Hail and More Hail, what to look for with roof damage

You’ve been through a hail storm this spring.  What should you do?  Call your insurance or a roofer for an inspection of your roof.

These are the things the inspector is going to look for.

Step one:  Obvious damages. IE:  broken skylights or cracked skylights.   Dented or damaged gutters. aluminum siding and vinyl siding.  Damaged or dented window frames or windows.  Trees adjacent to the roof with leaves stripped or damaged landscaping plants.  Cars parked outdoors are also a good easy way for the inspector to know how close he needs to look at the actual roof.

Step 2:  The next thing they look for is the more subtle damage to the shingles.  Hail damage looks literally like a “target”.  That is, there is a center where the hail hit.  This link is a good link for pictures of damage and there are some links on that page to read up on too.  See:  https://www.google.com/search?q=pictures+of+hail+damaged+roofs&rlz=1C1ASUM_enUS670&oq=pictures+of+hail+damg&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.8693j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  The next thing the inspector will do is count the number of damaging hits per square 100 ft or some other arbitrary size.  Once the number of hits exceeds the minimum (another arbitrary number) then they decide if the roof is damaged enough for replacement.  Then they measure the roof and come up with an estimate.
Now, once you get the news from the adjuster, I’d ask who USAA works with.  These roofers are required to give warranties and have a good reputation with USAA.  I’d find that better than anything on Angies List.  Remember, even a bad roofer can buy ad space on Angies List and have wonderful reviews.  That’s exactly why I would not even think about believing everything you read on Angies List.  By the way, the BBB operates the same way.  I’d get a list of satisfied former clients from the roofer you are considering rather than any online review.
 Big companies like Cloud Roofing have been around for many years.  They are still in business for a reason.  They might be more expensive, but they’ll still be around years from now if an issue pops up.  Most reputable roofers have great ratings with their supplier of roofing materials.  GAF, Owens Corning and such will give the roofer some sort of preferred rating since they do so much work with that brand.  Fly by night outfits haven’t been around long enough to acquire that status.
  The actual work.  Now that’s were the rubber meets the road.  The contractor will remove all old materials.  Never roof over existing shingles.   They will install new vent pipe boots.  they can be lead, galvanized with a rubber insert or all rubber.  Most all will do the job well.  They just need to be new.  The rubber gets old and once disturbed, they won’t seal well again.  They do not cost much so not replacing them really isn’t a saving in the long run.
  The next thing will be the tar paper (Sometimes called felt paper) used under the shingles.  It comes in different weights.  15 pound, 30 pound ect.  Some has a cushion built in.  the heavier the better.  Believe it or not, the tar paper actually is what stops the water from penetrating the decking.    The shingles simply protect the felt paper.  It is fastened down with wide nails through a metal plate to the wooden decking.  By the way, once everything is removed, any wooden decking that is rotted or damaged should be replaced.  Things like the fireplace chimney, skylights and such will need to have new flashing installed before the shingles are attached.
  There are areas called “valleys” in the roof.  This is where two angles come together on the roof.  In the valley, there is wide metal flashing or sometimes a rubber mat that is placed in that valley as added insurance to stop water penetration.  After all, water gathers there and is routed down the trough that is formed by the valley.  That is an important step.  Some hide the flashing under the shingles, other have the metal exposed as in the pictures.  Both are OK and are more of an aesthetic thing than anything else as to which is used.
Then there is the edge of the roof line.  A “T” shaped metal strip should go around the face-board edge to act as a support and a drip rail.
This supports the edge of the shingle so it doesn’t droop.  It also will act as a drip rail when there is drizzle or fog and water flowing off of the roof is slow.  This helps stop damage to the face boards.  By the way, they could easily replace those bad face-boards while they have the roof off.  The shingle must extend beyond the metal edge by about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  After all that is addressed, then the shingles go on top of it all.  Most roofers these days use a nail gun.  If it is adjusted properly, it is just fine.  Hand nailing is better.  If too much pressure is used with the nail gun, the nail will go right through the shingle (or at least cut the shingle like a perforation) and not secure the shingle properly.  Three nails per shingle is the minimum required to fasten each shingle.  More is OK, but too many won’t really help and could actually damage things.
  At the peak of the roof.  The new and preferred thing these days is a ridge vent.  It is located at the very top of the ridge of the roof line.  It is a passive means of venting the attic and is safer that the turbo vents since there are no moving parts.  Some people have both.  At the very least, I’d be sure they add a ridge vent.  If you’d like to keep the turbo vents, you can, but they aren’t needed with the ridge vent.
   A great roofer will not only do all of the above, but they will be aware of the appearance of things and do things like paint the vent pipes or exposed flashing to make things look more finished.  It not a necessary thing,  but I think it reflects on the pride of workmanship the roofer does.
By the way, there are different styles and types of shingles out there.  the 3 tab is the most common.   http://www.roofer911.com/pics/shingle-roofing.jpg
 There is a heavier better looking shingle that looks like this:  http://stlroofingcompany.com/wp-content/uploads/105084544.jpg
  You might have to consult your HOA if you are changing styles or colors of shingles.
Best of Luck with your roofing repairs!
Mr. Fix It Mike

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