Homeowners in central Florida are no strangers to harsh weather. Every year, it seems like another devastating hurricane rips through the area, leaving major damage in its wake. When a storm hits, your roof is what protects your family and belongings from the devastation beyond. And yet, roofing is seldom a part of hurricane preparation.
If your roof isn’t prepared for the job, it could be costly. Here are a few precautions you should take to prepare your roof in the event of a major storm or hurricane.
Check Your Roof for Signs of Deterioration
Don’t wait for a storm to check your roof for signs of deterioration. This is something that you should be doing regularly. Minor issues can turn into major problems with the strain of a hurricane or major storm. It’s like using a chain with a weak link. Look for issues like:
- Loose or exposed nails
- Buckling and sagging shingles
- Shingle deterioration
- Bubbles and blisters
- Unusually high energy costs
Schedule a Roof Inspection
While it’s certainly a good idea to check over your roof yourself, only a professional will have the knowledge and expertise to provide a thorough inspection. Roofing is not an exact science; it’s still performed by people and the results aren’t always perfect. Flaws appear over time, and even if you think your roof is fine, an inspector will be able to look over aspects of your roof that you wouldn’t even know to check.
Schedule a professional roof inspection before a storm hits to be entirely sure that your roof is up to the task. They will also be able to quote and perform any necessary repairs quickly, so you can go into the season with some added peace of mind.
Clear Gutters and Drains
Storms bring lots of wind and rain. If the rain has nowhere to go, it’ll pool up on your roof, which increases the risk of water getting inside. If enough water gets in, it could cause structural damage underneath, water damage in your home, and could even lead to a collapse.
Making sure that your gutters and drains are clear of debris before the storm hits ensures that the water will easily run off your roof and keep you and your family dry. Don’t forget to check that your drains empty away from the house. Water can also pool up around the foundation of your home and cause even more damage.
Along with rain comes wind. Large limbs can break off of trees during major storms and damage your roof. It’s suggested that you trim any branches that are within six feet of your home. Be extra cautious with branches that are close to your roof’s edge. Your roof’s edge protects from air lift, and if that area gets damaged, it’s more likely that your entire roof could be lifted off the house.
Secure Loose Outdoor Items
Tree branches aren’t the only thing that can damage your roof. Outdoor items in your backyard can also fly around in high winds and damage not just the roof but also windows doors and siding. Make sure everything that can move is tied down and secure before the storm. Look for items like:
- Patio furniture
- Trash cans
- Garden decorations
- Toys and playground equipment
- Storage sheds
Just because you might think something is heavy enough to stay in place doesn’t mean it will. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Something as large as a storage shed can do major damage to your home if it’s thrown by strong winds.
Roof Straps and Clips
Roof straps are additional braces that help to keep your roof attached to the frame of the house. Go into your attic and make sure that all your roof straps and clips are in place and undamaged. If you find that you don’t have any, which is possible in older homes, it’s a good idea to have them installed.
Look Over Insurance Policy
Even if you take every necessary precaution, something can still go wrong. Before the storm hits, make sure you look over your insurance policy so that you understand what’s covered in the event that something is damaged and that there have been no lapses in coverage. The last thing you need is to endure the storm only to have to pay for damages out of pocket later.
It also helps to take pictures of your home before the storm. That way, in the unfortunate event that your home is damaged, you have proof that you can send to the insurance company.
Be Prepared When a Storm Hits
When a major storm is predicted, don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best. The only way to protect your roof is to prepare. Check your roof and get regular professional inspections, clean your gutters and drains for adequate drainage, secure outdoor items and trim nearby trees, and check your roof straps. Even with adequate preparation, you should still look over your insurance policy to check coverage and make sure there haven’t been any lapses. Don’t leave something as important as your roof up to chance, follow these guidelines to prepare in the event of a major storm or hurricane.
If you’d like help preparing for a storm or hurricane, contact Native Building Services and Roofing. Our experienced technicians can perform professional roof inspections, offer repair quotes, and perform maintenance. In the unfortunate event that your roof is damaged during a storm, we can repair any damage and even walk you through the insurance claim process. No matter your roofing needs, working with NBS is always a breeze.