No matter where you live in the United States, chances are you’ve encountered your share of rough weather over the years. From tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms, and summer squalls that bring driving wind and rain, storms can wreak havoc on roofs and other exterior home surfaces.

What To Do After a Storm

How do you identify roof damage, and what should you do about your roof after a major storm?

Browse this resource guide on understanding types of roof storm damage and learn what steps you should take, then download the Owens Corning roof storm damage checklist for future reference.

Types of Roof Storm Damage


Hurricane-force winds, which are classified by meteorologists as 74 mph or greater, or gale-force winds, which are between 39-54 mph, can cause visible damage to your home’s roof. High winds can remove or tear shingles, leaving the underlayment, roof deck, or waterproofing material exposed to the elements.

During less severe storms, sudden, sharp gusts of wind can lift and curl shingles. When shingles are installed, they’re purposefully overlapped to create a water-tight seal, and this lifting and curling can break this seal, potentially leaving your roof vulnerable to damage from wind-driven rain.


While hailstorms tend to be relatively short, and rarely last for longer than 15 minutes, hailstones can leave dents or pockmarks in shingles and knock shingle granules loose. This can be problematic because these granules help protect your roof against rain and sun damage. Hail damage can also ruin the pleasing aesthetic appearance of your roof’s surface.

Standing Water

Roofs without proper drainage can experience problems with standing water after big rainstorms, especially in uneven areas. Clogged gutters can also cause backed up rainwater under your shingles, which allows moisture to potentially penetrate the underlayment or the roof deck.


Depending on how severe the storm was, debris can end up on the top of your roof, everything from small branches to larger tree limbs. Large objects can dent or impact the surface of the shingle, leaving that area of the roof vulnerable to moisture intrusion, whereas lighter branches may not be as much of a problem.

Roof Storm Damage Checklist [DOWNLOAD]

Refer to this roof storm damage checklist to help you better understand the type of damage your roof may have sustained and to evaluate whether you need an entirely new roof or just parts of it repaired or replaced.

Schedule and Conduct a Roof Inspection

As always, safety is first. Contact a trusted, professional roofing contractor to schedule an inspection and help you with damage assessment.Many contractors offer free inspections and will know how to safely look for roof damage.

Roof: Visually assess your roof by walking around the perimeter of your house and taking note of any visible storm damage.

You might also have a good view of parts of your roof from one of your windows.  Keep a list of notes and/or take pictures — this can potentially be helpful later for insurance purposes. Any visible signs of storm damage should be documented, such as dented, torn, curled, or missing shingles.

Gutters, Vents, and Windows: Check for dents on your home’s gutters and roofing accessories, such as gable vents and other overhangs. Windows should be inspected for cracks, broken glass, loose weather-stripping, and torn screens.

Outside Areas: Walk around your home’s exterior and look for fallen tree limbs, missing fence posts, or damage to lawn furniture and other decorations. Flat surfaces, such as patios and decks, can be checked for hail damage.

Attic and Ceilings: Observe these areas for leaks and water spots. While your home’s roof might appear undamaged on the exterior, wind and hail can cause unseen leaks that may lead to bigger problems later. Ceilings, light fixtures, and your attic should all be inspected for water leaks and spots. Use a flashlight to see in dark areas.

Hire a Dependable, Trusted Roofing Contractor

It’s important to work with a contractor you can trust. Roofers and repair companies are likely to be busy after a large regional storm and may try to compete for your business by offering discounts or deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A good place to start your research is with independent roofing contractors with Preferred or Platinum Preferred membership levels in the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network.

Roofing contractors can:

Talking to a Trusted Roofing Contractor

It’s important to know what to ask and what to look for when talking to and choosing a reliable roofing contractor. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Make sure the roofing contractor you’re considering is licensed, insured, and can offer a strong warranty for the work they do
  • Ensure the roofing contractor is capable of assessing and estimating damage
  • Check out online reviews about other people’s experiences using their services

Call Your Homeowners Insurance Provider

If you find significant damage to your home after a storm, it’s essential to involve your homeowners insurance provider right away so you can properly file a claim based on their requirements.

Its representatives can help you file a claim and get adequate compensation based on the notes and photographs you collected from your storm damage assessment. The company may also send its own assessor or inspector to your home to thoroughly evaluate the roof storm damage your home sustained.

If your home has sustained roof storm damage, download the Owens Corning roof storm damage checklist to help you figure out your next steps. Then, find an independent roofing contractor in the Owens Corning Contractor Network (OCCN) near you.


How Quality Control is a Contractor’s True Test

Quality Control, or QC, is crucial for today’s commercial contractors.  Roofing QC is a procedure or process in which the contractor ensures that the performed work meets the quality standards and expectations of the customer without leaks or other problems.  TPO roofing is a high quality roofing membrane that is fairly easy to install (see the results from the largest ever independent TPO study).  Ideally the crews will do a perfect job every time, but unfortunately, errors and mistakes in installation are inevitable.  However, when QC is done properly in TPO jobs, mistakes can be found and corrected at the time of installation, rather than later when an error becomes a problem.

Commercial Webinar Week

A great opportunity to learn more about TPO and proper installation is through GAF‘s Commercial Webinar Week.  These webinars will begin the week of March 23rd starting at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. EST daily.  These webinars act as a series that will tackle important facets of TPO Roofing including Wind Uplift, Tapered Design, TPO Systems, Code Compliance, and Estimating.  Attend all or pick and choose which fits your training needs most.  Register today to train with experts!

Monday, March 23rd, 11:00 a.m.  –  Why EverGuard TPO?

Monday, March 23rd, 2:00 p.m. – Wind Uplift

Tuesday, March 24th, 11:00 a.m. – Tapered Design and Installation

Tuesday, March 24th, 2:00 p.m. – TPO Systems

Wednesday, March 25th, 11:00 a.m. – Rhinobond®

Wednesday, March 25th, 2:00 p.m. – Code Compliance

Thursday, March 26th, 11:00 a.m. – Best Practices in Commercial Estimating

Thursday, March 26th, 2:00 p.m. – Commercial Contractor Challenge 

Jobs have gone wrong

Here are two examples of TPO jobs that didn’t have the proper QC program in place. There was a commercial roofing company that negotiated a very nice high-profit project.  When it was time to begin work with the subcontractor crews, the project manager, who knew that the crew was experienced and that money was at stake, decided the project was low priority and never visited the job site.  The crews became complacent and right before the job was completed a storm came thru and the roof failed because the seams were not welded properly.  The membrane rolled up, insulation began blowing off the building and the remaining membrane was soaked.  This was a complete failure because the crews did not perform their robot tests or probed their welds.   The company regrouped and began roofing again.  After the roof was completed a second time, QC was properly performed on the seams and this time they were installed properly.  However, QC was not done properly on the entire roof.  The drain bolts were not secured at the drains and the roof hatch was not properly installed.  Another storm came through, and this time the roof was in the parking lot.  This lack of a QC process caused two complete disasters on one job. The high profit that was expected was lost and the crews were held up from starting their next project, creating a further loss of income.

Another commercial roofing company was doing a project that required a No Dollar Limit Total System Warranty.  On top of that, the project had a liquidated damages clause in the contract.  That means when a project is not completed by a certain date, the contractor will be back charged each day for breach of contract.  In this situation, the liquidated damages were $1,000 a day if the project went past the scheduled completion date.  Four days prior to that date, the inspector came for the warranty inspection and discovered that every seam on the roof had failed.  When he questioned the foreman about running welding tests with the robot, the foreman said he ALWAYS used the same temperature and speed because, in all of his years of experience, those settings ALWAYS produced a good weld.  When asked if the contractor probed his own seams, the foreman responded, “Why?  I have it in the proper settings”.  After the roof inspection, the roofing company needed to strip every seam in order to receive the warranty.  This took over a week to fix.  Due to the nature of the liquidated damages on this project, the inspector showed up the very next day after the phone call.  He went directly to the seams and all the stripping began pulling up immediately like the sound of Velcro. The foreman had not learned from his previous mistakes and again didn’t test or probe his robot or seams.  To compound the matter, the area was improperly cleaned.   This second inspection occurred seven days after the date of completion and the roofing company already owed the owner $7,000 and the roof still failed its inspection.

Taking Control

A roofing company needs to establish quality control.    Even though the foreman, superintendents, and project managers should all be trained to implement QC, the crews themselves should be knowledgeable.  Spending the extra time to have a properly trained crew and solid QC program can make the difference in having a long successful career.


Coatings Challenge: Converting a warehouse into condominiums with a new roof.

With a low investment, and ease of installation, GAF coatings are a great way to grow your business, whether you’re a low slope or steep slope contractor. Welcome to the GAF Coatings Challenge with Michelle Carlin, GAF senior product manager, coatings.


  • Converting a large waterfront warehouse into condominiums and need an entirely new roof. These are luxury condos with many rows of skylights and HVAC equipment.
  • The owner would like to reduce the heat island effect as much as possible.
  • What coating would YOU recommend for this job?


  • Skylight penetrations and HVAC equipment suggest you may save time with an acrylic liquid-applied membrane — choose a complete system that can seamlessly flash the details and penetrations.
  • Look for a reflective coating that can not only reduce the heat island effect but also reduce energy costs as well.


HydroStop® PremiumCoat® System — Foundation Coat, Fabric, and Finish Coat.

  • Great for seamlessly flashing details and penetrations.
  • Its high reflectivity will help reduce the heat island effect and even reduce energy costs — up to 30%!
  • As a water-based acrylic, it’s easy to use and to clean up.

Get to know more about one of the most popular commercial roofing systems, including resources for training and education, at the Liquid Membrane Roofing Systems page at


Roof Maintenanceand Safety Upgrades

Safety has always been a concern in the roofing industry, and the concept of setting up a roof maintenance division as a separate entity within a commercial roof-contracting enterprise has been around for years. How might these two seemingly disparate topics come together?

In order to reach best-in-class status with a roof maintenance division, you must begin with a safe operation: clean and safe fleet, equipment and people. The impression your maintenance teams make at the building site writes the future of your business every day. Safety should always be part of your sales pitch when it is time to sign up a new client, but safety does not have to end with the beginning of a new relationship.

As the roof maintenance division business model matures, roofing contractors will have to seek new ways of growing this part of their business. It may also become more competitive, so you must find new ways of leading the market as well, seeking out ways to set yourself apart from the rest of the field.

One way you may set yourself apart may be to suggest safety upgrades each time you prepare a post-repair report. In my view, every repair on a commercial building should include a report of the problem and solution. Photos of the repairs made may be extended to show opportunities for improving building safety and performance by showing clogged drains, unprotected skylights, hatches, and exposed roof edges, among others. You can solve all of these issues. You can offer to install skylight screens, guardrail systems or anchorage points for personal fall arrest systems.

Many owners will not consider spending the kind of money it will take to retrofit their buildings, but I believe many building owners who operate robust safety programs of their own will respond when they learn about innovations in building safety. Building owners who send their own people onto the roof to perform maintenance work bear the same responsibility for worker fall protection that you do for your own personnel who work at height every day.

Another way to assist owners would be to offer to help them label the point of entry to their roof(s). At the fixed ladder, elevator or stairway leading to the roof, the owner should have a permanent sign indicating where anchorage points are located, the type of personal fall arrest equipment that must be used, as well as policies and procedures relating to worker safety on the roof (for example, always staying X feet from the roof edge, using a safety monitor while working on the roof, etc.). This would be a good place to include, “For roof leaks call My Roofing Company” with your contact information.

The online version of this column, which can be found at, has links to information about fall protection for construction and maintenance personnel, fall protection equipment standards, and fall protection standards from the perspective of a couple of institutional building owners.

This initiative may not add large sums to your bottom line, but it could set your service apart from the rest. Delivering a report with suggestions for building improvements is far more valuable than simply dropping an invoice in the mail. Safety may not always sell, but it always makes sense to let a client know you care about theirs.

drones and roofs

Inspecting Roof Damages with a Drone

Using a 4K drone to diagnose roof damage

We get it. Drones are fun. You can use them to make pretty videos with jazzy music. That's nice. But what about using drones to do some real work? Welcome to the latest installment of ZDNet's DIY-IT Drone and Robotics Discovery Series. This article explores how to use a drone to help with building maintenance. If you use a drone for commercial work, the FAA requires you to earn a drone pilot's license. This is a lot of work requiring comprehensive knowledge of regulations and flight capabilities. On the other hand, if you don't get paid to fly your drone, all the FAA requires is that you register your aircraft. I am not nearly skilled or knowledgeable enough to get a commercial license. I'm still getting comfortable flying, managing, and controlling drones. That said, I think it's important to share with you ways in which these devices can provide tangible value beyond pretty landscape videos.