Home Garden

Roof Recovery After a Tornado

With wind speeds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can cause destruction far beyond the grasp of the human mind. From snapped trees to complete building destruction, tornadoes can uproot nearly anything in their path, including a roof.
  1. Surveying the Damage

    • Immediately following a tornado or strong storm, safety should remain your top priority. Wait until the National Weather Service (NWS) in your area issues an all clear message before you leave your chosen place of shelter to survey the damage. Examine your property for damage, including the roof if suspected damage has occurred. Weaker tornadoes may simply tear off some of the roofing material or pieces of the roof sheathing, while stronger tornadoes can remove an entire roof structure. Roofs also are commonly damaged by falling trees or broken tree limbs.

    Insurance Tips

    • Contact your insurance agent as soon as you realize damage has occurred to your roof or any other property. Ask the insurance agent for guidance on choosing a contractor and the steps required to meet the terms of your insurance contract. Use only reputable contractors, and choose those that have expertise in roof construction. Consider that in areas where extensive damage has occurred, insurance agents and contractors may have a number of homes and properties to visit, so remain patient. Because the roof damage may affect other areas or elements of your home, and some damage may not be discovered until repair work has begun, discuss the option of delaying settlement of your claim until the repair work is completed or well underway.

    Bridging the Gap

    • Take the steps necessary to make temporary repairs if necessary. For missing shingles, keep an eye out for any developing leaks. More extensive damage, such as holes caused by debris and tree branches, will need a temporary patch until contractors can repair the roof. Cover holes and missing sections with tarps to help keep rainwater out of the interior of your home. Remove furniture and valuables from any areas of the home affected by a damaged roof section. Seek the help of friends, family and neighbors to make these temporary repairs and help move valuables. If you aren't comfortable doing this type of work, hire a contractor make the temporary repairs.

    Debris Removal

    • Tangled in the debris field, formerly known as your roof, you may find dangers lurking. Keep an eye out for nails and splintered wood pieces when removing roof debris from the yard or surrounding area. Wear heavy boots, gloves and eye protection. Stay clear of any debris tangled in power lines, and notify your local energy company of any downed lines. Check into recycling programs in your community for various types of debris, such as asphalt, metal and wood, before disposing of it in local waste receptacles.