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How to Identify Roof Storm Damage (and 10 MORE Great Questions)

With storm season approaching, we get many questions on how to identify roof storm damage. Storms can be violent in the midwest and cause a lot of damage, so it is important to be able to recognize this damage before it gets worse. For a more in-depth look at roof storm damage, check out our earlier post.

Roof storm damage being repaired. Roof insurance covers it.
Roof storm damage being repaired. Roof insurance covers it.

1. How do I identify roof storm damage?

The main signs to look for are leaks in your ceiling or attic, missing or damaged shingles, or dents if you have a metal roof.

If water started leaking into you house during the storm, or you see dark spots appearing on the ceiling or walls, there is definitely some damage that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Take a walk around your house to check for damaged shingles. The should all be overlapping and lying flat against your roof and should all be of a uniform color. If you notice any missing shingles, light or dark spots, or places where the shingles are curling off the roof, it is time for repairs.

As a preventative measure, inspect your roof and make sure there is no standing water or accumulated ice. If there is, it is imperative that you clean your gutters to let the water drain as soon as possible to prevent further roof storm damage.

If you notice signs of storm damage, our friends at All Things Roofing have an excellent guide on the steps you should take right away to prevent it from getting worse. When you are ready for repairs, get in touch with us and we will quickly get it taken care of.

2. How can I prevent ice dams on my roof?

The easy solutions are to keep your gutters clean and make sure your roof is properly insulated and ventilated.
An ice dam forms when water is allowed to accumulate on your roof and then freeze. The water can be from rain, or melting snow and ice that refreezes when the temperature drops.
The easiest way to prevent ice dams from forming is to not allow the water to build up in the first place. Keep your gutters clean and your roof free from debris so that rain and meltwater can properly drain.
Even with clean gutters, however, ice dams can still form if some parts of your roof melt while others don’t. The still frozen ice can act as a blockage and keep the meltwater from draining. The best way to prevent this is to keep your attic properly insulated and ventilated. This keeps your attic cold, which will prevent the snow and ice from melting in the first place. If your home is particularly susceptible to ice dams, you may want to consider installing heat cables in the autumn, and using a reliable roof rake to remove any excess snow accumulation.

3. What’s the best roofing material for my climate?

Asphalt shingles are the most versatile material, but metal roofing may be better for hotter climates and slate for colder climates.
In Missouri, we get our share of hot and cold weather, so asphalt would be the most practical choice, but also consider the aesthetic and cost when selecting your materials.
If you are having trouble deciding, get some advice from one of our experts!

4. Can I install solar panels on my roof?

Solar panels can be installed on almost all roof types, though the materials and hardware needed will vary depending on your roof materials.
It is not recommended to install panels on an aging roof to avoid having to remove and replace the panels if your roof is damaged and needs to be replaced.

5. Are there environmentally friendly roofing materials?

There are many material options to make your roof better for the environment, including metal, slate, clay/concrete, and recycled shingles.
Metal roofing is easily recyclable and very durable and long-lasting. This is a great choice if your house is exposed to extreme weather or in a hot climate due to its reflectivity.
Slate has some of the longest lifespans out of any roofing material, regularly lasting over 100 years. These slate tiles can easily be recycled for future roofs or other uses and are especially attractive aesthetically and for colder climates.
Clay or cement tiles are also known to last for over 100 years and can easily be crushed down and recycled back into tiles or other objects at the end of their life. Clay tiles especially also offer a very unique look for your home that catches the eye.
Recycled shingles are functionally similar to traditional asphalt shingles but made from recycled consumer waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Durability varies depending on the materials used, but generally will not last nearly as long as the other options. This is made up for with a much lower price point and more aesthetic options than other materials.
One last option that is less popular for home roofs, but could still be an option are green roofs. Also know as a living roof, a green roof is covered in a waterproof membrane, and then covered in soil and live vegetation. These roofs are durable and well-insulating, and make a statement with their unique leafy appearance. These are likely the most eco-friendly options, though they may require more upkeep than more traditional roofs.

6. Is it important to get a professional roof inspection?

Regular roof inspections are very important to ensure that there aren’t easily fixed problems that could quickly turn into much larger, more costly problems. It is a good idea to schedule regular inspections in the fall to make sure that your roof is up to snuff before the winter ice and spring storms come and exacerbate any issues. If you haven’t gotten an inspection recently, it may also be smart to get one after a big storm to make sure everything is solid.
For a more in-depth look at why roof inspections are so important, check out our previous article, 10 Reasons Why It’s Critical To Get A Roof Inspection.

7. Does insurance cover roof repairs?

Virtually all homeowner insurance policies will cover roof repairs, but generally only if caused by sudden accidents, such as severe weather. Policies vary, so read your carefully, but in most cases any damage caused by wind, hail, lightning, fire and smoke, snow and ice, or falling debris will be covered after paying your deductible. Damage caused by neglect, pests, aging, and regular wear and tear will not be covered, which is another reason it is crucial to get regular inspections.

8. Why did my roof insurance only pay partial up-front to replace my roof?

Roof insurance companies often will only pay a partial amount up front as part of their claims process. Generally, the up-front amount is determined by the insurance adjuster’s assessment of the damage based on a visual inspection. The adjuster will not have the whole picture on the actual damage, so the company will wait until the work begins and the contractors can give an estimate on the total repairs. Once they receive a more accurate estimate, the insurance company will generally make supplementary payments to cover the difference.
Also keep in mind that you likely have a deductible, which may be subtracted from the payments, and that some plans may have specific terms and conditions regarding payment schedules. If you have any questions or problems, it is best to contact your insurance company, who should be able to help.

9. What are RCV and ACV and what is the difference?

RCV is replacement cost value and ACV is actual cost value. The difference between them is the amount of money you receive due to depreciation. The RCV is the total cost to repair or replace your roof with materials of like kind and quality, whereas the ACV is the total minus the cost of depreciation.
If your insurance plan pays RCV, then ideally you will be paid for the full cost of your roof repairs or replacements to restore your property to its preloss condition. If your pan pays ACV, then the age and condition of your roof will be taken into account by your insurance company, and they will likely pay out less due to this.
As an example, a typical roof with a lifespan of 25 years will depreciate by 4% every year. If your roof is 10 years old, it will have depreciated by 40%. If you have an estimate for $10,000 for a new roof, then an RCV plan would pay the full $10,000, while a ACV plan would only pay out $6000 (likely minus your deductible in both cases). Consult with your insurance agent to clarify the terms of your policy if you are unsure.

10. Why did the roof insurance company withhold the depreciation value for my roof replacement?

Insurance companies will often withhold the depreciation value to ensure that the homeowner actually follows through and completes all of the repairs or replacement. This serves as motivation for the homeowner to promptly complete the repairs, and also as a safeguard to prevent the homeowner from taking the insurance money without following through on the work. Once the insurance company receives proof that the work has been completed, they will release the depreciation value as part of the final settlement.

More Information

We hope we were able to answer your questions on roof storm damage, roofing materials, roof insurance claims, and other roofing matters. For further questions, read part one of our Roofing FAQ here, and for more in-depth information check out our Blog or our friends at

If you need an inspection, repairs, or a new roof, reach out to us and we can match you with the best local roofers in your area!

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