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5 Common Signs of Roof Damage (Roof Damage Checklist Included)

June 3rd, 2022 | 6 min. read

5 Common Signs of Roof Damage (Roof Damage Checklist Included)

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Damage to your roof leads to leaks and, in many cases, the need for a new roof. This not only causes you stress but also affects your wallet. 

Look, I get it; no one wants to experience roof damage. Unfortunately, things happen that are out of our control. 

But the problem is that most homeowners don’t know they have roof damage until it’s too late. That’s why you need to know how to spot roof damage before a leak happens. 

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped thousands of homeowners understand roof damage and what to do about it. Because of this, we’ll help you spot roof damage before it spirals out of control. 

Let’s get to the 5 common signs of roof damage. And if you stick around until the end, you’ll get a roof damage checklist that helps you spot these signs from the safety of the ground. 

1. Dents on your gutters and downspouts

The first common sign of roof damage is dents on your gutters and downspouts. Dents on the face of your gutters are a pretty good indication that your roof may have damage as well.

Downspouts are also a pretty good indicator, but the dents need to be above 5 feet. This way, it can’t be blamed on a lawnmower kicking up rocks. 

hail damage to screen door, down spouts, and shutter

While dents on your gutters and downspouts can be a sign that you have roof damage, so can damage to collateral objects on the ground. Below is a list of things and areas to check for collateral damage on the ground level:

  • Dents or strikes on your garage door
  • Holes in your window screens 
  • Dings to any painted wood or shutters 
  • Splatter marks or dings to your electric meter, AC unit, or grill 
  • Dents to your mailbox and other soft metals on your property

Keep in mind that just because collateral damage is found, it’s not 100% guaranteed that you have roof damage. However, there’s a decent chance your roof may be damaged if you find any of the above.

2. Granules in your gutter or on the ground

Granules are embedded into asphalt shingles to make them fire-resistant, give them their color, and protect them from UV rays. They are crucial to the lifespan of an asphalt roof, and losing them is an indicator that it’s time for a roof replacement. 

loose granules in gutter

However, finding loose granules in your gutters is also a sign that you have roof damage. If hail did enough roof damage to warrant granule loss, the integrity of the shingles is definitely compromised. 

loose granules on the ground

You should also look in the areas on the ground around your downspouts for loose granules. As I said, granule loss also happens as a roof ages and is a sign that it’s time for a replacement

So, you may find loose granules if you have an older roof that’s just telling you it needs to be replaced. You won’t really know the reason until after a roof inspection from a local roofing contractor

3. Missing, lifted, or creased shingles

Now we’re getting to the common signs of roof damage that are actually on the roof. A sign of roof damage caused by wind is missing, lifted, or creased shingles.

wind damage to 3 tab shingle roof

Missing shingles littering your yard are an obvious sign of roof damage. But to find lifted or creased shingles, you'll actually need to be on the roof. 

The bad thing about this type of roof damage is that it could also be a sign of improper installation. If the roofing contractor didn’t follow proper installation techniques, you’re more likely to experience this type of roof damage. 

Even worse, you won’t even be able to file an insurance claim because improper installation isn’t covered by homeowners insurance policies

4. Dents in roof vents, roof flashing, and shingles

The next common sign of roof damage is harder to spot if you don’t know what to look for. To spot roof damage from hail, you should look for dents large enough (around 1” in diameter) to damage the shingles. 

hail damage to shingles

This damage is enough to cause the granule loss we talked about a little bit ago and means the damage is enough to compromise the integrity of your roof. Other than your shingles, you can look at other areas of your roof for possible damage. 

hail damage to roof vents

Just like collateral damage on the ground, look at your roof vents, roof flashing, or any other metal on your roof for dents that clearly show signs of hail damage. If the hail was strong enough to dent your roof vents or any metal, you’ll definitely have roof damage in other areas.

5. Tree limbs on your roof

The last one on our list is probably the most obvious, along with finding shingles on the ground. This sign of roof damage is finding large tree limbs on your roof. 

If a large tree limb or full tree hits your roof, then it’s pretty obvious that your roof is damaged. But it goes beyond just your shingles. 

roof damage from fallen tree

If the tree limb is large and heavy enough, it’ll also cause damage to your roof decking and other roofing components. I’ve even seen cases where the tree limb goes straight through the roof into the attic. 

To avoid this happening to you it’s important to keep any trees around your roof trimmed. But if a storm is strong enough, there’s not much you can do about a falling branch or tree. 

Learn if you have roof damage from the safety of the ground

Now you know the 5 common signs of roof damage. While these are common signs that are easy to see for a roofing contractor, it’s not so easy for regular homeowners. 

This is especially true for the signs that are physically on the roof. Now, you can get on your roof to inspect for any of the damages in this article. 

But I don’t recommend this for safety reasons. That’s why I made a checklist that helps you determine if you have possible roof damage from the safety of the ground. 

With the checklist, you’ll know if it’s a good idea to contact your insurance company and a roofing contractor. Keep going to get your Storm Damage Checklist now. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided expert roof damage and insurance advice to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas since 1990. We work with you and your insurance company to ensure your damaged roof is taken care of. 

Here’s your Storm Damage Checklist so you can determine if you have possible roof damage without getting off the ground.

storm damage checklist

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