Note: This guest post is by Steven Thomas. As CEO and owner of Roof Leak Detection Company, Inc., Steven Thomas has evaluated over 20,000 roof systems on commercial, industrial and residential properties and has qualified in court as an expert in roof testing and evaluations. His company is an approved testing laboratory and has held this certification since 1994.
Why? The obvious reason is that many homeowners and maintenance professionals don’t know what to look for. That’s not a knock on them – roof damage can be very obvious or subtle.
Yesterday in your blog post, Hurricane roof damage? How does a policyholder know?, you showed a picture of damage that cannot be seen from the ground, aerial photos or a drone. Your photo showed a point load fracture which is a clear sign of wind damage. What is a point stress fracture? In strong winds, mechanically attached plates with screws or nails can flutter in the wind. During this upward and downward movement, the plate exerts pressure at the attachment point. Two things can happen.
- The tile can loosen the fastener and thus extend the hole in which the fastener is attached to the wood deck and cause the fastener to loosen. This can also result in moisture entering the structure through this opening.
- The tile may crack at the attachment point. Point load failure is caused by movement of the slab during a high wind event. Not foot traffic (unless you have high heels on the roof) or thermal expansion and contraction! This damage is often missed by many who are not familiar with wind damage.
Many are of the belief that when a tile lifts it will fly off the roof, but see the photos below taken five days after a hurricane. The plates are stuck in the raised position! Also, many purported experts believe that when tiles or brick fragments are loose, they will fly off the roof ̵1; again, see the pictures below to debunk this myth.
Just because a roof isn’t leaking doesn’t mean it isn’t damaged. Unfortunately, many people hold this view and do not have a trained roofing expert inspect the property after a storm event. Water spots can appear six months or even years after the storm event because the holes created are small and prevent moisture penetration for the time being. But the water can and will eventually migrate into the structure.
If your home, business or condominium went through Hurricane Ian, I highly recommend having your roof inspected by a qualified, trained professional.