Earth, Wind, and.....Hailstones
By drysealroof24224061, Jun 16 2016 09:23PM
Most Iowans like myself enjoy a big storm on the horizon. The beautiful aw-inspiring shelf clouds that roll in like something out of a James Cameron movie. We sit out on our patios ignoring the warnings from the news until those first few cold raindrops hit our dry clothes and sends us inside secure and protected our homes. We look out our windows and gaze at the turbulent sky as it rolls on through. Lightning and thunder rock the house. Then all at once the heavens release its fury. Our vulnerability to the storm finally settles in as the white noise of steady rain turns to sudden bangs of hail.
We never really think about the roof over our heads until we feel vulnerable in a storm, or see a problem that seems to creep in overnight. Like many things, you don't know what you have until its gone. When we actually think about hail falling from the sky at 80-90mph, or approximately 650 gallons of water falling on your roof within an hour we thank the roof over our heads.
The storm passes and the petrichor fills the air. We walk outside to see small limbs blown off trees, garbage cans flipped over and little pieces of ice scattered throughout the landscape. These are the things that Iowans experience countless times throught our lives. With that being said we should also learn general practices to identify damage to our property. It is smart to develop a habit by taking a quick look around the property for any sign of obvious damage. Although, the damage might not be so obvious after all. It's important to have a licensed roofing contractor inspect the roof for damage. Hidden damage could take weeks or even months to show itself, and by that time moisture could have already succeeded in amplifying the damage. Some hail damage takes a trained eye to see, and if there was wind involved it can escalate issues further. Hailstones damage the shingles by knocking the granular coverings off. When this happens the underlying asphalt is exposed, allowing sunlight and moisture to deteriorate the shingle. Wind can damage the shingle by lifting the tabs and breaking the seal of the shingle allowing water to seap below.
Metal roofs are finished with a proprietary coat of paint to resist mold, algae, and prevent rust. Although, when hailstones pummel the roof it has the potential to chip away the existing finish, allowing these environmental invaders to occupy the roof. Wood shakes are damaged similiarly although the shakes will crack or split which changes the structure of the protecting shakes.
After the storm passes and you think "it wasn't as bad as we thought" it is still a good idea to check your roof for obvious signs of damage. If your roof is steep or you don't feel comfortable getting on your roof; call a trusted roofer in your area and ask them if they provide free inspections to get it checked out.
Really brave iowans! having to brave the nature so many times in their lives and hail is the biggest enemy a roof can have, after every storm, it is always wise to inspect the roof. You are right some times damage is not visible, for this I suggest carry out the 'attic test', it is very simple and practical. All you need to do is to go into the attic during the day with the lights off and look for pinhole spots of lights coming into the attic, traditionally these are found around chimneys and the vents. This is it and you can easily locate the damage done.
You are right about the after effects of the hail storms, though with a stronger roof like metal, we can be assured of being relatively safer but as you rightly mentioned hails could wash off that protective finishing, so getting the roof inspected by a qualified contractor is very important to spot and repair the issue when it is still small.
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