Roof Shingle Damage Caused by Storms

How-To: Prevent Windstorm and Hail Damage to Your Roof and Home
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Roof Shingle Damage Caused by Storms


3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are the most common type of shingle on the market. They are made of asphalt re-enforced with either organic material, or wood. The most common shape is rectangular, with a flat, two-dimensional appearance. The surface is coated with tiny metallic granules that provide protection from sun damage. 3-tab shingles are lightweight, easy to install, require no maintenance, come in many colors and are resistant to light weather.

Typically 3-tab shingles carry the shortest warranty and under ideal conditions will last 15-20 years. But, they are highly susceptible to hail and wind damage. When hail strikes a 3-tab shingle, the impact causes protective granules to be knocked away, exposing the asphalt base to the sun and elements. This causes a number of problems including leaking, cracking, curling and shortened lifespan.

A strong wind or tornado can tear off shingles, which renders your roof ineffective at repelling water. A 3-tab roof that has been damaged by hail, wind, or a severe storm loses its ability to effectively protect the structure underneath. Long-term exposure to the elements on a damaged roof can lead to wood rot and structural compromise, and can lead to your roof caving in. If your home has been hit by a storm and you have 3-tab shingles, you’ll want to have your roof inspected as soon as possible.

Architectural Shingles

For homeowners that value appearance and greater storm resistance, architectural shingles are becoming popular. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and color blends and give the roof a 3-dimenisional or layered look. Architectural shingles are heavier and more substantial than 3-tab shingles and are less likely to sustain damage during a light storm. But, architectural shingles can be damaged during a moderate to severe hail, windstorm, or tornado.

Architectural shingles are coated with protective metallic granules. When architectural shingles are hit by hail, loss of the protective granules is common. A strong hail hit, even on an impact resistant roof can cause cracking, tearing, split seams and compromise the overall integrity of the shingle, leading to water damage, leaking and staining on the walls and ceiling inside your home. Missing shingles break the water seal and expose your roof to damage from future storms.

Even though architectural shingles typically carry a longer warranty, up to 40 years, storm damage is not covered by most warranties. With limited time to file an insurance damage claim, if you have architectural shingles and your home has been hit by a hailstorm, windstorm or tornado, you’ll want to have your roof inspected by a qualified, insurance restoration contractor, as soon as possible.

T-Lock Shingles

These shingles were first introduced as a high-wind resistant alternative to 3-tab shingles. T-lock shingles are most commonly found on homes located in high wind areas and have been discontinued since 2005. T-lock shingles are shaped like a “T” and were designed to offer better performance in strong windstorms. T-lock shingles are made from asphalt covered by protective metallic granules. When hail hits a T-lock roof and granules are knocked away creating a “bruise”, the shingle loses its ability to protect your home from sun, UV rays, moisture and leaks.

Since T-lock shingles are no longer manufactured and cannot be repaired, if your roof has sustained even light damage, chances are excellent you will qualify for a full roof replacement, with new, modern materials. If you have a T-lock roof and your home has been hit by a storm, you should have your roof inspected by a qualified contractor, immediately.

Designer Shingles

These are the top-of-the-line shingles offered by manufactures. Designer shingles can be made from a variety of composite materials, are unique in appearance and are designed to give the roof a specific, unique appearance. Most designer shingles are made from reinforced asphalt, and tend to be much heavier than basic shingles.

Designer shingles outperform basic shingles and may offer features such as impact resistance, fungus resistance, and longer warranties. As with other reinforced asphalt shingles, loss of protective granules, cracking, split seams, and missing shingles are common after a severe hailstorm or tornado.

If you have a designer shingle, it is important to remember that storm damage can seriously impact the life of your roof, and its ability to protect your home from damaging UV-rays, moisture and other elements.

Shake Shingles

Cedar shake shingles are an attractive, natural looking shingle popular in upscale neighborhoods. Shake shingles are highly durable, resist sun, insects and stand up well in heavy rainstorms and moderate hail and wind storms.

Because moisture is the natural enemy of wood shingles, shake shingles require ongoing maintenance and tend to be installed in drier climates. In areas prone to fires, shake roofs should be treated with a fire retardant. While shake shingles outperform asphalt shingles in light to moderate weather, they can still be split, cracked and blown off.

Severe wind, hail storms and tornadoes can do serious damage to shake shingles, including cracking, splitting, and leaking, which may not be evident from street level. If your home has shake shingles and has been hit by a heavy storm, such as hail, wind, or a tornado, you should have a full damage inspection performed by a qualified insurance restoration professional as soon as possible.

Tile Shingles

Tile shingles are quickly becoming one of the most popular shingle choices in the country. They are beautiful, highly durable, energy efficient and highly fire resistant. Tile shingles are typically made from concrete or clay and come in a wide range of colors, shapes and styles. Tile shingles are very heavy and difficult to install. In high wind, hurricane and tornado prone areas, tile shingles are especially popular. They require little maintenance and carry a Class A fire rating, which can reduced the cost of your property insurance.

While tile shingles outperform asphalt shingles, they are not impervious to storm damage. Severe hail can crack, or break tile shingles. In high winds, tile shingles can be ripped off, leaving the underlayment exposed. If your home has tile shingles and has been hit by a severe hailstorm, windstorm or tornado, you’ll want to stay off of your roof. Walking on a tile roof can cause a great deal of additional damage, which may not be covered by your insurance policy. If your home has a tile roof, it is critical to make sure the contractor performing your property damage inspection, has experience installing, repairing and replacing tile roofs.