Is Your Roof Hurricane Ready?
Hurricane season is here and will run all the way through the end of November. As most Floridians know, it doesn’t take a major hurricane to damage a home, and when your roof is in less than good shape, your home can be affected by as little as a tropical storm or even a heavy thunderstorm.
For many people, the roof is the last thing they think about when it comes to preparing for a hurricane. The roof of a building literally holds everything together and protects it from rough weather conditions. Unfortunately, the power of a hurricane can blow the roof right off a house, thus causing even more damage to the property. So, not only should you invest in hurricane-ready doors, garages, and shutters but also give some thought to making the roof of your house strong enough to endure storm force winds. Here are some tips to prepare your roof for the season.
Get an inspection
The first thing you should do is have your roof inspected by a qualified roofing contractor. While there are ways you can check the integrity of your roof, a qualified roofing contractor has the knowledge and experience to identify problems or find weak areas which may present potential issues. The roofer will give you a detailed report which includes the life expectancy and estimate for repair. Make sure to discuss the inspection report with your roofing contractor and go over ways to secure your roof.
Reinforce Your Roof with Tie-Downs
Roof tie-downs, also known as “hurricane straps” help to brace your roof in very high winds and severe storms such as hurricanes. Hurricane straps are metal strips which adhere to almost any type of roof and keep the roof attached to the walls of the house. A roofing contractor may be able to install metal hurricane clips that connect the roof to the walls from the inside. This added support makes it less likely that your roof will be ripped off by high winds. Keeping your roof strapped down during a hurricane will not only protect your home but also everyone inside. A reinforced roof will also protect your neighbors from flying debris if pieces break off due to high winds. To prepare your roof for hurricane season, consider investing in hurricane straps.
Trim trees on your property
Not only is this tip good practice before a hurricane, it’s good year-round as it prevents loose branches from damaging your roof. Trees hanging over your roof are very dangerous in a hurricane. When winds pick up, tree limbs can easily be torn creating projectiles. If a tree limb falls on your roof, the damage it can cause is immeasurable. It can possibly puncture a hole and allow water to enter your home. This can cause electrical issues, or someone inside could be struck by the falling limb. Trees also cause a lot of debris to build up on the roof. Things like leaves, branches, pine needles and other debris can form a pile on your roof which over time becomes mulch. Mulch holds moisture, and this can cause the shingles underneath to degrade, and even cause the roofing structure to rot. Trim back your trees to save yourself the hassle and be ready for the season.
Clean your gutters
It’s easy to forget about gutters and drainage systems throughout the year. If you know a storm is coming, take the time to clean them out beforehand. Clean out the leaves on your roof and any debris to prevent build up. Make sure all spouts and gutters are clear so that rainwater can flow through without resistance. If there is a storm and there is a buildup of debris in your gutter, water can back up into your home and cause further damage to the structure.
Get a New Roof
It may seem like overkill, but if you feel your roofing project is more of a headache than it’s worth, a new roof might be the best step in preventative measures. An old roof with pre-existing issues could be a major problem during a storm. Don’t take the risk, if your inspection calls for it, consider investing in a new roof before you get caught in a storm.
Hiring a licensed roofing contractor to inspect and maintain your roof is a great way to ensure the integrity of your roof, and subsequently your home. If your roof has reached its maximum life, get ahead of the game and start budgeting for a replacement.