When a big storm is bearing down on your area, it’s probably a little too late for major roof repairs. But it’s never too late to try and cut down on the damage that could be coming. Here are a few tips for things you need to do right away before a storm hits.
1. Look for Leaks or Stains Indoors:
Visible stains on a ceiling or wall could mean an obvious roof problem. Some roof leaks can be tricky though if water enters the attic and travels along framing like trusses, dripping somewhere unrelated to the leak. If you see a stain along an exterior wall or ceiling you may need to take some emergency protection steps.
2. Look for Debris in Your Gutters:
We all know that gutters will gather leaves and dirt throughout the year, but you may not know how damaging this gutter gunk can be. Most Florida roofs are made from materials that wear over time, like fiberglass/asphalt shingles, tiles, etc. As the material wears down, it sheds and will usually collect in the gutters. If the water in your gutters is unable to drain properly, it will gather and potentially leak into the walls and ceilings of your home. If you inspect your gutters and find roof debris, you may need to take emergency protection steps or call a roofing expert for advice.
3. Exterior Inspection:
Take a few minutes to do a visual inspection of the exterior of your roof. Materials will degrade over time. For asphalt shingle roofs, there are often small corners that may pull up away from the roof. It’s often common for shingles to pull away and blow off completely in heavy winds. You should also look to see if there are any sags or discolored spots on your roof. These may be signs of damage that could lead to leaks soon. Be sure to take pictures, make notes, and document everything.
4. Trim Your Trees:
Check around your home for any low-hanging or dead tree branches that could potentially fall and damage your roof in heavy winds. You can trim away small branches if it’s safe to do so, but leave the heavy stuff for professionals.
5. Tarp Your Roof
If you see any areas of large damage before the storm, it’s important to try and prevent further damage. You can buy a tarp at almost every hardware store and most likely you can find one large enough to cover 3 feet past each edge of the damaged spot. Lowes has a helpful video on how to tarp your roof.
After the storm passes, and when you are sure it’s safe, there are a few post-storm things to check off. If you think you are experiencing any leaks or think you may have had roof damage, Here are the 5 most important things to do next.
1. Inspect your Property as soon as Possible
Do an inspection similar to your pre-storm check. Look for loose or missing shingles, damage from tree branches, debris on the roof, sagging spots, etc. Check the interior for water spots, stains and active leaks.
2. Document Everything
Take pictures of anything that looks like it might be damaged to you and make notes. There is no such thing as over-documenting and all of this can come in handy when it’s time to file an insurance claim.
3. Tarp Your Roof
If you do have any large damage spots or leaks in your home, you can follow the same tips from the video here.
4. File an Insurance Claim
If you believe that you have significant roof damage, it’s time to file an insurance claim. Contact your local agent or insurance carrier to see the proper method for filing a claim to get the process started.
5. Call Stonebridge Roofing – Waterproofing – Exteriors
If you’re not sure how extensive your roof damage is, call the trusted experts at Stonebridge. You can request our emergency roof repair service here. We will come to give you a full assessment of the damage and inspect your roof with no obligation. 904-262-6636.
Stonebridge Roofing is a licensed and insured, certified roofing installer, so they are approved by the manufacturer to provide a warranty. Stonebridge Roofing can also help with new replacement windows, vinyl siding, gutters, and painting as well. Let Stonebridge Roofing become your first choice for all things exterior. Request your free assessment today.
Replacing your old roof with a new, more efficient one can be a huge investment. Then again, delaying it further when your home clearly needs a new one can lead to costly fixes. If you can’t pay for a new roof due to a lack of out-of-pocket funds, know that there are ways you can finance this major home improvement.
Here in Jacksonville, roofs take a beating from salt, wind, UV radiation, and heat. Generally, roofs in northern Florida will last about 15-20 years, but any roof in the region should be inspected every year. Roof repairs should always be done by a local, professional roofing company who is licensed and insured. But how do you know when to call them? Depending on the style of roof, some will show wear better than others, so today we will suggest seven visual signs that your roof needs replacing.
Sign 1: Leaks and Stains
Visible stains on a ceiling or wall may appear to be an obvious roof problem. However, roof leaks can be tricky to locate because water can enter the attic, travel along framing like trusses, and drip somewhere unrelated to the leak. If you see a new stain along an exterior wall or ceiling you may need an emergency repair.
Crawling around in attics with no floor can lead to accidents and personal injury, so leave that task to the pros. Jacksonville roofers have experience working in hot Florida attics and can use that experience to find elusive roof leaks and their sources. Many Jacksonville roofers even wear special boots that allow them to safely walk across trusses and up steep roof angles.
Sign 2: The Roof is Old
It’s a good idea to keep maintenance records on your home like the age of your roof. Most asphalt shingle roofs will last between ten and twenty years, but if your records show it’s time for a replacement, get your roof inspected by a licensed and insured, Jacksonville roofing company. Roof repairs are critical to the health of your home because leaks can cause mold and mildew growth. Even if you see no visual problems yourself, let a pro perform a no-obligation inspection of your roof to prevent future damage.
Sign 3: Look For Debris In Your Gutters
It might seem counterintuitive to look for roof issues in your gutters, but doing so is a smart move. Most Jacksonville roofs are made from materials that wear over time, like fiberglass/asphalt shingles, tiles, and wooden shakes. As the roof wears, the material it sheds will usually collect in the gutters, as the material is too heavy to be washed away.
To perform your own inspection, look for what appears to be sand in the bottom of the gutter. Most of the debris will collect at the lowest point on the gutter, so usually the first place to look is near the downspout. If you cannot see the bottom of the gutter because the debris is blocking your view, a significant amount of the roof has eroded away. If you discover you need an emergency roof repair caused by a strong storm, get a professional inspection by a licensed and insured roofer.
Sign 4: Cracks or Gaps in Your Flashing
Jacksonville roofs can get some severe weather, so even a small crack around roof flashing (thin sheet metal) can allow precipitation to penetrate the roof. Even if the leak only occurs when the rain is blowing sideways, eventually the damage will accumulate. When it does, the roof underlayment and roof decking will begin to soften and rot.
Sign 5: Sags in the Roof
You may have seen older homes with roofs that appear to dip and sag. More often than not, the framing under these roofs has become water damaged, allowing the framing to bend under the weight of the roof. Sagging roofs can still be repaired and reroofed, but care should be taken to hire an experienced professional who is licensed and insured.
Professionals should determine which style of roof will function best in the situation. For example, an inexperienced roofer may be unaware that certain types of roofing require specific roof pitches to work as designed. Using the incorrect roof material on a sagging roof can actually cause more problems than it solves, so always consult a professional in these situations.
Sign 6: Moss and Mold On Your Roof
Moss on your roof indicates a moisture problem severe enough to cause rot. These plants require near constant moisture and limited sunlight, so if they are actively growing on your roof, the roof is never completely drying out. Roofs should be dry in a matter of hours after a rain shower, so if your roof is holding moisture, the moss and mold will be a likely indicator.
Sign 7: Small Visible Damage
Most roofing materials will degrade over time and leave debris in the gutters. A very common find are small bits of roofing material that have dry rotted and broken away. For asphalt shingles, these are often small corners of a shingle, or in the case of shakes, small splinters of wood as these roofing materials begin to degrade with age.
Get Help Today! Contact Stonebridge Roofing
If you are unaware of the age of your roof, but begin to see small pieces of debris at the base of your downspouts, you can assume your roof is approaching its lifespan. This is a perfect time to contact a reputable Jacksonville roofing company, like Stonebridge Roofing and request a roof health report from a local expert roofer. For $150, your roof health report will include an overview of any visible damage (with photos), repair recommendations and an assessment of the lifespan left on your current roof.
Stonebridge Roofing is a licensed and insured, certified roofing installer, so they are approved by the manufacturer to provide a warranty. Stonebridge Roofing can also help with new replacement windows, vinyl siding, gutters, and painting as well. Let Stonebridge Roofing become your first choice for all things exterior. Financing Options are available! Request your free quote today.