How to Deal With Roof Damage
Roof damage due to heavy rain and storms usually means a home emergency. Water will be pouring in and your belongings could be in danger. So, when you can no longer keep the elements out, there’s no time to waste when it comes to roof repairs.
But how do you recognise roof damage? What are the correct steps to take when it comes to coping with rain, wind and hail damage? This is where you can start.
Checking Out Your Roof
Heavy rain on its own – even without strong winds, hail or fallen tree branches – can cause significant damage. However, it all depends on the current condition of your roof, so a quick inspection could be in order.
The first signs that your roof is in need of repair are leaks and evidence of water damage to your ceilings. Water dripping through the ceiling, or down walls, are obvious indicators. But you should also look for water stains and the presence of moss (outside) or mould (inside).
That means water is already in your ceiling and walls, the damage has been done and it’s potentially a threat to the entire roof cavity. There’s no way you can postpone any necessary work.
You may also need to go outside and inspect the roof from a high vantage point, but make sure it’s a safe spot – don’t go climbing trees. Look for missing or cracked roof tiles or shingles if you have a tiled roof. If you’re wondering whether your metal Colorbond roof has suffered damage, look out for sheeting punctures, tears, corrosion or rust.
If there’s any evidence that your roof has been compromised, it’s time to consult a roofing professional before it gets worse. Urgent repairs are likely required.
Protection Against Additional Wind Damage
High winds can damage your roof even without rain and other storm conditions. It’s especially harmful if you already have loose or damaged tiles and roof shingles. If left unchecked, high winds will expose roof trusses, insulation and all to the elements.
Another sign of wind damage is movement to roof flashing. Flashing is the metal sheets, usually galvanised steel, that waterproof the area around chimneys, vents and skylights. If there’s any movement, looseness or leaks in that area, a professional roofer may be needed immediately. Otherwise water will seep into your home.
It’s crucial all of these surfaces are watertight and held down. Loose roof tiles will likely need rebedding and repointing, while flashing will need to be replaced.
Look Out for Long-Term Problems
A poorly designed roof can sustain damage quicker, although design problems can be hard to detect. Bad installation techniques are also incredibly problematic.
If your roof has been poorly designed, it may weaken if its tiles, shingles or metal sustain extensive damage due to any form of storm activity. Damage such as rusting, cracking or bending can result in pools of water developing on your roof, which may compromise its structural integrity.
This may not be evident straight away but, in the long term, the increased weight may cause your roof to sag or it could damage your roof framing. This, in turn, will affect the safety of your roof.
Clean and Clear Gutters and Drains
Make sure to thoroughly inspect gutters and drains for any damage or blockages. Now, of course, it makes sense to maintain your gutters on a regular basis. Not all of us do that, however. But if gutters get clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris, the next big downpour could push this material into the downpipes and cause a blockage.
Wherever a blockage happens, it means there will be water buildup when it rains and the water will have nowhere to go. This could result in water spilling over the edges of gutters or possibly going back into your roofing. Cleaning and clearing your gutters will ensure you avoid future headaches.
A Quick Fix Can Help
If your roofing is damaged and unsafe, then the entire house is unsafe. In an extreme situation, you may need to temporarily evacuate your home and call a roofing professional to provide emergency roof repairs. The temporary repairs should protect your home’s interior, furniture and electrical system.
But the roof has now been weakened and a more permanent job will need to be done. The long-term repairs will prepare your home for the next bout of extreme weather. So even if you need a new roof, it’s a solid investment in the future of your home.
Roof Repairs? Leave It to the Professionals
When it comes to advice on DIY roof repair, it’s hard to recommend anything that isn’t potentially dangerous. That’s why it’s best to leave the necessary repairs to a roofing professional. The work inevitably involves climbing ladders, possibly walking on a wet or unstable surface, and having an understanding of roofing and your home’s electrical system.
The best thing to do during heavy or wind driven rain is to try and contain the water in buckets or other containers and mop or soak up any water that’s already gotten in. If it’s safe, use a fan to circulate some air in the room to prevent mould from developing.
It can also be helpful to identify the source of the leak, which may save your roofing contractor some time and labour. Prevention is always better than cure, and if you have any worries now, book in a roof inspection so you can solve and address any issues before the next extreme conditions hit.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.