storm damage

How Weather In The South Affects Your Roof

January 22, 2021
TriVAN Roofing

For years we’ve served both residential and commercial property owners in Texas and Oklahoma, and in that time we’ve seen just about every type of weather-related roof incident there is to see. Proper roof maintenance requires awareness of how different weather can affect the integrity and lifespan of your roof. Vigilance and regular roof inspections are small investments aimed at avoiding personal injury and far greater costs later on.

Some broad roof inspections can be performed individually but only if you can do so safely. When in doubt, it is best to call a professional. Whether you call us or another roofing contractor (always make sure you use contractors as the requirements to call yourself a roofer in Texas are basically zero), the most important thing is your safety.

Here are some of the most common weather-related dangers facing your roof.


Debris means anything on your roof that shouldn’t be there. From tree branches to excess leaves to construction materials left behind on commercial roofs. Strong winds or even just personal laziness are usually the culprits. If wind brought the debris onto your roof it’s important to remove it and check your roof for damaged/missing shingles or tears in the roofing material. Be aware that if not cleared, loose debris may continue to cause damage with future storms. In addition to the building damage mentioned above, strong winds can launch debris off a roof and onto unsuspecting family members or customers below. Debris left on your roof can also: trap in moisture and heat, create a slipping hazard for you and others, foster a home for insects and small critters, render your reflective roof less efficient, and chemically break down over time.

Tip: When going on a roof, in addition to following proper safety protocols, make sure the weather near you is clear for the next few hours. You don’t want to get caught on a roof in inclement weather.

Strong Winds/Tornadoes

Setting aside the propensity of wind to bring unwanted materials onto your roof, wind in and of itself can rip sturdy shingles right off a roof. Missing shingles are fairly obvious to spot and should be addressed immediately because they represent a vulnerability in your building’s shield against the elements. Even a shingle that has been loosened by the wind is a failure that needs to be addressed as it represents an opening that can grow to cause a chain reaction over time or allow water to seep into your home, threatening its structural integrity. The parts of a roof most susceptible to wind damage are its edges and other pressure points. Other signs of wind damage are curling shingles and granule loss. If you’re uncertain if your shingles have had granule loss, check your gutter because that’s usually where some accumulate. In commercial properties search for bubbles or punctures to the membrane. Any time winds are stronger than 45mph they have the ability to cause serious damage now or down the line.


Trapped water is the hardest to detect but can often be the most costly. Rafters, wall framing, ceiling joists, and fascia boards are just some of the structural parts that can be damaged from the unwanted presence of water. Water can seep in through loose shingles or membrane punctures with little fanfare so it is best to call a professional who can use tools such as an infrared camera to detect water damage. For residential owners, tell-tale signs such as discoloration in your ceiling or attic mean the problem is there and already quite advanced. You can and should take proactive steps such as checking for loose or missing shingles and cleaning your gutters regularly.

In commercial buildings, standing water is any water on a flat roof that is still there 48 hours after the last rain. Even flat roofs designed with optimal drainage can succumb to water ponding if the membrane has been warped by the impact of debris or hail. Pooling moisture breaks down the roof’s coating, ruins the seams, causes fungi to grow on the surface, and increases utility bills due to compromised insulation. Sun can heat the standing water and accelerate this process. However, even if the water freezes it can still damage the membrane because natural movements from subtle temperature changes have the effect of “rubbing” the roof. Water breaks down membranes, rusts metal, and weakens wood. It truly is the biggest danger to your roof and should be monitored closely by a professional with the tools to do so.


We all know to store our cars inside when a hailstorm is approaching, but what about our roof? There’s no real way to protect it, only to assess the damage afterward. Medium to large sized hail can result in: bruised shingles that are black in color and soft to the touch, punctured membranes, and splintered wood that is brown/orange in color. In addition to your roof hail can damage other building components such as aluminum siding and gutters. Like some of the previous dangers, granule loss is a common sign of damage and should be monitored.

Identifying hail damage is imperative to do in a timely fashion to shore up insurance claims and can be difficult to in the event of small hail damage. In that instance it really is better, and more cost effective, to get a roofing contractor out there to give a more detailed scope of damage.


Obviously if your home or building has sustained fire damage, you’ll need to consult with a roofing contractor. Even if there was a fire nearby, winds could blow embers onto your roof. To monitor your home, check for singed shingles or melty/runny asphalt shingles. To monitor flat roofs, look for a distortion in the top coating and blistering from the heat.

Even without a direct fire, the summer heat we’re well aware of can cause your roof to break down faster than normal. Roofs need to breathe and your home or building is at a much higher risk without proper ventilation. Hot air in your attic can reach 140 degrees. Plenty hot enough to cause decks to warp and break down, asphalt shingles to crack, and accelerate the aging of wood and shingles. For signs of excess heat look for bubbling, chipping, or flaking paint. Preventative measures can and should be taken, such as: sealing and coating the roof to protect against harmful UV rays, installing vapor barriers to decrease moisture, and painting your roof white to cool the surface.

As you may have noticed, the effects of harsh weather will combine and compound over time. Aging is the name of the game and you want to make sure you’re taking care of your roof throughout every season so that it lives a long and healthy life. Regular maintenance and roof inspections can take time but they protect your roof from failing prematurely. Protect what protects you, your family, your customers, and your community.

For any roofing questions or to schedule a roof inspection, call us at 877-487-4826

Latest Blog Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.