For many Australians, severe roof damage is a nightmare scenario because it can result in enormous repair costs and, in the worst cases, can force you out of your home for an extended period.
For these reasons, it is crucial that you understand the most common forms of roof damage and how you can stop them from happening.
Read on for our list of the eight most common forms of roof damage in Australia, the best prevention methods, and what repairing roof damage can entail.
The Most Common Forms of Roof Damage and Prevention Methods in Case of an Insurance Company Roof Inspection
If an insurance company inspects your roof, any damage will drastically increase your homeowners’ insurance. To avoid this increase, you should know the most common forms of roof damage.
Here are eight of the most common roof damage forms and how to easily avoid them.
1: Hail Damage
Roof hail damage can be costly and dangerous if left unchecked; hail is hard and sharp, so roof hail damage can break parts of the roof (like asphalt shingles) and loosen tiles.
You can spot hail damage from the circular holes it creates; because these holes are small, you might not notice them (look for them and cover the holes to avoid a leaky roof).
Choose a durable roofing material, like a metal roof or durable roof shingles, to minimise roof hail damage.
2: Water Damage
Water damage can be a massive problem if you have cracks or holes in your roof. For example, if hail damage cracks your roof shingles, water leaks can occur and cause further damage to your home.
Water damage can also cause mould in your house and attract pests; hiring pest control to remove them can be a significant expense.
Prevent water damage by covering up all cracks and holes on your roof, or purchase a roof with high durability (a steel roof, for example).
3: Storm Damage
Storm damage is one of the most severe forms of roof damage because storms can decimate entire sections of a roof if you don’t protect it adequately. In addition, if storm damage ruins part of your roof, repairing it can be a considerable expense.
Thankfully, there are methods in Australia to protect your house from storm damage, including:
- Clearing your gutters to avoid debris from blocking them after a storm (gutter repairs can be expensive).
- Cut down any trees near your roof; debris from trees can cause holes.
- Choose a secure material for your roof, like a cement roof.
4: Wind Damage
Wind damage is similar to storm damage but not as severe. However, if the wind blows trees towards your roof, it can damage your roof shingles and block your gutters.
Therefore, to avoid making an insurance claim for wind damage, you should choose a material for the roof that can withstand falling trees, such as metal or cement. However, if you cannot afford these roofing materials, you should chop down any trees near your roof.
5: Damaged Flashing
Roof flashing is essential for the structure and design of a roof, but it can also be fragile and susceptible to damage.
Damage to flashing can include rust and tears due to high winds or debris. If your flashing tears, it cannot provide the best water resistance possible, so you will encounter a roof leak and potentially costly water damage.
To prevent damaged flashing, you should get your roof inspected by a professional contractor regularly (at least two times per year).
6: Roof Weathering
Although weathering does not cause immediate damage to your roof, it will cause damage over time if left unchecked.
If you have a brand-new roof, you will not need to worry about weathering, but if you have an old roof, you should check for rust, worn shingles, blistered paint, cracked roof sealants and more.
To avoid roof weathering and making an insurance claim for related damage, you should get a contractor to inspect your roof regularly.
7: Roof Fungus Damage
Although you might not associate fungus with a damaged roof, it can lead to further damage within the home. For example, mould and fungus can attract pests.
To prevent fungus damage, make a rinse with bleach and water and apply it to fungus and mould that builds on your roof. Depending on the size of the fungus, you may need to repeat this process.
8: Freezing Damage
Although freezing can cause minor damage to a house, it can make you uncomfortable in cold weather.
For example, if water freezes around your ventilation, it can prevent the house from heating up during the winter. To avoid freezing damage, insulate your roof and apply more ventilation, so any ice melts quickly.
You can improve the ventilation on your roof with our RapidRidge product, which has in-built ventilation across every roof panel.
How Should You Conduct Roof Repairs if You Encounter Roof Damage?
If your roof requires necessary repairs, it is best to get it repaired by a professional contractor; if you try to repair it yourself, you could make the damage worse due to your lack of experience.
Additionally, repairs can take time depending on the type of damage; if a falling tree damages your roof, the repair could take up to a week and be costly.
Is There a Form of Roof Damage That You Should Watch out for the Most?
There are many types of roof damage, but some are less frequent and do not affect your entire roof. The most damaging types are the ones that can affect large parts of a roof, like wind or storm damage.
In case of any damage, you should install a durable roof (like metal or cement) and have a contractor inspect it at least twice per year.