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The Next Big West Michigan Storm: Is Your Roof Ready?

west michigan

Hey there! If you’re a homeowner in West Michigan, you know that our weather can be a little unpredictable. One day, it’s sunny skies, and the next, we’re facing a big ol’ thunderstorm. Now, I’ve spent over two decades working on roofs in our area, so I’ve seen my fair share of weather-worn shingles and leaky roofs. Trust me when I say – you don’t want to be caught off guard when the next big storm hits.

Understanding Storms in West Michigan

Living in West Michigan, we’re no strangers to a variety of storms. We see everything from heavy snow in the winter, to intense thunderstorms in the summer, and let’s not forget those high-wind situations that sneak up on us in the spring and fall. Each of these storms can leave their mark on your roof in different ways. Heavy snowfall can lead to ice dams that cause leaks, while high winds can rip off shingles or even cause structural damage. And thunderstorms? They can bring both heavy rain and wind, a double whammy for your roof.

Signs Your Roof Might Not Withstand the Next Big Storm

Visible Signs of Damage

So how do you know if your roof is ready to stand up to our West Michigan weather? Well, start by taking a good look at it. Missing shingles, algae growth, or a sagging roof deck are all signs of a potential problem. I remember one customer who didn’t realize they had an issue until a particularly gusty day blew off a few shingles, revealing some rotten wood underneath and a large hole created by a raccoon, this resulted in major leaks and interior damage.

Interior Signs of Damage

But don’t just stop with the outside. Inside your home, keep an eye out for water stains on your ceilings and walls. If you notice your paint starting to bubble or peel, that could be a sign of water damage from a leaky roof. I’ve had clients who started with what they thought was a minor paint problem, only to find out they needed significant roof repairs after the roof was inspected.

Evaluating Your Roof’s Age and Material

The type of material your roof is made of and its age can also play a big role in how it stands up to the elements. Most asphalt shingle roofs, which are pretty common around here, can last 20 to 25 years. If your roof is pushing that age, it might be time to think about a replacement.

Importance of Regular Roof Inspection

Just like you get a physical to catch health problems before they become serious, your roof needs regular check-ups too. I recommend having your roof professionally inspected at least once every 3 – 5 years. It’s an easy way to catch potential issues before they turn into big, expensive problems.

DIY Checks vs Professional Inspection

Sure, there are some checks you can do yourself. Look for visible signs of damage, check your attic for leaks or dampness. But here’s the thing, a professional inspection goes way beyond a surface-level view. We’re trained to spot problems that you might miss, like small cracks or loose flashing. And we know how to safely navigate a roof – don’t forget, it can be dangerous work!

Steps to Take if Your Roof is Not Storm-Ready

If your roof isn’t ready for the next big storm, don’t panic. There’s a range of options available, from minor repairs to a full roof replacement. As daunting as a roof replacement might sound, it can be a worthwhile investment, particularly for those older roofs. Some quick items to check are ensuring your gutters are clear and flowing, look for deterioration around plumbing vent pipe boots (this can be repaired easily by anyone using a CAPMASTER boot cover), add caulking to areas previously covered such as flashings or wall lines.

I worked with a homeowner last year who’d been patching up her roof for a decade. When she finally decided to replace it, she told me it was like a weight lifted off her shoulders – no more worrying every time the forecast predicted bad weather and relief knowing a GAF Golden Pledge warranty covers the replacement for a long time!


In the end, ensuring your roof is storm-ready is all about peace of mind. With regular inspections and necessary repairs or replacements, you can rest easy knowing your home is protected, no matter what the West Michigan weather throws at us. Remember, I’m here to help. If you’re unsure about your roof’s condition or just want a professional’s opinion, don’t hesitate to reach out. Stay safe and keep those roofs sturdy!

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