In February 2021, a winter storm referred to as Winter Storm Uri hit Texas, which affected millions of Texans and caused widespread damages. The record-low temperatures and a steady blizzard of snow and freezing rain that stretched to Ohio led to obstructing roads and extended power blackouts.
The winter storm may have passed, but its effects will continue to linger for a long time. People have lost loved ones. Many were forced to leave their homes and evacuate, while others were left in dire situations and grasped for the most basic needs like food and water.
The blackouts even forced families to huddle over a fireplace and scavenge for firewood. Worse, they would resort to dangerous ways like spending the night in the car to keep themselves warm.
It’s been more evident that hundreds of thousands will be filing claims for residential and commercial properties. Administrators in the insurance industry claim that the price tag for recovery will exceed the $19 billion in insured damages from Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Extreme winter weather conditions like the one Texas experienced usually cause significant damage to homes and commercial property and any possessions and equipment contained inside. In the wake of Uri, you’d hear stories of damage, notably to automobiles, skylights, glass-roofed structures.
Winter storms as bad as Uri can be especially harsh on the roof, so it’s natural to have concerns about your roof’s condition. When a frigid blast hits your home, your roof may have sustain damage in the form of the following:
- Wind Damage
Wind gusts over 35 mph or more continuously for a few hours qualify as blizzard winds, which can cause a lot of roof damage. The first thing it tears off is any loose shingles, flashing, tiles, or slates. This can create holes that will give access to rain and snow, causing interior damage.
The winter storm Uri’s winds that clocks over 60 mph can cause more damage than that. These winds are enough to tear down whole tree limbs, begin to uproot trees and rip off shingles even if they are in good condition.
- Fallen tree branches
As mentioned earlier, winter storm winds are strong enough to tear down large tree limbs. If any trees close to your roof, they can fall on it and cause damage to the structure. Any loose tiles would fall, get scraped, and sustain further damage.
When branches land on your roof, it can also contribute to the weight of other debris and snow that piled on your roof. Over time, the extra weight compounded over time will cause decay and water infiltration, especially with older roofs.
- Snow and Frozen Rain Buildup
The snowfall spread across the Central and Southern Plains Feb. 14-15, producing record-breaking snowfall in places like Austin and Will Rogers Airport. By the time the storm finished, the snow from Uri had blanketed 73% of the area of the lower 48 states.
While roofs are built to be sturdy, there are still limits to the amount of piled ice and snow they can handle. Snow and ice can get heavy enough to cause roofs and entire structures to collapse. This will damage not only the building or house itself but also your possessions and equipment inside.
- Water Damage
The water damage caused by winter storm Uri mostly came from the freezing temperatures that lead to pipes bursting. However, it’s not uncommon for roofs to sustain damage from extreme winter weather and result in water damage.
If your shingles have been ripped off from your roof, it can create large cracks or holes in your roof that allow water to quickly enter your home. Unless there’s water dripping from the ceiling, water damage may not seem concerning. It may only appear as brown stains on your ceiling or peeling paint on your walls.
However, water damage should not be underestimated. Even the smallest of leaks can grow further if left unattended for too long. You could be in for some costly repairs. Eventually, you might even need to replace your roof.
Texas is not the only place affected by the winter storm. Winter Storm Uri wreaked havoc to as far as the Northeast. If the storm passed by your area, check your roof for any of the problems mentioned above. Also, consider hiring a professional roofing contractor like Fahey Roofing Contractors to give your roof a more thorough inspection.
A professional roofer can properly assess the storm damage and find the weak spots that need to be fixed before becoming even bigger issues. They can also ensure that the estimates align with what insurance companies accept to make your insurance claim easier.
Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. Visit our website today at www.faheyroofingcontractors.com or contracts us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia or (740) 523-0380 for Ohio to learn more.