How to Check Your Roof for Damage

Your roofing system has a lot of parts that make up the whole.  When a nasty storm strikes and the roof has suffered damage, you should know what those parts are when you go out to inspect it for damage.

Gathering this evidence and logging the physical abuse of the roof will help you on your next step of contacting your insurance company in filing a thorough homeowner’s insurance claim.  They’ll need to know exactly what the damage is, where it is, and the documentation so repairs can be made, and you can be compensated.

Missing any damaged areas to your roof in your inspection will mean they won’t be addressed when it comes time to have a professional repair your roof.  Problems can arise quickly in a roofing system when there’s damage—even if it isn’t substantial.  Missing shingles, dented gutters, or damaged shingles can invite water in where it’s not supposed to be.  Water damage, foundational damage, structural damage—these are all issues that arise when a roof has problems that aren’t fixed.

First and Foremost: Be Safe

Any professional roofing inspector and insurance company will tell you to not climb on top of your roof to inspect the damage.  This is your most important safety rule.  Everything can be done on ground level, inside the house, or outside with a pair of binoculars if you need to scope something out up close.  Being up on top of the roof is dangerous, not to mention if there’s damage that’s occurred, you could fall through, trip over a loose shingle, or make the structural damage even worse.

The Gutters

Check your gutters.  Your gutters are responsible for directing rainwater away from your home and its foundation.  Tree limbs, hail, and falling debris can easily smash and dent the gutter runs, causing issues.  Make sure the gutter runs aren’t dented, crushed, or missing pieces, and scope out the downspouts to see if they are intact.

Smashed or broken gutter runs won’t channel the water away properly, causing water to pool in places you won’t want it to.  Unresolved, this can cause long-term foundational damage to your home.


Inside your home, you can do a visual check on your skylights.  It should be fairly easy to tell if your skylights have cracks or are shattered from debris.  If there is visible damage to the skylights, you’ll need to get it fixed right away.  Another impact on the glass surface could send the pane into a million pieces, leaving your home vulnerable to the elements and potentially hurting the unlucky person standing beneath it.

For reference, skylights have a lifespan of about twenty years, give or take, so when your roof needs replaced, your skylights will need an update, too.

The Flashing

The flashing is used by contractors to surround features on a roof like vents, chimneys, walls, dormers, or skylights.  The flashing is comprised of a thin material, usually galvanized steel, and helps direct water away from these critical points.  These vulnerable areas can quickly be subject to water damage, and if the flashing is damaged because of a storm and falling debris, you’ll need to get it repaired right away to curb these costs.

When standing at ground level, inspect the flashing.  Although flashing is a small portion of the roofing system, it heavily contributes in keeping water out of your house, masonry, and structure.  Look to see if the flashing is dented or misshapen in anyway because it will need to be replaced by a professional contractor if that’s the case.

The Attic

Checking the attic will give you telltale signs of roof damage, especially if it’s just rained.  Leaking will be noticeable right away, but you’ll also be on the lookout for things like rotten wood, soggy insulation, wet spots (either in the beams themselves or on the floor of the attic), and the ventilation.

Taking a peek in the attic will allow you a glimpse in the condition of your roof regardless as to whether your roof has suffered immediate damage.  It’s the underbelly of the roofing system, and signs of poor, worn, or thinning insulation and excessive wear and tear will be apparent here.

Now It’s Time to Call in the Professionals

From the ground, there’s only so much you can do.  If you climb up on the roof, you’re putting yourself in danger as well as potentially making the roof damage even worse.  Do everything you can from the ground in a visual inspection as well as heading up to the attic to assess the damage beneath the roof there.  Log, document, and take photographic evidence for your insurance company.

A roofing professional will climb up to the roof—safely—and inspect all of its features first-hand.  They’ll also take a look at your chimney and any other features that can’t be inspected from the ground.  Keep in touch with your insurance company and remember to note everything that was done to repair your roof by keeping the receipts and continuing your documentation.

When the time comes for roof replacement, there’s only one name that can get the job done best in the Chicagoland area – Feldco Roofing. Homeowners trust us because we offer high quality products at an affordable price and unbeatable customer service.

Start your roofing project today with a free quote online and get the roof you need.

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