RoofViews

Your Home

5 Signs of Storm Damage on Your Roof

By Mark Soto

April 02, 2020

Broken Gutter

A harsh storm can cause all kinds of damage to your home, especially its roof. While some roof problems are obviously visible, others aren't as simple to spot.

Whether you can see them or not, fixing any issues that pop up in the aftermath of a storm helps keep your home safe from further harm. With strong storms come sharp winds, hail, and heavy rain that can damage shingles, gutters, flashing, and other areas.

These are some of the most common signs of storm damage to look out for:

1. Missing or Damaged Shingles

Shingles are one of the first places to look when identifying storm damage. Sharp winds can cause shingles to blow away or loosen; likewise, hail or flying debris such as tree branches can crack or dent shingles upon impact. In other cases, shingles may curl upward after being damaged.

When shingles are missing or damaged, the material beneath them is at risk of premature deterioration without the benefit of the shingle's protection. These delicate areas warrant an urgent fix—call a contractor as soon as possible to prevent disasters before another storm strikes.

2. Water Leaks

Excessive moisture inside your home after a storm is a clear indication of storm damage. Wind-driven rain can quickly make its way into your home from openings in the roof, especially if there is no leak barrier installed.

Water damage from leaks may cause staining on your ceilings and walls as well as a musty odor around the home. The drywall can also crack due to excessive moisture and bulge out. Wet spots may also form around the toilet or pipes, which can at times be incorrectly attributed to the plumbing.

3. Granule Loss

Roofing manufacturers add granules to shingles to help protect your roof against the sun's harmful UV rays. However, harsh weather—typically hail—can cause significant granule loss across the roof.

To spot granule loss, look for any areas of discoloration or dark spots on the roof. It will be difficult to spot missing granules when looking up at the roof from ground-level, but you can often see evidence of granule loss by looking at the ground directly beneath the roof. Also, you can check the gutters to see if there is an accumulation of granules in them.

A roofer can quickly identify granule loss by climbing onto your roof and performing a closer inspection.

4. Broken Gutters, Downspouts, and Flashing

Shingles aren't the only thing that gets damaged by severe storms. The gutters, downspouts, and flashings can also take a beating. If hit by large pieces of hail, metal gutters and downspouts may dent while plastic ones may crack or break entirely. Flashing can come loose from the winds or dent and break if it's impacted by hail. Meanwhile, debris such as leaves and dirt clogs gutters.

Damaged gutters and downspouts are easy to observe, but flashing is a bit more difficult to spot to the untrained eye. However, flashing is crucial to your roof—any cracks or openings can lead to water leaks.

5. Attic Damage

The attic is one of the most critical places to inspect for damage after a storm. Dark spots on the attic walls and underside of the roof deck can indicate the presence of moisture. You should also take note if any of the insulation seems wet. Water leaks create wet insulation, leading it to stop working correctly and potentially requiring expensive replacement. Plus, excessive water can cause mold to grow quickly in the attic.

Also inspect the rafters and trusters for cracks or damage, especially during snowstorms. Heavy snow and ice can add additional weight on the roof and the structure may show signs off bending, sagging and cracking.

When to Call a Professional

It's a good idea to call a professional roofer* to fix any roofing concerns before they worsen and get out of hand. They can help you inspect the roof and assess any possible damage right after an intense storm. Unless you're trained to know what to look for, it's easy to miss some of the less conspicuous issues that can cause long-term roof damage.

Want to know more? Visit the GAF storm response page.

*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.

About the Author

Mark Soto is a freelance writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has comprehensive knowledge of home improvement projects based on his previous work. Mark comes from a family of DIYers and has worked with landscapers, plumbers, painters and other contractors. He also writes about camping and his enthusiasm for the outdoors.

Related Articles

A couple looks at their home from the ground.
Your Home

How to Conduct a Roof Inspection from the Ground

As a homeowner, it's always a good idea to stay on top of routine maintenance that will help protect your biggest investment—and that includes a regular roof inspection. Catching leaks or damage early can help preserve your roof's longevity and prevent major issues.But getting up on a ladder to walk around on your roof can be dangerous. It's safer to visually inspect your roof from the ground. Read on to learn how to conduct a routine roof check, so you'll know when it's time to bring in a professional.Walk around the Entire PropertyTo see all the angles of your roof, you'll first need to walk around your home, looking up and down. Check for any fallen shingles or debris on the ground or any missing spots on the roof where shingles may have broken off.Using binoculars, look for moss, piles of leaves, algae, or other debris on the roof. If left unaddressed, this debris can damage the structure by trapping moisture, eventually causing it to seep into the sheathing beneath your shingles. After some time, this can develop into serious water damage and leaks.Look for Damaged ShinglesExcessive heat and moisture in your attic, typically caused by inadequate ventilation, may compromise the roof system's performance or even cause shingles to become misshapen or damaged. Loose, curled, cracked, or buckled shingles can leave room for water to seep in and damage your roof's underlayment.If you see shingles that don't look right or are missing altogether, consult a roofing professional. They can help you understand if it's a simple fix or indicative of something larger, meaning it could be time to replace the roof.Check Your Gutters, Fascia, and SoffitNext, look for obvious damage, such as holes, dents, mold, or cracks. Gutters clogged with branches, leaves, or dirt can prevent water from draining off the roof. Also, asphalt shingles contain small, gravel-like granules, and if you see this material has ended up in your gutters, it can mean the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan. Inspect the downspout to be sure it's clear of debris, too.While you can remove leaves or sticks yourself, hire a gutter cleaning service for a larger blockage. If you need to climb a ladder to reach any part of your gutters, it's best to leave that to an insured service.Peek at the Flashings from the BalconyIf you have a balcony or other way to safely view your roof from above, get a closer look at the flashings. These are the metal components that redirect water from your roof, located around your chimney, vent pipes, and dormers.Flashings are often the most vulnerable areas around your roof and the first to show wear and tear. If they're dented, rusty, or otherwise damaged—or if the caulk is brittle or cracked—water can get into your roof's interior structure and lead to rot.Examine the Attic or CrawlspaceAfter your exterior inspection, head inside. Some hidden roof damage or water infiltration can be seen from your attic. Using a flashlight, look for signs of rotting wood joists, sunlight coming through the joints, water damage on the floor, or any vulnerable spots around vents, skylights, or the chimney. Also check your rafters, insulation, and any other wooden structures for signs of mold, moisture, and rot.Scan Your Home's InteriorSome early signs your roof might be leaking are obvious from inside the house. Look for damp spots near the fireplace, water stains on the pipes that vent your furnace or water heater, dark patches, or peeling paint on your ceilings.When to Go with a ProPerform a visual roof inspection twice a year—in the spring or early summer and again in the fall. Conducting regular inspections helps you get to know your roof and spot any issues immediately.If your roof looks like it's in good shape after your inspection, you probably don't need to call in a licensed roofing contractor. However, if you've seen any worrisome signs of damage or leaks, it's best to book a professional inspection before the issues worsen. A GAF-certified roofing contractor* can make any necessary repairs, so your roof continues to protect your most valuable asset.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the GAF Contractor Terms of Use.

By Authors Wendy Helfenbaum

March 22, 2024

Timberline HD Reflector Series Birchwood House
Your Home

Best Roofing Materials and Colors for Energy Efficiency

Want to save money on your heating and cooling bills and keep your home feeling pleasant year-round, regardless of the weather outside? Opting for an energy-efficient roof might be the way to go.You can replace your existing roof with a new system that uses energy-efficient materials and colors. For instance, while a roof's color may seem like an aesthetic choice, it can play a part in keeping a house cooler in the summer by reflecting sunlight. Meanwhile, the best roofing materials for energy efficiency can help with thermal emittance and keep a house warmer in the winter.Here's a comprehensive overview of energy-efficient roofs, why color and material matter, and why you might consider updating your home's roof.Benefits of Energy-Efficient RoofsAside from offering protection from the outside elements, reducing your home's environmental impact, and enhancing its curb appeal, energy-efficient roofs can offer several benefits. With energy-efficient roofing materials, homeowners may notice cost savings through a reduction in energy consumption, and more interior comfort during particularly hot or cold weather conditions. The lifetime of a roof may even be extended, depending on manufacturer warranties. All of these factors can positively impact the resale value of your home when it's time to sell.Additionally, local laws may require your home to meet certain energy standards, which an energy-efficient roof can help with. For example, due to Title 24, California homes must comply with specific cool roof requirements. GAF shingles like Timberline HDZ® RS Shingles and Timberline® CS Shingles have been rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) for use in Title 24 projects. At GAF, a primary focus is building sustainable products that not only adhere to changing building standards, but also help create a more sustainable future.Most Energy-Efficient Roofing MaterialsGenerally, the most energy-efficient roofing materials are metal, tile, and asphalt. Here's how each of these materials differ.MetalMetal roofs are known for their longevity. Metal is also considered one of the best roofing materials for reflecting sunlight, which results in improved energy efficiency. Its strong insulation properties help keep the interior at a comfortable temperature while keeping out hot (or cold) exterior air. Lastly, metal roofs are environmentally friendly, as most of the material is recyclable.TileCommonly made from clay and slate, tile roofs are another energy-efficient option. Tile roofs are often seen in the Southwest, where daily temperatures can reach triple digits and the sun beats down most of the day. This roofing material sometimes comes preheated to help reduce heat absorption in sunny weather and high-temperature areas. You can also add coatings to the roof to further improve its reflectivity once it's installed.AsphaltWhile asphalt shingles are a popular choice across homes in the United States, they aren't known to have a lot of solar-reflecting ability. That said, many new energy-efficient asphalt shingles are equipped with solar-reflecting granules.For example, GAF Timberline® CS Shingles can help keep your attic cool and allow you to use your home's air conditioning system less. And GAF Timberline HDZ® RS Shingles, which are rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council, come in several light and dark finishes, so you can choose your color scheme. These shingles offer excellent performance and can withstand strong wind speeds, while giving you the same look as traditional asphalt shingles.Best Roof Colors to Reflect HeatLight roof colors tend to reflect more sunlight and heat than darker colors. Popular light colors used for energy-efficient homes are white, light gray, and light brown.White is the most effective roof color to reflect heat. According to the US Department of Energy, a white roof stays coolest because it can reflect anywhere from 60% to 90% of sunlight. Meanwhile, other products typically reflect 30% to 60% of sunlight. Darker colors tend to absorb more heat, with black roofs absorbing the most heat followed by brown and dark gray.Shingles That Reflect Heat Regardless of ColorThough darker colors tend to absorb more heat, you may want a darker roof to match your home's aesthetics. For example, if you want your home's siding to stand out, a dark-colored roof is more favorable than a light one.Today, you don't have to decide between color and energy efficiency: modern shingles, like GAF cool roof shingles, can still reflect heat despite their dark shade. For instance, GAF Timberline HDZ® RS+ Shingles are offered in charcoal, hickory, aged chestnut, and other rich colors while still maintaining their high energy efficiency. You can choose the color that best fits your home's design without having to sacrifice your roof's energy efficiency.When Color May Not Matter as MuchKeep in mind your local weather and your property's features. If your home doesn't get as much sun or is covered in shade by nearby trees, the color of your roof may not matter as much when it comes to solar reflectance.Other Ways to Improve Roof Energy EfficiencyApart from color and roofing material, you can take other steps to improve your roof's energy efficiency.InsulationAttic insulation protects your roof during any season. In the summer, it reduces the transfer of heat coming in from outside. While your roof material is the first line of protection, you can think of insulation as your second line of defense.Insulation also protects your home against humidity and can prevent pests from getting inside your home. During the winter months, attic insulation can also prevent ice dams that can lead to expensive damage.VentilationIf your roof doesn't have proper ventilation, heat will always make its way inside. Proper ventilation allows the warm air inside to constantly shift out through the vents and be replaced with cooler air. Apart from regulating temperatures, it reduces condensation, which can result in mold, and keeps your insulation in good condition. Adding roof and attic vents while ensuring insulation isn't covering any airflow is the best way to ensure good ventilation.Updating Your Roof with Modern MaterialsFor more help navigating the variety of energy-efficient roofing materials available, speak to a local contractor. These professionals can tell you what's most popular in your area and help you understand the advantages you could enjoy after upgrading to a more energy-efficient roof.

By Authors Mark Soto

March 22, 2024

The GAF TimberSteel™ premium metal roofing system on a house
Your Home

3 Disadvantages of a Standing Seam Metal Roof

When you're choosing the right roofing material for your home, you might rule out metal. Metal roofs are often expensive and noisy, and they can look wavy or distorted (known as oil canning). However, GAF has an alternative that allows you to get the durability and aesthetic appeal of a metal roof—without the high cost and finish concerns.What Is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?A standing seam metal roof is a series of mechanically attached metal panels. The attachment points, called standing seams, create a thin ridge along the outside of each panel. These seams allow the metal to expand and contract as the temperature changes without sacrificing the roof's ability to protect your home from moisture. The panels are attached to the roof structure under each seam. The fasteners don't show externally, giving the roof a consistent look.Disadvantages of a Standing Seam Metal RoofStanding seam metal roofs are known for their smooth aesthetic and durability. But they can have three significant downsides.1. PriceBetween the cost of metal and the need for professionally trained installers, standing seam roofs can cost two to three times as much as a standard asphalt shingle roof. The material cost depends on the metal's thickness, the requested finish, and the roof's size. Installation can also cost more because it takes specialized training to install the panels correctly. If they're not, they can experience leaks and metal expansion.2. NoiseWhen it rains on a metal roof, it's noisy. Attaching the roof panels to solid wood decking and adding rigid insulation can help reduce the noise level, but you can't completely get rid of it. You might like hearing the pitter-patter of raindrops on your roof during a storm. But if you don't want this extra noise in your home, you may want to avoid a metal roof.3. Oil CanningOil canning is a finish issue that occurs when the metal panels are fastened too closely together. The panels have room to expand lengthwise but not sideways. The finish begins to look like it's bubbling and continues to get wavier over time. Note that oil canning is an aesthetic issue caused by improper installation, not a material defect. The roof will continue to offer protection but will appear warped.An Alternative to Standing Seam Metal RoofsThe GAF TimberSteel™ premium metal roofing system provides an alternative to standing seam metal roofs. Here are some features to keep in mind.1. Lower costThe TimberSteel™ system can be easier on the budget and easier to install than a traditional standing seam metal roof. While installation costs will vary by location, GAF's system offers more efficient installation than traditional standing seam panels, giving you the opportunity to save additional time and money.2. BeautyInstead of sacrificing looks for durability, the GAF TimberSteel™ system is made with an embossed vertical grain, giving the appearance of traditional roof shingles, with the strength of steel. It is specifically designed to help avoid common issues, like oil canning, that traditional metal roofs present. The TimberSteel™ system is also available in a variety of colors to suit your home and taste.3. Durable finishAs the first metal shingle from GAF, the TimberSteel™ Premium Metal Roofing System is constructed out of GALVALUME® steel and coated with a combination of aluminum and zinc, which help to protect against corrosion. The GAF TimberSteel™ system also passes UL's toughest impact-resistance test — UL 2218 Class 4.In addition, metal roof systems are completely recyclable when reaching the end of its useful life, making them a great choice for the environment.While GAF's new metal roofing system is currently only available in select areas, you can learn more and sign up to receive information about the TimberSteel™ system, including updates on availability in your area, by visiting gaf.com/metal.

By Authors Dawn Killough

March 22, 2024

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!

Subscribe now