Saint Louis is one of those areas where high winds occur. While many residents worry about the damage inflicted on their property from falling trees as well as their limbs and branches, most never think about the damage these winds can directly inflict on roofs.
A common misconception is that a roof would have to be old in order to be susceptible to high wind damage.
A few things to bear in mind:
One missing or damaged shingle on your roof can allow water to penetrate not only into your attic but the plaster or drywall ceiling below. Flashing around a chimney can come loose in high winds allowing water to follow in the chimney into your home. It only takes a small amount of edged area on a flat roof for powerful high winds to get underneath and forcefully separate layers of roofing.
So how do you prevent these types of damages from occurring?
Beyond bi-yearly inspections on your roof, you should conduct inspections after high wind events.
Here is a 10 point checklist:
1. Before heading outside, grab a ladder and take a peek into your attic space to see if there is any apparent damage from water. Visually can the attic for any daylight coming through the roof area.
2. Head outside and walk all the way around your property assessing the roof (if visible) and gutter system. Keep an eye out for any missing shingles or tiles.
3. Head on top of roof – first start by checking the gutter system. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
4. Walk the roof looking for missing or damages shingles, tiles, or loose layered edges (flat roof).
5. Visually inspect the ridge vents to ensure all covering are properly in place.
6. Visually inspect all flashings including chimney, skylight, and any areas where roofing material is connected to the property.
7. If any damage is found, be sure to document with photos before beginning any repairs.
8. Roofing tar is a great temporary solution. This can be purchased from most home improvement stores and is very easy to apply.
9. Call your home insurance company to file a claim.
10. Call a reputable and insured roofer/contractor for further inspections and repairs. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the company before hiring.
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