In regions prone to hurricanes, homeowners must take preventative measures to protect their homes, especially their roofs, which are often the most vulnerable to damage caused by hurricanes. This article provides a comprehensive guide on preparing your roof for the hurricane season, drawing from various expert sources.
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak period being from mid-August to late October. Hurricanes can cause significant damage, primarily through wind and water. Wind can rip off roofs, throw items onto your roof, and rip mounted hardware out. When water infiltrates your building, it can lead to many issues affecting the insulation, structure, and interior. These problems can cause significant damage that may require extensive repairs or even replacement. Therefore, it is crucial to address water damage promptly to prevent further deterioration of your property.
Here are some steps to prepare your roof for the hurricane season:
- Schedule a Roof Inspection: Have a professional roofer inspect your roof before a hurricane lands. They can identify potential problems, such as bent flashing or missing shingles, which could make your roof more vulnerable to extreme winds. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning gutters, downspouts, and valleys, as well as trimming nearby tree limbs, can also help protect your roof from damage during storms.
- Trim Nearby Trees: Strong winds can easily blow off dead, broken, or oversized tree branches. These can land on your building and cause significant damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify and trim these potential hazards before the hurricane season.
- Continue with Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance can catch preliminary roof issues before they worsen, saving you money in the long run. A maintenance program with a roofing contractor can ensure that your roof is ready to stand up to incoming hurricanes.
- Clear Gutters and Drains: Cleaning and ensuring your gutters are clear is essential because your gutter system takes water from your roof system down to the ground. If your gutters are clogged, the backed-up water will sit on your roof, increasing the probability of water entering your building.
- Secure Roof Documentation: Keep all your documentation prepared and in a safe and easily accessible place. This includes any applicable warranties, insurance documentation, before photos, and contact information for contractors, insurance agents, and other key contacts.
- Have Any Loose Shingles or Tiles Fixed: Loose shingles or tiles can come loose when a hurricane strikes. These shingles and tiles can lead to further damage once they come loose and turn into projectiles. It also then opens your home to damage as the shingles and tiles are no longer in place to protect it.
- Have a Tarp On Hand: A tarp can be used to go over the roof initially to ensure shingles or tiles have a protective layer between them and the harsh weather. It’s the first line of defense against harsh weather and flying debris.
- Have Roof Straps Installed or Repaired: Roof straps are an ever-evolving technology in the roofing industry. Metal straps go over the trusses or rafters of the roof to hold the ceiling and roof together. This will make it more difficult for wind to remove the roof during a hurricane.
- Cover Skylights: Skylights are particularly vulnerable during hurricanes and high-wind conditions. To prevent damage during a hurricane, make sure you take extra caution for skylights. They should be covered with plywood or a metal cap to prevent damage.
- Verify Your Home Insurance: In the United States, most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover flooding and may not cover other hurricane damage. Before you choose a policy, or at least before a hurricane, confirm with your insurance provider that you also have hurricane and flood protection policies in addition to your homeowner’s insurance policy.
By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your roof during hurricane season. However, remember that no measure can guarantee complete protection against the forces of nature. Always prioritize safety and follow public advisories from safety and emergency response authorities.
- West Roofing Systems (https://westroofingsystems.com/5-tips-to-prepare-your-roof-for-hurricane-season/)
- Central Home Roofing and Solar Services (https://centralhomesroofing.com/how-to-prepare-your-roof-for-a-hurricane/)
- IKO Roofing (https://www.iko.com/na/blog/preparing-your-homes-roof-for-hurricane-season/)
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