed causes roof damage? ›

Typically, winds as fast as 70-90 mph (miles per hour) are the starting point for wind that can cause roof damages. However, sometimes a gust at 50 mph can give your roof a beating.

How do insurance adjusters determine roof damage? ›

An adjuster will look for signs of a leak, such as peeling under roof eaves, curling or buckling roofing, damaged or rusted flashing, and rot. You may also notice leaks on the interior ceiling presenting as dark spots that could be accompanied by peeling interior paint.

Does insurance cover storm damage? ›

Does home insurance cover storm damage? Yes, buildings and contents insurance policies usually cover against storm damage. And if your home is left uninhabitable, your insurer should pay for alternative accommodation until repairs have been made. Some might exclude fences, garden sheds, gates and hedges.

How do you assess storm damage? ›

Here are some ways to check for damage:
  1. When the storm is over look for signs of damage from the ground. ...
  2. Inspect your attic for signs of holes in your roof. ...
  3. Fallen trees or limbs could also do damage to your roof. ...
  4. Take a look at your siding. ...
  5. Flashing around chimneys and skylights can be a target for wind damage.
Oct 14, 2019

What type of roof should you not walk on? ›

Consider the Slope: The slope of the roof is also a key criteria on how safe – or dangerous – a roof may be. Obviously a flat roof is nearly completely safe to walk on, while a steeply pitched roof should not be attempted.

Is it safe to walk on a wet roof? ›

Clean, wet asphalt shingles aren't any less safe to walk than dry ones. This does not apply to frost-covered roof, icy roofs, wood roofs, or any other type of roofing material. Wet wood roofs are ridiculously unsafe to walk, even with a mild slope.

What kind of roof can you walk on? ›

Flat Roof Surfaces You Can Walk On

Whether its BUR (Built-up Roofing), TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin), Modified Bitumen, or Single Ply Roofing, your roofing professional can apply the right waterproofing membrane to make it possible to walk on.

When should you shovel your roof? ›

After A Heavy Snowfall

As a rule of thumb, you should clear your roof after 6 inches of snowfall. The reason? Fresh snow – snow that has just fallen – is the easiest snow to remove from your roof.

Can I sit on my roof? ›

First, most home roofs just aren't designed for walking or sitting on. While your roof is designed to withstand a wide variety of abuse and damage, the simple act of walking or sitting on a roof creates a hazard that the roof isn't necessary made to withstand.

How do I measure the strength of my roof? ›

Structures Video Roof Loads - YouTube

Can I walk on my roof to clean gutters? ›

We advise against walking on the roof unless completely necessary. From the roof, leaning 'downhill' to reach the gutter increases your risk of falling. Accessing the roof and gutters while using an extension ladder is the safest. We also recommend waiting until midday when the roof is dry.

How do you walk on a roof without damaging the shingles? ›

How do I walk on a shingled roof? Soft-soled shoes with larger surface-area tread should be used. Hiking boots and the like should be avoided, because these have more pointy, knobby styled treads which will more readily damage shingles. Tennis shoes, basketball shoes, and running shoes are usually a safe bet.

Can roofers fall through the roof? ›

We can all admit that many more roofers fall off of the eaves and rakes than fall through the decking of an old roof. However the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the recent number of employees falling through roof openings and failures are dramatically on the rise.

Should I park under a tree during a hailstorm? ›

Avoid sheltering under trees.

If you are out and about and don't have access to shelter, avoid huddling under trees. Most of the time, hail will be accompanied by lightning which can strike trees, break branches and cause electrocution.

How can I protect my car without a garage? ›

6 Ways to Protect Your Car Without a Garage
  1. Purchase a portable carport. ...
  2. Keep paint sealed with regular waxing. ...
  3. Invest in sunshades. ...
  4. Regularly wash your car. ...
  5. Be mindful of where you're parking. ...
  6. Don't air dry your car after a wash.
Oct 12, 2016

What causes roof damage? ›

High winds, thunderstorms, hail storms, high heat, deep cold, and hurricanes will all cause damage. Kansas City and Chicago roofers alike know that thingles can get broken, ripped up and this can cause open spaces where water and moisture can get in. In winter, moisture gets in and then freezes.

What roof damage looks like? ›

While you're examining your roof, look for any drooping or sagging. Make sure to walk around your entire property to check every side. Drooping or sagging could indicate you have a damaged roof on your hands. You might also notice rotting boards or trapped moisture.

What causes roof failure? ›

Almost every roof is exposed to varied temperatures and other natural forces, which results in issues such as blisters, splits, and punctures. Poor design, substandard workmanship, and use of low quality materials, accelerate the onset of splits and debris that causes punctures and ultimately structural failure.

Can hail damage cause roof leaks? ›

Did you know unrepaired hail damage can lead to roof leaks? If you didn't, you're not alone! Many homeowners are unaware they even have roof problems until they start seeing signs of a roof leak. The only problem with waiting too long to fix hail damage?

What kind of damage can hail cause? ›

In fact, damage from hail is among the top homeowners claims each year, with approximately one in 35 homes reporting a claim. Hailstorms can cause dents in aluminum siding, shingles and gutters or even crack vinyl siding, asphalt roofs or wood shakes.

Why is hail damage bad for a roof? ›

Hard hail impacts or high winds can grip the shingles and cause cracks. This can lead to exposure and tears, leaving your roof with bare spots. Cracked shingles cannot effectively protect your roof from the weather.

At what wind speed will a roof come off? ›

As you hit that 45 mph mark and beyond, however, you could expect to see at least some damage to your landscaping, if not your home or other property. Starting at 45 mph, the wind itself can lift loose shingles, and even cause weak trees or limbs to break off and cause damage to your home.

How much wind can a roof take? ›

Most modern shingle roofs are rated to withstand 90 mile-per-hour winds, although there are roofing products available for hurricane and tornado-prone areas that can withstand winds up to 150 MPH.

How much wind can cause roof damage? ›

What Wind Speed Causes Damages to My Roof? Typically, winds as fast as 70-90 mph (miles per hour) are the starting point for wind that can cause roof damages. However, sometimes a gust at 50 mph can give your roof a beating.

How do I protect my roof from wind? ›

Taking these simple steps to protect your roof from wind damage can help reduce our chances of dealing with roof damage in the future.
  1. Secure Shingles. Do you have loose shingles? ...
  2. Remove Trees Near the Roof. ...
  3. Secure Metal Roofing. ...
  4. Inspect the Outside of the Roof. ...
  5. Inspect the Inside of the Roofing System.
Mar 24, 2021

Does homeowners insurance cover roof damage from wind? ›

Yes, as noted above, homeowners insurance typically covers most types of wind damage. Usually, the dwelling coverage of your homeowners policy will help pay to repair or replace damage to the roof, siding or windows due to a wind event.

What is the best roof type for high winds? ›

Metal roofing

A metal roof can weather hurricane-force winds up to 160 mph, making it the most wind-resistant solution. Metal roofing systems are pricier than cheap shingles, but they last longer and are more durable than any other types of roofing.

How do I keep my roof from blowing off? ›

Reducing the risk of having air pressure build up inside your home during storms is an effective way to stop your roof from being blown off. Checking for leaks around your home and sealing them up can prevent air and wind from getting in when it's storming out.

How can wind damage be prevented? ›

Secure outdoor objects like furniture, gutters, and downspouts. SEAL CRACKS AND GAPS Prevent wind or water from coming in. Make sure caulking around windows and doors is in good shape and not cracked, broken, or missing. Fill any holes or gaps around pipes or wires that enter your building with a waterproof sealant.

Why are roofs blown off during storms? ›

During windstorm the speed of the wind above the roof is more than the speed below the roof. According to Bernoullis theorem therefore the pressure above the roof is less than the pressure below it. The higher pressure below the roof lifts the roof up and hence it is blown off.


1. Roof Inspection for Hail Damage
(Integrity Roofing and Painting)
2. Wind vs. Hail Part 1: What's Different & What's Not When Selling Storm Damaged Roofs
(The Roof Strategist)
3. STOP Saying "Your Roof is Damaged" -- Do This Instead
(The Roof Strategist)
4. Roof Wind Damage How to tarp a small spot of shingle damage
(Grand Roofing Inc.)
5. Storm Damage: How to Find Hidden Wind Damage to Your Roof!
(Roof It Right, Louisville, KY)
6. Everything You Must Know About Roof Storm Damage

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