If your area has just been through a severe storm, you might be breathing a sigh of relief when you realize that the interior of your home is still warm and dry. While weathering the storm without a major flood is always good, that doesn't mean that your home didn't suffer any damage. In many cases, storm damage may slowly build over time without any obvious signs of trouble.

Since your roof needs to withstand the bulk of the wind, rain, and debris tossed around in a severe storm, it's often one of the areas that fail first. However, it's not always easy to spot storm damage, especially if you don't know where to look. This article will discuss three common locations for storm damage on your roof and why you shouldn't ignore them.

1. Flashing

Your flashing protects your roof where protrusions or aspect changes interrupt the smooth slope. You may have flashing where two slopes meet, near a chimney, around an exhaust flue, or anywhere else you don't have an uninterrupted sheet of shingles. Flashing prevents water from sneaking under the shingles in these vulnerable areas, keeping your roof decking (and the home's interior) dry.

Unfortunately, flashing can also be a potential vulnerability. Since flashing is often in areas where the wind won't flow smoothly over your roof, gusts can pull it loose. Loose flashing may not produce an immediate leak, but it can allow water to seep onto the decking and slowly cause damage. Inspecting your flashing after any storm is critical to avoid these problems.

2. Gutters

Your gutters are another area that's potentially very vulnerable to wind damage. Your gutters can "catch" the wind and pull away from your roof during severe weather. Since your gutters are essential to proper drainage, a damaged gutter may allow water to flow off your roof and saturate the soil around your home's foundation.

Damaged gutters may also cause more damage to your roof. As the gutters pull away or become loose, they can damage the roof's edge or pull on the shingles. As a result, even a slightly loose section of the gutter may be hiding some hidden problems. If you notice any issues with your gutters after a storm, it's a good idea to call a professional for an evaluation.

3. Shingles

You probably know you have a problem if there are loose shingles on your lawn and bare spots on your roof. However, shingle damage is often far less dramatic. Wind can pull your shingles away from the roof deck, causing damage to the shingle and providing an ingress point for water. This damage typically isn't visible from the ground and usually requires a trained eye to notice.

Even if your shingles seem in good shape, it's never a bad idea to schedule an inspection after a storm. A professional contractor — such as Lone Star Restoration Services — can often spot more subtle problems, allowing you to fix them before they can cause more damage to your roof and your home.