The 5 Craziest Stories of Roof and Gutter Damage

There are a number of things that can cause damage to your gutters and roof. Hail, tree limbs, ice, and even an errant baseball can require homeowners to pay for repairs that can get pretty pricey. However, sometimes roof and gutter damage is the result of something altogether different — and unexpected. Here are five of the weirdest objects that have damaged roofs.

1. Danger! Falling Ice!

On June 9, 2012, a couple in Fremont, California was startled by a loud noise on their roof. When they went outside, they discovered that a basketball-sized chunk of ice had fallen from the sky onto their house. Though the ice chunk did not break through the roof, it did damage about a manhole cover-sized area. The FAA is assuming that the ice came from a passing plane, as the house is in the direct flight path of San Francisco International Airport. (One good thing: since the ice was clear and not blue in color, it probably didn’t come from an aircraft lavatory.)

2. Smile (and watch out) for the camera!

Like earthquakes, mudslides, and wildfires, California also appears to be home to an inordinate number of falling objects. In September of 2011, a Petaluma woman discovered that a camera lens had plummeted from the heavens and crashed through her roof overhang. Federal officials think that it may have come from a plane which was flying near Petaluma Airport, though they aren’t speculating on how that might have occurred.

3. Frenchman faints from falling fragment

Apparently, free-falling objects are not limited to the era of air travel. In 1781 on a farm several miles south of Lyon, France, a farmer was sitting in his kitchen when a mysterious rock ripped through his thatched roof and slammed into his table. The rock split in two, revealing a glowing stone inside each half which smelled of rotten eggs. The farmer passed out, but when he was revived he noticed that the stones had turned a burnt black color. The best guess as to the object’s origin? Brimstone from a nearby volcano.

4. The unluckiest woman in the world

It is estimated that the odds of being hit by a falling meteorite are about one in 20 trillion — which is similar to flipping a coin 44 times and getting tails each time. But, as an Alabama woman proved, it is not impossible to suffer such a fate. On November 30, 1954, a woman in Talladega County was napping when an eight-pound chunk of meteorite tore through her roof, ricocheted off a radio, and struck her in the hip. Thankfully, she only sustained a large bruise.

5. Best quote ever from a fire department official

It comes from a fire brigade spokesman in Aberdeen, Scotland in August of 2010: A female fell through the roof. I can’t confirm what she was doing there. You’ll have to come to your own conclusions. Actually, the 19-year old woman and her engaged (but not to her) 24-year old paramour decided to strip naked and climb through a window onto a third-story roof for some summer lovin’. But she lost her balance and fell 10 feet onto a corrugated roof of a shop below. The Polish woman suffered cuts, bruises, and a blow to her dignity after being rescued by firefighters.

Photo credit: National Weather Service

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