Follow the Water
When a storm hits, it’s important to check your home for any damage. Here are some tips to help you thoroughly search your home for hidden storm damage:
- Check the roof for missing or damaged shingles and any loose flashing or roof vents. These are all potential weak points that could allow water to enter the home and cause further damage.
- Look for standing water or wet spots on the ceilings and walls. One reason you should look for these is that they can indicate a roof or plumbing leak. If left untreated, these leaks can cause significant damage to your home over time. Another reason to check for leaks is that they can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause health problems for you and your family.
- Inspect windows and doors for cracks or gaps that may have let water in. These can signify that the structure has been weakened by the storm and may be vulnerable to further damage. If you find any cracks or gaps, be sure to have them fixed right away to prevent further damage.
- Check the foundation of your home for cracks or other damage. If there are any, they will need to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the house, especially when another storm hits.
If you find any damage, it’s important to call a professional to assess and repair the damage as soon as possible. Ignoring storm damage can lead to further damage and expensive repairs down the road.
Four Tips for Finding Hidden Storm Damage
- Get into the attic. Severe storms can cause small tree-branch punctures in the roof that may not be visible from the roof’s exterior (if the branch has since blown off). From the dark attic, you’ll be able to see if there are any small pinhole-sized holes where daylight is entering
- Gently try to lift some of the bottoms of your shingles. Just because they aren’t wind-torn and ripped from the roof doesn’t mean they aren’t storm damaged. Shingles are designed to stick firmly down, but windstorms can peel them up so they do not stick anymore and expose the roof to potential water entry
- Check the underlayment of tile roofs. Tile roofs hide damage very well because the tiles themselves are durable. But the underlayment beneath is vitally important for waterproofing, and during windstorms, the underlayment is prone to rips and tears. This compromises the waterproofing ability of the roof.
- Look in your gutters. If storm damage is not perceptible from the top of the roof, sometimes it can be found on the edges and bottoms of the gutters. Aluminum gutters may be skinny, but they do absorb hail damage quite visibly. Hail damage to gutters can affect how water drains away from the property, and can dislodge the gutters from the home’s fascia.
Check the Outside of your House
Even if you didn’t lose power during a storm or see any tree limbs flying through the air, that doesn’t mean your home didn’t suffer any damage. High winds can loosen shingles, damage gutters, and cause other problems that aren’t immediately apparent. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly inspect your home after a severe storm.
Start by walking around the outside of the house, looking for any missing shingles or damaged gutters. Then, check the windows and doors to make sure they’re still in good condition. If you see any cracks or gaps, seal them up to prevent water from entering your home.
Once you’ve checked the exterior of your home, take a look at the roof. If you see any missing shingles or bare spots, it’s time to call a roofer. High winds can do a lot of damage to a roof, and if left unrepaired, it could lead to serious leaks.
Check Paint for Chips
Chips in the paint job may seem minor, but they can be an indicator of a much larger issue. Inspect any chips you discover to figure out if they were caused by water damage within the wall’s structure. This is a major cause for concern as it could lead to long-term water damage or dampness.
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