How can you tell if a damaged roof requires emergency repairs? As a rule of thumb, roofing damage that allows moisture to infiltrate your roof’s underlayers should be fixed as soon as possible. This applies to all roofing components, even the ones in your roof’s underside, such as the soffit and fascia boards.
If roofing damage isn’t fixed immediately, water can quickly accumulate in parts of your roofing system and cause a host of problems. Left unattended, even relatively minor roofing damage can quickly affect other parts of your home.
Under what circumstances would a roofing system usually require emergency repair?
No matter how durable your roofing system is, it’s may suffer some form of damage after a storm. That’s why you should have a contractor inspect your roof after an extreme weather event.
What if you haven’t noticed any leaks? Your roof should be okay as long as there aren’t any signs of damage, right? Well, not exactly. There’s a chance your roof already suffered storm damage – it’s just that the warning signs haven’t appeared yet.
It usually takes some time for certain warning signs to appear. For instance, water stains won’t appear on your ceiling until a certain amount of rainwater makes its way from the underlayers to your ceiling. Or, in cases where the fascia board – the long narrow board at the edge of your roof supporting your gutter system – was damaged, homeowners don’t usually realize they need a fascia replacement until they hear noises made by pests that infiltrated their roof through the holes in the fascia board.
It’s important that initial roofing is damage is fixed as soon as possible. By the time the warning signs of roofing damage start to emerge, it’ll be too late to mitigate roofing damage.
Semi-Emergencies vs. True Roofing Emergencies
In general, extensive or severe roofing damage requires emergency repairs. But what about moderate roofing damage? For instance, holes in your roof would obviously require immediate repairs. What about moderate water leaks?
Moderate or slow, trickling leaks most likely won’t require emergency repairs. However, this is no reason to be complacent. Remember: all roof leaks are a cause for concern, but some require immediate attention. As soon as you notice a leak, you should schedule a roofing inspection.
Looking for a roofing contractor near me? Here’s a tip: it’s best to hire a local roofing contractor. Since these pros are more familiar with your area’s climate and the type of damage usually suffered by homes, they’ll be able to detect roofing issues quicker.
The Least Urgent Repairs
What about the least urgent repairs? What types of roofing damage would usually be classified as the least urgent?
The least urgent roofing concerns include hail damage and an aging or worn roof. Hail damage can weaken your roof’s durability and shorten its lifespan, but it’s unlikely to cause any short-term problems. The same goes for an aging roof: it’ll be a significant concern in the long run, but for now, you shouldn’t be too worried about it.
Detecting Hail Damage
Keep in mind you can’t be too complacent about hail damage. Contractors would recommend having your roof inspected after a hailstorm. Except in severe cases, hail damage can’t be seen from the ground and can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Fortunately, you don’t need to climb onto your roof to look for signs of hail damage. Aside from dents or bald patches on your roof, there are other things that can tell you if your roof suffered hail damage.
Signs you should keep an eye out for include:
- Dents on windows and cars (severity depends on the size of the hailstones and the direction of the wind)
- Cracks in your siding
- Scratches on an outdoor HVAC unit
- Blocked gutter system
What to Expect During an Emergency Roof Repair
If you notice leaks or any signs of damage after a storm, you should contact your contractor immediately. Contractors will go to your home as soon as the weather clears up. Once they arrive, they’ll conduct a preliminary inspection and temporarily patch large holes, if there are any, by covering it with a tarp. Over the coming weeks, they’ll come back to conduct more comprehensive inspections and permanent repairs.
What to Do While Waiting For Your Roofer to Arrive
Don’t attempt to fix any of the leaks, no matter how minor they may seem. Unauthorized modifications and repairs made by someone other than a roofing professional can void your warranty. Instead, you should document and take pictures of the signs of storm damage as you’ll need these when you file a claim with your insurer later on. It’d also be a good idea to contact your insurance agent about the requirements for filing an insurance claim.
How to Tell if a Roof Replacement Might Be Needed
In some cases, particularly those involving aging roofing systems, it might make more practical and financial sense to schedule a roof replacement. Contrary to what many think, there are quite a few noticeable differences between the signs of storm damage and the warning signs of a failing roof.
Common warning signs of a failing roof include:
- Granules in your gutter system – It’s natural for asphalt shingles – one of the most popular roofing materials in the country – to lose a granule or two over the course of its lifespan. However, if granules start to appear in your gutters or you notice bald patches on your roof, you’ll likely need to replace your roof soon.
- Blisters on your shingles – Blisters form on roofing shingles when moisture trapped under your shingles evaporating. They’re not an immediate cause for concern, but since they can damage your roof when they pop, it’s best to have them replaced as soon as possible.
- Curling shingles – While curling shingles are usually a sign of an aging roof, they could also indicate inadequate roof and attic ventilation. If moisture manages to reach the base of the shingle, its edges might start to curl.
Here’s a tip: occasionally replacing worn components can extend your roof’s lifespan. For instance, it’d be a good idea to occasionally have a roofer install a fascia or soffits replacement.
When Storm Damage Restoration Is Needed
In particularly severe cases, storm damage restoration may be needed. If you had to evacuate your home due to the severity of a coming storm, it’s important that you observe the following safety precautions while waiting for storm damage restoration assistance:
- Prioritize safety – Prioritize seeking medical attention if you suffered any injuries.
- Don’t attempt to reenter your home – If you had to evacuate your home, don’t enter your home without your local government’s approval.
- Document the storm damage – Take pictures of, and jot down notes on the extent of the storm damage.
The storm damage restoration process as well as the installation of a roof is long and complex, which is why only reputable contractors should oversee the restoration and installation process.
Here’s a vetting tip: you can ask to see a contractor’s portfolio to examine the quality of their workmanship. Pictures are a good start, but nothing beats seeing the houses they built, and the roofing systems they’ve installed.
Looking for a professional roofing contractor near me? AQ Roofing LLC, a family-owned company, offers a wide range of professional exterior services, including roofing and emergency repair services. If you’ve traveled through Central Arkansas, there’s a good chance you’ve seen our work! To request an estimate, call us at (501) 214-7167, or fill out this form.