It’s that time of year again. Storm season has arrived. Severe storms including hailstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods cause billions of dollars in damage in the United States every year. When big storms hit, many families find themselves disorganized and unprepared. Ultimately, most of us are unsure of what to look for in or around our homes after a severe storm to make sure everything is still in good shape. Do you know what to look for after a catastrophic storm hits your area?
It is extremely important to know whether or not you have storm damage to your home. You could get water leaks from damaged roofs, siding, windows, and gutters. Another reason to be on the lookout is because you do not want to file a claim on your home if you do not have damage.
When a storm hits, the roof is most susceptible to costly damage. Fallen tree branches, flying debris, hail and wind are common causes of roofing damage. Signs of damage include holes in the roof, missing shingles, split seams and cracked, broken or curled shingles.
When most people think of roofing shingles, they are thinking of asphalt shingles, the most common type of shingles in the country. During severe storms asphalt shingles can be seriously damaged and require repair or replacement.
On an asphalt roof, hail damage will look like a dark spot, or bruise, where the roofing granules have been knocked away. In some cases, you may find holes, cracking, or missing shingles on roofs with hail or storm damage. After a tornado, homeowners may notice split seams and torn or missing shingles. This can result in leaking and serious water damage, which can lead to mold formation and wood rot, which can then compromise the structural integrity of your roof resulting in collapse.
On other types of roofs, including shake (wood), metal, tile and slate, damage can include broken or cracked shingles, missing shingles, torn or split seams, and missing sections of the roof. In severe wind storms, it is common for shingles or sections of the roof to be missing altogether.
In areas that are prone to high wind storms, many of the homes in those areas have protective storm shutters to protect exposed glass. However, even with storm shutters, many windows can get cracked or damaged. If your home has been hit by hail, or a high wind storm, watch out for cracked or broken windows and damaged window casings, which are the most common signs of damage. Also, be sure to watch out for shards of glass and make sure you board up any shattered windows until they can be repaired.
Strong winds, flying debris, and wind-driven hail are well known for causing the most damage to the exterior of your home. Many types of exterior damage can be identified if you know what to look for.
Siding: While durable, low maintenance and attractive, vinyl siding can be seriously damaged during a storm. The three most common types of damage sustained by vinyl siding are cracking, chipping, breaking and holes. With cracking, splits or cracks that run parallel to the siding, often in half-circles, are most often found mid-way between the valley and ridges of the panel.
Chipping is when a small piece of siding has been broken off, this will typically be in the shape of a half-circle at the bottom of a siding panel ridge, where the siding has no inward flexibility to absorb a direct hit. This can best be seen when looking up, from underneath a panel section.
In severe storm damage situations siding can break or holes can be punched into the siding by large hailstones and flying debris. If your siding is broken or has holes in it, then it is no longer protecting your home from the elements and will need to be inspected by a trusted inspector as soon as possible.
If you have aluminum siding, the most common signs of storm damage are dings and dents in the siding. In a severe storm, it is common for pieces of aluminum siding to be ripped off entirely.
Stucco: While stucco is typically resistant to light and moderate weather, severe storms that contain large hail, flying debris and tornado-speed winds can cause serious damage to stucco. The most common form of damage is holes punched into the stucco. Some holes are large and easy to recognize, while others may be smaller and require closer inspection to be detected. Stucco damage is a serious problem that can comprise the exterior of your home.
Storm damage to a home can easily go unnoticed to the untrained eye. The signs to look for are not always obvious and, if left untreated, can turn into massive, costly repairs. It is important to regularly inspect your roof, siding, gutters and windows so you are more likely to notice small changes that could indicate larger problems. If you’re still unsure of what to look for, it is extremely important to have a qualified professional inspect your home after any severe weather
At Georgia Pro Inspection Company we serve all of Metro Atlanta with reliable home inspection services. We perform detailed home inspections and provide easy to read information with illustrated reports regarding your home. Call us today at (770) 655-0536 for your more information.