Colorado Storm Season: The Science of Wind and How to Prepare Your Roof

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Colorado Storm Season: The Science of Wind and How to Prepare Your Roof

Colorado Storm Season: The Science of Wind and How to Prepare Your Roof

When people think of Colorado, they most likely think of beautiful snow-capped mountains, summer hiking and camping, and abundant sunshine. They may not be aware that Colorado also has periods of intense storms, including hail and highly dangerous wind storms that pass through regularly.

If you think it’s been unusually windy across the Front Range, you’re right! This past April, there were multiple recordings of 100+ mph winds around Frisco and Fraser. The strongest wind gust on record in Colorado is 201 mph atop Longs Peak! A Colorado wind storm can be just as strong and damaging as a Colorado hail storm.

What causes such strong winds in Colorado? And how can you prepare for a Colorado wind storm? Having a basic understanding of both can help you keep your family and property safe from harm and potential damage.

When Do Wind Storms Occur in Colorado?

There isn’t a single, clear cause for the increased winds this spring, as wind is one of the more challenging weather elements to model and forecast. Typically, average wind speeds November through April are 8.3 mph. The calmest month of the year for wind is August, with an average wind speed of about seven mph. That doesn’t mean wind doesn’t cause problems throughout the rest of the year. We’ve had multiple storms across Colorado that have ranged 60-100 mph. Wind often comes with heavy thunderstorms and can add to property damage resulting from a storm.

What Causes High Winds and Wind Storms?

Wind is a common and natural aspect of living in Colorado. Strong, cold winds tend to be most common during winter months and early spring, and two primary factors cause them.

The first is a difference in pressure between strong low-pressure and cold high-pressure systems. When these two systems meet or when one experiences a significant shift in temperature, the cooler air will begin to move and cycle the cool and warm air in that area, creating strong gusts. The sun also plays a part as it shines on various peaks and valleys, creating these substantial temperature differences.

The second factor is Chinook winds, which often bring extreme increases in temperatures as they move from west to east across the mountains. As they pass over the Rocky Mountains, they can often bring warm, dry air and create strong gusts due to the different temperatures.

How You Can Prepare for Wind Storms in Colorado

You don’t have to be outside in the wind to know that strong gusts are coming. It’s not uncommon for the National Weather Service in Boulder to issue a wind advisory in Colorado. A Colorado high wind warning is usually announced for two reasons:

  • Sustained winds of 50 mph or greater, or gusts of at least 75 mph in the mountains
  • Sustained winds of 40 mph or more or gusts of at least 58 mph at lower elevations

Just as you would prepare for hail storms, you can prepare for wind storms, too:

  1. Pay attention to the weather.
  2. Survey your property for potential damage that could occur as a result of wind.
  3. Secure outdoor furniture and possessions. Bring lightweight objects indoors or tie them down.
  4. Take shelter inside. Bring your pets inside to keep them safe.
  5. Don’t approach any downed power lines.
  6. Be ready for a possible power outage.

One of the best ways to prepare your home for strong winds is to know that your roof and home’s exterior are ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store. Have at least two yearly roof inspections, in the fall and spring, and also after any major storm. 

What to Do When a Wind Storm Takes Place

Since Colorado weather can change at the drop of a hat, you may not always be 100% prepared for a strong wind storm. Knowing what to do if you’re caught in one can save you from incurring significant property damage, and it can also save your life.

Take shelter, and avoid any dangerous areas where flying debris may cause damage, like windows and glass doors. You may need shelter in a basement or cellar for extra protection. Don’t stay in a mobile home or camper that could be blown over or lifted by strong gusts.

Similar to a snow or hail storm, if you’re caught driving when a wind storm, make sure to slow down and take your time. Your visibility may be impacted by the high winds and the dust that gets stirred up.

Most importantly, stay calm. Wind storms in Colorado don’t tend to last too long, but they can be scary and incredibly dangerous.

Wind Can Cause Damage to Your Home or Building

Homeowners are often surprised to hear that wind can cause damage to their homes. High winds can cause hazards to your property and surrounding areas including issues like fallen tree branches, uprooted trees and downed power lines.

While these dangers are what we picture after a big storm, the wind itself can also result in structural damage to your home. When high winds hit a roof, shingles can loosen or fall off. If wind speeds are very high, even new, secure shingles can tear away. Roofs are susceptible to wind damage because wind does not hit roofs uniformly. Winds tend to catch edges and areas on the roof that may already be loose.

How to Identify Wind Damage

Signs of wind damage to your roof include: loose or missing shingles, curling or peeling shingles, chimney issues, damage to soffit or fascia, and leaks. If you have a flat roof you may notice cracks or tears in the rubber. You may also notice granule loss from your shingle roof in your gutters or around your downspouts.

We Can Help

If you’ve recently experienced high winds in your area, we recommend scheduling a roof inspection. It’s free, and can identify any issues that may need repair.

J&K Roofing is an experienced team that deals with storm damage, including roofing and exterior issues caused by hail, wind, rain, snow, electrical lines, trees and debris. We provide service to the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins areas. Let’s talk about how to keep your home safe and secure throughout all of Colorado’s changing weather! Get in touch with us today by clicking here or calling 303-425-7531.

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5 Common Homeowner Mistakes after a Hail Storm

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5 Common Homeowner Mistakes after a Hail Storm

5 Common Homeowner Mistakes after a Hail Storm (Hail On Roof)

After a Colorado hail storm, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done to get your home and property back in shape. Strong winds and hail may have knocked tree limbs down, relocated your patio furniture, and damaged your roof.

Many homeowners will do the bare minimum and forget to properly assess if there has been any damage to their property. Don’t let a busy schedule interfere with maintaining your roof, and don’t fall for these common homeowner mistakes after a hail storm!

1.   Failing to do proper research

If you feel like you haven’t done enough research before you’re ready to hire a roofing contractor, you’re probably right. Go with your gut and ask questions, especially about the roofing business’ experience, licensing, and history.

Make sure you get an estimate in writing or digitally before selecting your contractor. Avoid accepting an estimate over the phone, especially if it’s a low estimate that seems too good to be true! A low estimate can lead to higher costs down the road and may not include the full scope of your project.

Hire a contractor that is reputable, professional, and honest. Make sure you look at the contractor’s website and read their reviews. Ask your neighbors and friends for their referrals.

You also should familiarize yourself with what you need to do following a significant storm, including knowing what to look for and how to get started with a homeowner’s insurance claim.

  • Look for well-established, licensed, insured, and bonded roofing professionals with a federal tax identification number and a permanent address.
  • Ask for a contractor’s license number and confirm with your city or county building department that they issued the license number and that it is current.
  • Check to make sure the contractor is registered to conduct business in Colorado.

2.   Hiring a storm chaser

Storm chasers are roofing companies that follow storm paths to get business. In Colorado, storm chasers come in from surrounding states after a storm hits and quickly leave when their work is done and payment is collected. 

If someone knocks on your door following a significant storm and suggests you have damage without performing a proper inspection, proceed with caution. These companies are usually unfamiliar with the type of damage typical for Colorado, and they’ll do the bare minimum before taking your money and running. This means that if there are any problems with the work they completed, you’re not very likely to get them back for corrections.

Hire a local roofing company to complete your project. A local professional roofer will have good manufacturer and supplier connections. You will be able to call them with questions or any issues.

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau ( to check for complaints against any company you consider hiring.
  • Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away. Never sign a contract with blanks or statements like “see insurance estimate, etc.” as fraudulent contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.

3.   Not verifying the damage

You don’t need to climb a ladder with your inspector to understand what kind of damage your roof has sustained after a hail storm. Instead, you can ask them for evidence of the damage, which is what the inspection is for. If they can’t point it out to you from the ground, they should be able to provide photos and walk you through the severity of the damage.

Don’t take their word for it—some roofing companies will exaggerate the damage. A reputable company can show and explain any damage and provide you with options based on your situation.

4.   Paying upfront or with cash

Never pay for a roofing project upfront. If you are dealing with an insurance claim, your insurance company will pay for the work in installments, with some payment provided at the beginning of the project that you would provide to your contractor. Your insurance will release the second portion when the roof is complete and your insurance company has received an invoice from your contractor. If a roofing company asks for full payment upfront, tell them no.

A professional roofing company will have several options for payment, including by credit card, check, or through roof financing. Payment is typically due in full upon substantial completion of the roof. You will receive documentation about your new roof, including what materials you have purchased, warranty information, and your estimate, invoice, and receipt of your payment. 

5.   Doing nothing

The worst thing you can do after a hail storm is sit back and do nothing. This can create a snowball effect as one problem compounds another. Perhaps most importantly, you’re working on a timeline to file a homeowner’s insurance claim after a hail storm, so take action sooner than later.

No matter what, get a roof inspection.

We’re ready for your project!

J&K Roofing has the experience and skills required for any type of roofing repair or replacement following a Colorado hail storm. We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years, and we operate throughout the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Northern Colorado areas.

Get in touch with us today for a free inspection and if you have any questions!

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6 Reasons You Should Get a Roof Inspection After a Hail Storm

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6 Reasons You Should Get a Roof Inspection After a Hail Storm

6 Reasons You Should Get a Roof Inspection After a Hail Storm

Storm season is quickly approaching in Colorado, which means hail is on the way. It doesn’t matter how new or well-maintained your roof is—the weather patterns we experience throughout Denver and along the Front Range are unpredictable and wild enough to cause all kinds of damage.

So what can residents do to prepare and care for their property during storm season?

Having a professional inspect your roof for storm damage at least twice a year (spring and fall) is a good best practice, but it’s also a good idea to have an inspection performed after any hail storm.

Here are six reasons why you should get an inspection after a hail storm.

1.   You can’t always see the damage on your roof

It’s never a good idea to get on top of your roof—it’s a very dangerous place to be!

However, a professional roofing contractor knows how to navigate your roof safely, and they may even use a drone to spot hail damage from above.

With that said, you can get at least some sense of whether your roof has sustained damage by walking around your property and looking for other damage. Pay particular attention to your gutters, downspouts and vents—if you see any dents in the material or chips in the paint, you might have roof hail damage. Similarly, if you notice granules from your asphalt shingles in your downspouts or on the ground, your shingles may be damaged.

2.   Most people don’t know what to look for

No matter how long you’ve had your home, you may not be able to recognize the damage caused by any Colorado storm. Missing or damaged shingles can be easy to spot from an upstairs window, but you won’t be able to identify any additional damage without the proper education and experience.

A professional roofing inspection will assess your roof for damage you cannot or don’t know how to spot. An inspector will look for hidden leaks, structural issues, and other signs of material damage resulting from storms and general aging. Click here for a better idea of what to expect from a roofing inspection.

3.   Roofing materials wear down over time

Multiple storms throughout the year can wear your roof materials down. You don’t want to get caught between storms without knowing your roof can handle what’s ahead. Asphalt shingles typically only last around 20 years, and a big part of what drives the need to replace them is aging or wear and tear following storms.

In addition, a minor roof repair is far more affordable—and faster—to fix than an extensive roof replacement project down the road. An inspection after a hail storm will help keep your total roofing costs down and prevent more costly issues down the road.

4.   Damage to your roof can extend to other parts of your home

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. It keeps you safe and warm during those spring and summer storms that pop up without warning.

If your roof sustains hail damage, you’re not just putting your roof at risk—you’re putting your entire home at risk. That includes the structure of your home, your electrical and ventilation systems, and the property surrounding your home. A roof inspection can catch existing issues before they become serious problems, saving you money and extending the life of your roof and home.

5.   You have a limited window to file an insurance claim

It’s always a good idea to schedule a roof inspection after a storm to prevent additional damage from occurring. However, it’s also essential if you want your homeowner’s insurance to cover the cost of roof repair or replacement.

You typically have one year following the date of damage to file a homeowner’s insurance claim. You must take photos and note where and when the damage occurred if you have any hope of insurance paying for repairs.

A routine inspection following a storm will help you identify and document any such damage, and it’s best to have it taken care of sooner than later. Here’s more information on how to file a homeowner’s insurance claim to have your roof repaired or replaced.

6.   You’ll rest easier knowing your roof is in good shape

There’s nothing worse than lying awake at night during a storm and thinking about what kind of damage your home might incur due to howling winds and heavy rains or hail. Having your roof regularly inspected—including after a hail storm—will give you peace of mind that your home is secure and your family is safe.

Don’t delay an inspection if you suspect there may be damage; bring in a professional and let them offer recommendations on what needs attention.

We’re Here for You

J&K Roofing offers free inspections and will come out to your home or property to assess the status of your roof. Our experienced roofing team knows what to look for and will help you navigate the often confusing process of having a roof repaired or replaced.

Give us a call (303-425-7531) or click here to get in touch for your free inspection today!

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6 Parts of a Home Frequently Damaged by Hail

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6 Parts of a Home Frequently Damaged by Hail

6 Parts of a Home Frequently Damaged by Hail

In the U.S., hail sizes can vary greatly, with the average size falling somewhere between 1 and 2 inches in diameter. Hailstones of such size can fall at 25 to 40 mph, which can cause some significant property damage.

When people think of hail damage to their home, they usually only think of damage to their roof. But the truth is that if you’ve been hit with a hail storm, you likely have damage to other parts of your home, too.

To prevent that damage from getting worse over time, you need to know where to look for hail damage so you can get it fixed as soon as possible. Here are six parts of a home that frequently sustain hail damage.

1.   Roof

Colorado is no stranger to hailstorms. In fact, it’s one of the parts of the country that experiences the most hail throughout the year.

Obvious signs of hail damage to your roof include dented or broken shingles, but you should look at other parts of your roof, too. Hail can dent and damage the metal fixtures on your roof, as well as your gutters (more on that below).

If you see any of these signs of hail damage, you need to take action to protect your home and prevent the damage from getting worse.

2.   Siding

Never underestimate the power of the wind. That’s especially true during a hailstorm when wind-driven hail can cause serious damage to the sides of your house. With strong enough winds, hail can fall at steep angles—even sideways—and create tears and punctures in your vinyl siding. Left unattended, this sort of damage can lead to leaks in your walls, possibly damaging the structure of your home.

3.   Windows

If hail can create cracks and chips in your siding, imagine what it can do to your windows. Hail can cause your windows’ glass to shatter or break. It can break, dent, and tear screens as well as dent the flashing above the window frame.

Stay away from windows during a hailstorm to prevent injury from happening. If your windows experience hail damage, you should replace them right away. Contact a professional for home window repair and home window replacement.

4.   Paint

Think of hail like you’d think of a sandblaster that removes paint from cars: hailstones of all sizes flying at a high velocity will chip and break down the paint on the side of your house, your trim, and anything else in the path of destruction.

Fortunately, hail damage to your home’s paint is easy to spot, and it’s not usually as severe as hail damage to your roof, siding, or windows. However, it’s best to examine your home’s exterior, note any chipped paint that has exposed the underlying surface, and take care of it before water has a chance to seep in and add to your problems.

5.   Gutters

Gutters serve an essential role in keeping your home in good working order, but they’re sometimes overlooked when it comes to critical repairs and maintenance. We’re talking about the kind of attention that goes beyond your seasonal gutter cleaning.

Hail can cause heavy damage to your gutters and downspouts, cracking and denting them—especially at the seams where two gutter pieces meet. The good news is that you often don’t need to get on a ladder to inspect for hail damage to your gutters. You should be able to see dents and cracks in the paint and the protective coating of the gutters and downspouts from the ground.

6.   Solar Panels

If you have solar panels installed on your roof and hail is forecasted in your area, you can cover the panels with a protective sheet. If you have an adjustable mount for the solar panels, you may be able to tilt the angle. Luckily, solar panels are generally quite durable. So, in the event that your solar panels are damaged due to hail, they will most likely require minor repairs rather than a full replacement.

You may be able to identify solar panel damage from the ground, but your best bet is to have a professional perform an inspection and recommend any solar panel maintenance.

We’re Here for You

After a hail storm, J&K Roofing works to repair and improve the exterior of your home, including any damage to your roof, windows, siding, paint, gutters, and solar.

If your home has sustained hail damage, or if you’re in an area that has had hail, get in touch with us today for a free inspection.

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High Winds Can Damage Your Roof Here’s How to Prepare

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High Winds Can Damage Your Roof Here’s How to Prepare

High Winds Can Damage Your Roof — Here's How to Prepare

Colorado may be famous for its snow, but some people aren’t aware of how common strong winds are along the Front Range. The two most common explanations for our high winds are high winds that pick up power along the mountains and the differences in air pressure during colder months. As a result, it’s not uncommon for wind to hit speeds around 100 miles per hour from Colorado Springs all the way up through Fort Collins.

These frequent windstorms can be dangerous for a number of reasons, and they can be just as damaging to your roof as a hail storm. If you’re not familiar with the windy side of Colorado living, this video can give you a better idea of what it’s like and why wind can be so dangerous.

Wind is a natural part of living in the Front Range, but that doesn’t mean it always leads to property and roof damage. Here’s what you need to know about wind in Colorado and how to be ready for the next windstorm.

When to Be Prepared for Strong Winds

While storms can create strong wind events throughout the year, the most common time is during winter when there’s such an extreme difference in temperature from the north to the south. This means a strong windstorm could arise anytime from November through March. Meteorologists can usually predict when winds will intensify to help you prepare.

Denver weather can shift quickly, so it’s a good idea to know a little about what causes a windstorm so you can anticipate when high winds can strike. Changes in temperature cause wind to kick up and move air from a low to a high-pressure system. When one area begins to heat up, it causes cooler air to move and cycle the cool and warm air in that area. The sun’s angles and how and where it touches the earth can also significantly impact the air in a given area because the earth has many topical peaks and valleys. These are the two most significant factors we see in Colorado. When the eastern planes warm-up, the heat draws the cool air from the mountains down onto the Front Range. With temperature swings that can be a 60% drop in a single day, wind events can be devastating.

So if you keep an eye out for the temperature changes out east, you can begin to gauge the trajectory of a significant wind event. There are also a few resources to help you track a windstorm:

The National Weather Service in Boulder will issue a High Wind Warning for two reasons:

  • Sustained winds of 50 mph or greater, or gusts of at least 75 mph in the mountains
  • Sustained winds of 40 mph or more, or gusts of at least 58 mph at lower elevations

The Marshall Fire that devastated communities north of Denver on December 30, 2021 was fueled largely by severe strong winds. With gusts over 90 miles per hour, the fire tore through the community, burning houses almost faster than people could evacuate. Previously that month, on Dec 15, another high-wind event with wind gusts over 100 mph in speed. This windstorm blocked roads with downed trees, knocked out the power for over 60,000 residents, and canceled almost 500 flights from Denver International Airport.

How Strong Winds Can Damage Your Roof

The most obvious way strong winds can cause roof damage is by pulling shingles off your roof deck, which can lead to leaks and other serious damage.

Alternatively, wind can also move across the roof and loosen shingles. Loose shingles can get caught in strong winds and crack or break from flapping in the wind. Look for extra shingle granules in your gutters and cracked shingles to know if you have roof damage.

Your roof might sustain damage from the wind itself, but damage can also result from flying debris and falling tree limbs. It’s a good practice to take care of any trees/limbs that appear at risk of breaking and falling onto your roof or other property.

This resource has some additional information on how to spot roof damage as the result of high winds.

What You Should Do When Strong Winds Pick Up

When you know high wind is coming your way, you should make sure you and your home are ready for it. Take a walk around your property and look for potential problem areas in case a storm rolls in.

In particular, you should do the following:

  • Take shelter, and bring your pets inside to keep them safe
  • Secure outdoor furniture and possessions
  • Be ready for a power outage
  • Make sure your car is parked in a covered area or somewhere safe where debris can’t fall on it and damage it
  • If you’re driving during a windstorm, slow down and take your time. Visibility can be impacted with high winds thanks to all the dust that gets stirred up.

We Are Here to Help

Hopefully you won’t have to deal with roof damage as the result of high winds in Colorado, but if you do, we’re here to help.

Our experienced team at J&K Roofing services the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins areas. Get in touch with us today for your free roof inspection if you’ve had high winds in your area!

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Were You Hit With Hail This Season?

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Were You Hit With Hail This Season?

hail damaged roof

 The Colorado storm season is one of the most active in North America, bringing strong winds and hailstones that can range from pebble to softball size. These storms can wreak havoc on your property, and your roof bears the brunt of the damage from high winds, heavy rains, hail, snow, and debris. This year’s storm season brought golf ball-sized hail to the Denver area, which could very easily have damaged your roof without your knowledge.

If your roof has been damaged by hail, your home may be vulnerable to roof leaks or more rapid deterioration of shingles or roofing materials.

If you have any suspicion your roof might need some attention following the season’s hailstorms, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know about spotting hail damage and your next steps toward fixing the damage.

1. What Does Hail Damage Look Like?

Hail damage to your roof can be very obvious or very difficult to uncover, but there are some key things you can look for without ever getting on a ladder. You might be able to look at your gutters and see if there are shingle granules inside them—that can be an indication of deteriorating shingles that might be damaged by hail storms.

You can also look at the metal fixtures on your roof like the metal cap on your chimney or wind turbines. If they have dents all over them, you might have a hail damaged roof. There are other signs of hail damage to your roof, including the appearance of spots on your shingles in no apparent pattern.

Your roof is not the only way to spot hail damage, you can also look for other areas of your home that have damage. Some examples are dented gutters, damaged siding or windows, uncovered outdoor air conditioners, and fencing, decks and other wood surfaces. 

Scheduling an inspection by a professional roofing inspector is a smart idea, as they will know how to spot hail damage and help you to evaluate what your next move should be.

2. What To Do If You Have Hail Damage

If you are a homeowner and think you may have hail damage, the first thing you should do is call a professional roofing company to schedule an inspection. If your inspection shows damage that qualifies for an insurance claim, your next stop would be to file an insurance claim with your homeowner’s insurance company.

In Colorado, this process is very common, and a professional roof inspection will provide necessary documentation to begin a conversation with your insurance company if you are planning to file a claim. It’s important to have a roof inspection completed prior to contacting your insurance company. Your insurance company is looking for reasons not to replace your roof. A roofing professional can help you negotiate a fair deal with your adjuster based on the level of damage.

Bear in mind that many insurance policies require that you file a roof insurance claim within a year of the reported damage. And with the amount of snow and the temperature fluctuations that we can experience in this part of the country, you don’t want to delay necessary roofing repairs.

Trust J&K Roofing to Repair Your Hail Damage

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, which is why you want to have confidence that your local roofing company has the skills and experience to get the job done. J&K Roofing has been servicing the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins areas for nearly 40 years, and there’s no job we can’t handle. Get in touch with us today for your free roof inspection to make sure your roof is free of hail damage and ready for winter!

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