Roof Damage from a Bomb Cyclone

So-called “bomb” cyclones can wreak havoc on houses and larger structures, particularly on roofs. These meteorological events, also known as “weather bombs,” are winter storms that can mimic hurricanes and are created by a very special weather pattern called bombogenesis. Most non-tropical storms that are accompanied by high winds and intensify rapidly are bomb cyclones.

Wind, snow, rain, and ice damage are common results from bomb cyclones. Heavy winds can literally tear roofs apart, while snows, freezing temperatures and heavy rains do their own kind of damage. Pools of water on a rooftop after intense rains (or from partially-melted snow) place immense stress on structural supports and if combined with freezing temperatures and clogged gutters, it’s the perfect storm for ice dams to form, rendering your gutter systems useless.

Bomb cyclones can happen anywhere but are more common in the Midwest and the South. Whenever large bodies of warm and cold air meet, and the atmospheric pressure drops quickly, the result can be a swirling weather phenomenon that closely resembles a hurricane and has vast potential to destroy large and small buildings. The results can mean everything a Category One hurricane dishes out, like massive storms, torrential rains, widespread flooding and even destructive snow storms.

What Does This Mean for Homeowners and Their Roofs?

Every homeowner should be aware of what bomb cyclones are and listen carefully to all weather bulletins because sometimes the alert window is as short as just one or two hours. That means you need to be ready to act quickly to take cover and protect your family and your property.

Winds can reach 75 miles per hour. Fences, utility poles, trees and similar structures are often uprooted when a bomb cyclone hits. Flying debris, blizzard conditions, poor visibility and structural damage is another signature of these highly dangerous weather patterns.

Winter storms and flooding are two of the top three reasons that homeowners file insurance claims, which means that bomb cyclones carry the potential for massive economic damage to a community where they occur. Fallen limbs, hail, violent rain storms, snow and ice are all part of the package. Homeowners need to make sure their roofs are in good shape before this sort of natural menace strikes.

Roof wind damage from a bomb cyclone can take many forms, including broken, missing, or displaced shingles. Other serious problems include direct hits from fallen trees, limbs or utility lines. Gutters, too, are no match for the violent force of bomb cyclone winds, which can completely rip them off a home. ADHI repair teams can replace missing shingles, guttering and even place a tarp over exposed areas for temporary protection until conditions allow for permanent repairs.

Heavy rains are a roof’s natural enemy. Even the smallest structural problems, like missing shingles, can allow water to seep into places where it shouldn’t, which can lead to staining, wood rot, mold, and a whole host of problems, possibly even requiring emergency repair to get you water tight. Bomb cyclones are especially destructive because they tend to bring huge volumes of water in a short period of time. Pooling is a common problem when a roof isn’t ready for torrential storms. Water is heavy, and even small pools of it on a roof can spell trouble.

Ice damage is can be one of the worst results of a bomb cyclone that delivers snow and freezing temperatures. When the warmer parts of a roof melt large sections of snow, water dribbles down the roof and forms icicles and ice dams. Besides impairing the roof’s drainage system, ice dams and icicles can do major damage on their own, causing water to seep into walls, and forcing shingles to rise up and come off from the expanding layer of ice underneath.

In short, ice is about the worst thing you can have on your roof. The ADHI team can deal with any damage ice causes, but more importantly, an annual roof inspection from ADHI can help prevent ice-related problems by making sure gutters are clear of debris and by installing a water-repellant membrane if necessary.

What to Do After the Storm

Homeowners should be aware of the kinds of damage high winds, excessive rain and snow can do to a roof, know how to do a basic inspection after the storm passes, and know where to get professional help to carry out storm damage repairs. 

1. Snow can over-burden a roof very quickly. The weight of snow can strain a roof to its breaking point. Even if it doesn’t collapse, the long-term harm done by carrying so much weight can disfigure a roof.

2. Flooding and related water damage are among the most-costly types of storm-related problems. Water can damage a home’s foundation, get into basements, ruin personal belongings, render cars worthless and irreversibly destroy a home’s value.

3. It’s a good idea to do a general property survey after a storm has moved on. Walk the perimeter of the structure, making sure to note any obvious damage. Take good photographs and remember to write down the things that photos don’t show.

4. Call a professional roofing company, like American Dream Home Improvement (ADHI) as soon as possible for a free inspection and detailed damage inspection report for insurance purposes. Claims can’t be officially filed until an inspection has been carried out by a licensed, bonded, insured roofing company like American Dream Home Improvement.

How to Prepare for a Bomb Cyclone

If you have an immediate need call the American Dream Home Improvement Emergency Service line. The line is answered 24 hours per day, every day of the week. ADHI’s emergency response team will take immediate steps to contain and minimize further damage to protect your family and possessions as soon as the weather conditions are safe to do so.

There’s no need to wait for a storm warning. Decide right now to make your home as safe as possible no matter what kind of weather is in the forecast. If your local weather service points out that dangerous weather is on the way, particularly bomb cyclones, think about doing the following:

1. Stock up on water, food, basic medical supplies and batteries

2. Seal any cracks in your attic

3. Pick up any loose debris lying around on your property

4. Secure any free-standing objects that are close to your home

5. Put cars in the garage

6. Make sure gutters are clear of debris and any blockage

7. If time allows, remove excess snow from the roof

You won’t always have time to do everything on the list, but if you reside in an area where bomb cyclones or any other type of destructive weather is a seasonal occurrence, make sure to get regular inspections from a reputable home improvement and roofing company like American Dream Home Improvement. Their team has the experience it takes to prepare for every conceivable type of weather. Ice, snow, heavy winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, heavy rains and flooding are some of the destructive climatic conditions that ADHI has dealt with for more than two decades.

It pays to be prepared, and it is smart planning to have your home inspected before the dangerous weather arrives. Why wait until the weather service says, “Take cover”? Plan today to put your roof and the rest of your house in top shape. Have an inspection done by American Dream Home Improvement’s roofing experts and know you’ll be ready for anything.