10 Roofing Tips for the Hurricane Season
Hurricanes are one of the deadliest types of storms. In 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. There were 67 deaths in total.
There’s no guaranteed way to stay safe from a hurricane, but there are ways to prevent a disaster and to protect your home or business. Start with your roof.
Hurricanes can blow debris and even a tree on your roof, causing a collapse. The risk increases for a hurricane that’s a category 3 or higher.
Hurricane season is here and it’s time you start protecting your home from its effects. Read these 10 hurricane season tips and know how to protect your roof.
Hurricane Season Tips for Your Roof
While you board up your windows and remove your yard décor, you should also do some roof maintenance to ensure it will stand up to the elements. Here are some roofing maintenance tips to follow.
1. Install Roof Tie-Downs
They have many names: tie-downs, hurricane connectors, and even hurricane straps. Nonetheless, you should install them before a hurricane. Hurricane tie-downs are small structural bracing devices made of galvanized steel.
They provide a strong connection between the roof and the rafters. This prevents your roof from blowing away.
Keep in mind, not all homes and buildings will need these straps. Take a look at your local building code to see if they’re required.
2. Get a Roof Inspection
If your roof is old and your shingles are wearing down, your roof is lacking strong structure. This means it can collapse if the smallest piece of debris makes an impact. This is why it’s smart to get a roof inspection.
Be sure you only get an inspection by a qualified roofing contractor. They find the weak spots and recommends different courses of action to take, such as repairs.
You should also find a contractor who promotes storm-specific services, the way Storm Group Roofing does.
3. Clean Your Gutters
Debris and other things collapsing on your roof isn’t the only danger. Hurricanes bring lots of rain, and this rain will go into your gutters, causing them to clog up. In addition, they can fill up with debris and further degrade your home.
Make sure your gutters are clean before the storm. After the storm, clean them again to ensure they’re not clogged.
4. Trim and Cut Down Your Trees
The easiest way to prevent a tree from collapsing into your roof is to not have trees in your yard! You shouldn’t cut down all your trees, but you can get rid of a few to protect your roof.
Cut down any trees that are close to your home or hang down over your roof.
In addition, you should trim them up. Cut down any long or old limbs.
5. Look for Other Warning Signs
While a roofing contractor can handle the big diagnosis and damages, you can see any warning signs.
Inspect your roof before and after the storm. Before the storm, check for small issues such as loose nails. Hammer in those nails to prevent your shingles from breaking off.
After the storm, do another inspection. Check for water damage on your ceiling, rust spots, and any leaks.
6. Secure Your Skylight
Skylights are a trending feature. It’s a window on your roof that lets natural light in your home, helping to save energy. However, a hurricane can damage your skylight.
The heavy windows can form cracks in the window. And if a tree or debris falls through it, the window can crack and cause rain to enter your home. Repairing your skylight can cause thousands of dollars.
Secure your skylight by covering it with plywood.
7. Take Photos of Your Roof Before
This isn’t a maintenance tip. But it can save you in case there is any damage.
FEMA and other organizations provide funding for natural disasters. In addition, many insurance companies also provide relief. But your insurance company may be stringent.
To prove your claim, provide pictures of your roof before the storm to prove the damage.
You can take pictures of your roof while on the ground, but it’s best to get up on the roof to prove your roof is in good shape.
8. Remove Décor and Debris From Your Yard
Powerful hurricane winds can pick up anything, including that exquisite patio furniture set you spent lots of money on. You wouldn’t want that outdoor sectional or fire pit bursting through your roof, right?
Be sure to take all your yard décor and place it inside of your home.
Your décor isn’t your only concern. Remove all debris from your yard, such as leaves and dead branches. These may be small but they can damage your roof and gutters.
9. Continue With Regular Roofing Maintenance
You shouldn’t only get a roof inspection when a hurricane hits. Continue with regular roofing maintenance. You’ll always have a powerful roof in case a last-minute storm hits.
Meteorologists can only predict a hurricane between three and five days in advance before it hits. That’s because it takes time for a storm to form into a hurricane and get more powerful before it hits land.
It’s best to know you have a high-quality roof when you first hear of the storm.
10. Keep Up With Your Home Insurance and Roof Warranties
Even with all these tips, there’s no way to protect your roof from a hurricane. Prepare for the worst and know there’s a chance you can have a damaged roof.
Keep all documentation. Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover hurricane damage.
Make sure your insurance covers this by searching through your contract and seeing your coverage. In case your policy doesn’t cover hurricane damage, have FEMA contact and information nearby.
Do you have a roof warranty? Keep that information handy, as well.
Keep Your Roof and Home Safe From a Hurricane!
From important documentation to hurricane protective products, there are many ways to prep your roof for hurricane season. Keep these hurricane season tips in mind when the new storm rolls around.