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Experts encourage all roofs get detailed inspections after Ida

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Ida’s winds left lots of obvious roof damage around the region, but experts say homeowners need to take a close look to make sure hidden damage won’t be an issue in the future.

In most of southeast Louisiana, bright blue stands out against the horizon. Ian Giammanco is a Louisiana native and research meteorologist with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). The organization tests building materials and works to improve guidelines to help withstand natural hazards. Giammanco said, “Essentially stop that cycle of damage and kind of displacement disruption. We constantly see from severe weather year after year.”

While a lot of the wind damage from Ida is obvious and often catastrophic, some homeowners may get conflicting information about how to handle what appears to be more minor roof issues. “Ida caused a tremendous amount of roof cover damage, and that’s mostly to asphalt shingles. That’s the typical roof cover,” said Giammanco. “Where you can see the underlayment and even down to the plywood roof deck absolutely those are going to have to get replaced.,” he said.

Experts say even if your roof looks fine, after winds like with Ida, it is not out of order to get a professional inspection.

Giammanco said, “Essentially the glue sealant, the glue sealant really adheres very well new, but as it ages and experiences all the heat the rain. Even just clouds themselves and temperatures go up and down and up and down, they lose their ability to hold on to each other.

Giammanco recommends having an inspection by at least one roofer. He said, “When we have a hurricane event. Have someone come take a look at it. Chances are you know a lot of roofers will do it for free of charge. Adjusters can help set that up too.”

At minimum, he suggests homeowners get a good look at their rafters, “Asphalt shingles do carry given wind ratings, but unfortunately time after time in hurricanes, those ratings themselves don’t actually mean that much. We continue to see these kinds of wind driven failures, especially in the longer duration, wind events.”

He said the sealant degrades over time and within about 5 years it is much easier for shingles to flip in high winds letting in water and leading to worse issues so now is the time to investigate.

A fortified roofing standard requires a more robust seal on parts of the roof, as well as stronger nail standards.

Some insurance companies may offer discounts or incentives for upgrading as you rebuild.

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