After-storm roof protection and repair guide

28 June 2018

Our homes need protection all year round from storms that can damage your home and create long-lasting problems, especially those involving water.

Luckily, there are practical ways to address the issues storms create, which we have summed up in this handy guide.

Inspect the roof and find the damage

Needless to say, you should start inspecting your roof for damage only after the storm has cleared. Even though possible damages to the roof are typically the most costly, don’t jump the ladders right away. Your safety is a top priority.

From going around your house, you will be able to see some signs of damage. In addition to possibly finding roof tiles on the ground, you might also note larger branches or other debris. These may be on the ground now but during the storm they might have hit, and possibly dented, your roof.

You can even inspect the general state of the drainpipes from the ground and upon further inspection check if there is a need to fix them. Don’t put off repairing even small cracks in the pipes because as soon as more rain falls, your ceilings and walls will be drenched with water.

If you plan to go on the roof yourself, stay safe and properly secure your ladders. Observe and stay on the ladder. Walking on the roof is hard enough, and with possible hits and even water damage, you should definitely call in some professional help for closer inspection.

You can do more work from the inside. Check the ceilings and if you find cracks or water spots, your roof will definitely need to be repaired. How big the problem is, only the professional will be able to tell. 

What to do if it’s a small problem

No matter how small the problems are, you should document them. Take pictures and if possible write down the date and categorise the damage done. This will make it easier to stake your claims with the insurance company but also show your roof contractors the size of the job.

In some cases, especially if there is no water entering the house, you could just tidy it up yourself. But in most cases, if there is damage, you need the pros. It is as simple as that. Remember that hurting yourself or doing the job halfway will not save you any money.

What to do if the problems are bigger

If you’ve got leaks and sheathings hanging around, it’s time to call some roof restoration professionals. If you want to get things started before the hired crew arrives, you can carefully clear up your garden and house if need be. Don’t go onto the roof to move the sheathings and whatever else found its way to your roof. The professionals will see to that.

Protect for the future

While you are looking into the present state of your roof after the storm, it is also the best time to prepare it and protect it from similar situations in the future. To prevent damage, you should inspect the state of your roof on a regular basis, even if there is no storm in sight. Leaks during a typical rainy day can help you prepare the roof before heavier storms set in. 

However, no matter how careful you are in your inspections, it is highly advisable to have a professional inspection about twice a year. If you aren’t a professional roofer yourself, your inspections may not be enough to keep your roof properly in check. Keep in mind that a roof which already has some problems is more likely to fall apart during a heavy storm.

Also, go over your contract with the insurance company. Make sure to note what the actual scenarios are that your insurance covers. You might be surprised at what it actually covers but it's always better to be proactive and stay informed.

Remember, while you can do some of the damage inspection on roofs yourself, please be advised that any activity that involves stepping onto the roof is dangerous in general, and even more so when there may have been damages done to the roof.

Victoria is journalist, freelance stylist and a girl a distinctive taste for home decor. She’s passionate about writing, sharing tips and DIY projects.