Alabama Weather and the Roof Damage It Can Cause
Inclement weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and heat waves commonly occur in Alabama, and these types of severe weather can cause damage to your house and roof. It’s important to know what to look out for so you can repair your roof before it’s too late and be prepared for the next storm.
Weather That Causes Roof Damage
Tornadoes are unfortunately a common occurrence in Alabama, and while some are mild, others can cause severe damage to your home and the surrounding area. Even if there is no visible damage from a tornado, you should have your roof checked afterward. The air pressure changes that often come with tornadoes can cause roofs to buckle or bend, leaving them at risk of completely collapsing. The extreme winds of a tornado throw about debris such as tree branches and small objects, which can cause extensive roof damage like punctures, missing shingles, or lost granules. In more dangerous situations, tornadoes can also suck materials off the roof, leaving little shelter over your home. If, for example, you live in Madison, Alabama, it would be in your best interest to identify your local Madison roof replacement specialist so that you know exactly who to get in touch with as soon as any damage is caused by a tornado.
With Alabama resting on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes are just as common as tornadoes—and they come with just as many problems for your roof. Heavy rains can cause leaking or flooding on any type of roof and can also clog gutters with water and debris, while wind can tear away edges and lift or crack shingles.
High winds can cause significant roof damage, even if they do not come with a hurricane or tornado. Wind can rip shingles away from the rest of the roof and leave holes that cause future problems, such as leaks and drafts. Flying debris can also scrape or puncture the roofing, as well as loosen roofing materials that may later fall off.
- Heat Waves
In Alabama, heat waves can be a common and dangerous occurrence. When temperatures increase, roofs expand and contract with the heat. Shingles lose important materials—such as granules—which evaporate with the heat, while metal roofs become cracked or warped. While these issues may not need immediate attention, they can be precursors to future problems and make your roof susceptible to issues like leaks and breaks. In addition, humid air can cause mold in the future. Mold is both dangerous and debilitating not just for the roof but also for people, as it deteriorates the air quality and can cause health issues if left untreated.
Hail often comes with tornadoes and severe thunderstorms and can cause damage to structures, depending upon the speed at which it falls and its size. During extreme weather, hail can fall anywhere between 25 and 40 mph with a diameter of 1-2 in. In the most severe cases, hailstones with a diameter of 2-4 in. or more can fall at over 100 mph. Bigger hailstones often break shingles or deteriorate their protective layer of granules. Once these granules are gone, the shingles lose their integrity and are susceptible to more serious damage.
- The Unusual Snowstorm
While snow is a rare sight in the South, it does happen, and snowstorms can be especially dangerous because they catch people off guard. While a blizzard is less likely to occur than a slight snowfall, any type of freezing weather can negatively impact your roof. Because Alabama already has a humid climate, there’s a lot of moisture in the air that can freeze even if snow doesn’t fall. Leaks are common in the wintertime, especially when temperatures drop below freezing. Ice can also cause problems with shingles, such as wearing the granules away or puncturing the shingles. While roofs can be reinforced to protect against water and ice damage, it’s important to pay extra attention to your roof when temperatures do happen to drop lower than normal.
The key takeaway from any storm or extreme weather is to be cautious and attentive. Pay attention to any roof leaks or discoloration you notice on your ceiling after a storm, or if the roof itself is discolored or wearing away. If you catch problems in time, you can get your roof repaired and reinforced so that you’ll be better prepared for the next extreme weather event. Many homeowners’ insurance policies in Alabama cover extreme weather damage due to the frequency of events such as tornadoes and hurricanes, so many types of roof damage can be fixed without taking a huge chunk out of your budget. And remember—it’s always better to have a professional take a look at your roof and repair it instead of doing it yourself. While it may be tempting to fix what seems like a minor problem, an expert has the proper tools to keep everyone safe and ensure the roof’s integrity.