With one of the rainiest seasons in recent history on the books, southeastern Pennsylvania has seen its share of wet weather—and all of the damage and inconvenience that comes with it. From flooded roads to flooded basements, the amount of precipitation we’ve received has taken its toll, and roofs are especially susceptible to these effects.

Here’s your guide to understanding how the rain and the recent spate of hailstorms can affect your roof, and what you can do about it.

How rain and hail affect a roof

Rain, hail, and even wind can wreak havoc on a roof. Some of the most common types of damage they can inflict involve compromising the roof’s shingles. Clearly if shingles have fallen off the roof this is a sign that immediate replacement and repair is required, but damage can be more subtle than that. When looking for storm impact on shingles, pay attention to:

  1. Areas that look more worn, bruised, or discolored. This is an indication that the granules that coat the shingle have been dislodged or worn away, and the shingle should be replaced.
  2. Singles that are torn or have small lesions or holes. These may be difficult to see, especially from the ground, but any break in the integrity of the shingle means that your home’s first defense against the elements is compromised.
  3. Shingles that have curled or lifted. This can mean that the wind and damaging weather have pulled and pushed the shingle so that its bond or seal has been broken. In this case, the shingle is no longer providing an effective barrier against precipitation and should be replaced.

What to do after a storm to ensure your roof’s health

Again, there are some signs that are a clear giveaway that damage has occurred. Leaks inside the house or garage indicate that water has seeped in through some area that’s been compromised, and repairs are in order.

If there is no apparent leak, you can start with a visual inspection of the condition of the roof. As mentioned above, take note of any shingles that have been knocked loose or are visibly damaged. It may be difficult to see these from ground level, so either engage the help of a professional right away, or exercise extreme care in accessing your roof yourself. Keep in mind that falls from the roof can cause very serious injury, so safety precautions are vital if you attempt this yourself.

For true peace of mind, however—both about accessing the roof and about knowing how to spot damage—enlist the help of a trusted professional.

Catching damage right after it occurs can save you from even costlier repairs down the road, so don’t wait long after a storm to make sure your roof is still doing the job it was meant to do in protecting your home from the elements.

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