Roof Attention Key Following Storms

October 8, 2004

During the worst storms one can board up windows and doors around the exterior of their home, but they can’t board up their roof. Mother Nature can wreak havoc on one’s roof, one of the most exposed parts of the home. But, how does one know if they have suffered roof damage after a storm has passed?

“Roofs are built to last through strong storms, but serious damage can occur when roofs are subjected to the ravages of hail storms, tornadoes and hurricanes and other similar extreme weather,” said Mike McLintock, director of marketing for Elk Premium Building Products Inc., a manufacturer of laminated asphalt roofing shingles.

Storm damage can range from large, highly visible dents and tears to almost undetectable indentations. Even small amounts of damage can harm the surface of one’s roof and lead to deterioration over time.

There are several ways to detect and evaluate the condition of a roof after a severe storm. To check for possible storm damage, McLintock suggests surveying the roof with binoculars or field glasses, carefully using a ladder if necessary. Do not climb onto the roof surface as it may be unstable. Look for:

— Torn or missing shingles — result from high winds or hail impact

— Dented metal roof vents – caused by hail impact

— Missing metal roof panels – blown off from excessive wind gusts

— Broken or out of place tiles – result from wind, rain or hail impact

— Roof indentations — looks warped or dented, sometimes exposing the fiberglass in asphalt shingles

— Water spots and signs of water -caused by water leaking underneath the roof deck into the attic

— Other home damage — damaged by wind, hail or projectiles, including damage such as broken skylights and windows, tree or shrub damage or car dents

Once a homeowner suspects or detects roof damage, they should call their insurance company or independent adjuster. An insurance company or adjuster can assess the damage and begin the insurance claim process immediately,” said McLintock.

After the homeowner’s initial inspection, it is also a good idea to have a professional contractor survey the roof for any damage according to McLintock. Many homeowners choose a roofing contractor through friends and neighbors, or some shingle manufacturers, like Elk, list preferred contractors on their company Web sites.

“A roofing contractor or independent adjuster can also act as a liaison between the homeowner and the insurance company – often times it works better for both parties. And the homeowner can focus on the many decisions that go into choosing a new roof,” said McLintock.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor to present you with a few options and explain the differences,” said McLintock. “It’s also a good idea to go online and educate yourself about different roofing materials, the warranties offered and what is right for you.”

New choices in colors and materials can update the look of the entire home. Designer colors and shingle styles give the homeowner a chance to add their own personal style to the exterior of their home.

Newly developed roofing shingles like Elk’s new Domain Winslow and Capstone shingles can give the look of traditional materials like wood and slate without the higher cost or safety concerns. Domain Winslow has the look of a traditional wood shake roof, but is more economical and fire-resistant. Elk Capstone laminated shingles offer a classic slate-like appearance particularly desirable for historic homes, or new homes built in the old-world style.

Laminated asphalt shingles are now available in a larger scale. Elk has added three inches of exposure to its popular Prestique shingles to create new Prestique Grande. The added exposure gives bold dimension and depth, complementary to today’s steep-sloped roofs.

When choosing a style, McLintock recommends getting several shingle samples from the contractor to coordinate color with brick or siding. View the shingle in natural daylight for an accurate idea of the true color, and ask the contractor if there is a home in the area with the desired roof color or style.

“The roofing contractor can help with most homeowners’ questions, but it may also be helpful for the homeowner to look on the Internet for more information about different roofing products and companies,” added McLintock.

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