How to Protect a Storm-Damaged Roof
Every year roofs are damaged by storms, costing Americans around $12 million in 2010 alone. If you find yourself in a situation where your roof has become storm damaged, you will have to act fast. Acting quickly will not only keep you dry, but prevent further damage to your home.
What a Storm-Damaged Roof Looks Like
Different types of storm damage can yield different degrees of damage to your roof's surface. Hail's hallmarks are bruised shingles. Bruised shingles are shingles that are darker in appearance because the granular surface has been knocked away. This exposes your roof to leaking and further damage. Wind damage is the other prominent form of storm damage. In the event of wind damage, you may notice ripped, missing, or loose shingles.
If you inspect your roof visually after a storm, some of these signs may not be readily apparent. Another less obvious sign your roof has taken damage are granules from shingles lingering in your gutters. A leaking roof is a dead giveaway.
Immediate Damage Control
If your home's roof has had a tree fall on it, or has had other structural damage occur, the safest thing you can do is get out until it can be inspected. However, for smaller scale damage plastic sheeting and tarps make for good emergency fixes. In order to prevent leaks from happening you will have to make sure that the tarp goes over the pitch of your roof. If you don't do this, water will simply run under the tarp.
Emergency repairs are critical to the health of not only your roof, but your entire home. A storm-damaged roof can lead to mold developing inside of your home, and repeated exposure of water can cause wood rot to eventually damage the structural integrity of your home.
Repairs to Get You Through
There are two options available for smaller, slightly longer-term fixes.
Roofing Tar is the go-to option for the emergency repair of missing shingles. You spread the tar onto the damaged area using a drywall knife. You must spread the tar onto adjacent shingles as well to protect the area from leaks.
Roofing Cement is ideal for smaller gaps and loose shingles and to repair damaged flashing. You apply cement to the damaged areas after you clean them of debris by using a putty knife. Using more cement during repairs is better than using a smaller amount. You can expect repairs to last about a month, though this is weather dependent.
Having your roof damaged can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, having a plan of action and having some basic repair supplies on hand will give you an opportunity to hold your roof over until a roofing contractor can professionally repair and restore it.