Storms can wreak havoc on a roof. From lifted shingles to missing decking, storm damage ranges from mild to severe. It can also vary widely from home to home. Your home’s roof may be in great condition, while your neighbor’s roof might be caved in from the same storm!
After a storm, you’ll want to do a thorough assessment to determine whether your roof needs repairs. However, climbing onto the roof isn’t usually safe. Wind gusts can still be strong in the wake of a storm, making it risky to be on a ladder. Plus, if you’re worried your roof may be damaged, the last thing you want to do is test it out by standing on it, not to mention the risk of electrocution from any downed power lines nearby.
So, how do you safely check whether your roof was damaged in a storm? You head indoors.
Check Whether It’s Safe to Enter
You can often spot signs of roof damage from inside the home. However, you need to make sure the home is safe to enter before doing so. The Red Cross offers a checklist of ways to ensure your safety before ultimately entering your home post-storm. Some signs it is not safe to enter your home include:
- Downed power lines on or around your home
- A smell of gas around the home
- A roof that’s visibly sagging
- Obvious cracks or shifting in the foundation
- Major flooding inside the home
If you notice any of these problems, do not enter the home. In the case of a gas leak, contact the local gas utility. Otherwise, contact a roofing company and have them come perform a professional inspection.
Look For These Signs of Roof Damage
If you are able to safely enter the home, you can perform your own, indoor inspection for roof damage. Most of the inspection will take place on the top floor of your home and in the attic. If your attic is hard to access, don’t worry. You’ll be able to see most of these signs simply by poking your head through the door.
Water Drips and Stains
On the top floor of your home, look closely at the tops of your walls where they meet the ceiling. If you see any tiny drops of water in this area, then you have a roof leak. If it has been a few days since the storm, the water itself may have dried up. However, you may still see the streaks or stains it has left behind. There may be dark spots on a light ceiling or even bubbles of water beneath the paint.
Mold can start growing within days of a roof leak. You may notice mold along the tops of your walls where water has seeped in. Or, you may notice mold in your attic. Look closely at the roof trusses and insulation, as these are areas where mold growth often begins. Also, take a deep breath and assess how the air smells. Sometimes, you’ll smell mold before you see it. Even if you can’t see mold, the musty, moldy odor means water has penetrated your roof, and you should call a roofer.
Cracked or Warped Trusses
Trusses are the pieces of wood that run along your attic ceiling, supporting the roof. Look at these as closely as you safely can. If you see any cracks in the trusses or if a truss appears to be bent or bowed, that’s a sign of extensive storm damage. This usually occurs when something heavy, like a big tree limb, lands on the roof. A roof with compromised trusses is not stable and needs to be repaired ASAP.
Light Peeking Through
Make sure you look inside your attic when the sun is shining. If you can see light coming through the roof at any point, that generally means that part of the roof is missing shingles or other roof material. If sunlight comes through, water can come through, too. Look closely, you’ll probably see signs of leaks and water damage, too.
If your attic insulation is dislodged or out of place, this means it was likely blown around by wind. That means the wind had to enter the attic in some way, which probably means you have a hole in your roof somewhere. Even if you can’t see the hole, a roofing contractor can locate and repair it.
Unfortunately, in North and South Carolina, we’re no strangers to big storms. After a storm, if your home is safe to enter, keep an eye out for these indoor signs of roof damage. Contact Quantum Roofing if you need a roof inspection or repairs. Our knowledgeable, professional roofers can restore your roof, making your home a safe place once again.