The 2022 Florida hurricane season officially started running on June 1st and will be in full effect until late November. To those of you who are choosing to vacation in the Sunshine State this summer, are prepared to face these capricious cyclones? Or if you’re a native like myself, do you know the proper roofing protocols in the event a hurricane rears its ugly head near your home?
Florida is all sunshine, Piña Coladas, and white sand beaches until it's not. Anyone who has ever experienced a hurricane knows that the effects before, during, and after can not only be unpleasant but lethal, which is why you need to be prepared for anything. Whether you’re visiting your vacation cottage, or Florida is your home base, can you be confident that your roof is ready to weather the storm?
RoofCrafters has been aiding homeowners like you in hurricane relief efforts since we’ve been in business in ‘94, and we’ve seen just how bad things pre and post-hurricane can get. However, we also know that many of these issues can be avoided with proper roof preparation before the cyclone strikes, ultimately saving your entire home, let alone just your roof.
Although our skies have been soaked in sunshine for the majority of the summer so far, all Mother Nature needs to do is snap her fingers and suddenly we’re 3 days out from a hurricane. So, it’s best to be prepared for anything. That being said, in this article, you’ll learn the steps to take to properly prepare your roof for a hurricane. Let’s get started!
How Should I Prepare My Roof for a Hurricane?
There are several different steps every homeowner should take to prepare their roof for a hurricane, which include:
Having a preseason roof inspection
Relocating or securing all yard amenities
Trimming trees and clearing yard debris
Being proactive about roof repairs
Installing roof ties or straps
Keeping a tarp or two handy
Covering your skylights
Preseason Roof Inspection
Before hurricane season begins, you must schedule a preseason roof inspection. Call your local roofing company and have an expert come out and ensure that your roof is in good working condition and can take the hurricane head on, or roof on, if you will.
As a homeowner, you’re able and even encouraged to conduct visual inspections of your own, however, a roofing professional knows exactly what to look for. They can spot even the smallest of problems that could be exacerbated by a hurricane. So, it’s best to be proactive before and schedule out or repair any problem areas before hurricane season begins.
Secure Yard Amenities
Securing your yard amenities is one of the most important ways to prepare your roof before a hurricane. That’s right, I’m talking to you trampoline owners in this section. When it comes to the integrity of your roof, flying debris is one of the most dangerous aspects of any hurricane.
Watching your expensive trampoline fly away in the strong winds is gut-wrenching in itself, but what about when it takes a turn and comes full speed at your roof? To protect your family, your home, and your roof against the attack of the flying fixtures, make sure that the trampoline along with any other furniture or hefty objects are secured to the ground or better yet, relocated.
Trim Your Trees
Fallen tree branches and even trees themselves are very common occurrences during hurricanes. Strong hurricane winds are capable of nearly anything, including uprooting trees in front of your home and causing large branches to come crashing down on your roof. In hurricane-prone areas, It’s important to consider having any large trees near your home removed. However, if that’s not possible, be sure to have any large branches or limbs trimmed before hurricane season.
Repair Your Roof
Scheduling and completing roof repairs pre-hurricane season is of the utmost importance. Even the smallest of cracks or leaks can lead to serious damage during a hurricane, making the after-effects much more difficult to repair. If you know you’re missing a few shingles, or perhaps you spotted a leak in the guest bathroom, now is the time to repair it. The cost for minor repairs now will be worth it if it means your family and your home will be safe from the storm.
Install Roof Ties or Straps
When it comes to the best option for hurricane roof preparation, roof starts are at the frontline. Roof straps are metal ties that keep your roof trusses, or framework attached to your home. They are an evolving technology that advances each year and are extremely important in hurricane preparedness. These metal ties or straps go over the rafters of your roof and essentially hold your ceiling and roof together, thus making it more difficult for your roof to be removed due to hurricane-strength winds.
It may go without saying, but for those who don’t know, having a tarp on hand during hurricane season is a staple. The more tarps you have, the better. Some homeowners like to put tarps over their roofs which act as a protective layer for their shingles or tiles. Tarps are versatile and can be used in a variety of places and ways. Putting tarps over windows and other vulnerable spots on your roof or home are great ways to prevent any detrimental hurricane damage.
Cover Your Skylights
Covering your skylights before a hurricane should be at the top of your to-do list. Skylights are one of the most vulnerable points on your roof, making them susceptible to damage. Because they are made up of only a few inches of glass, this means that they can be easily cracked, shattered, and possibly even blown off of your home entirely.
Your skylights lead directly into your home, meaning that if it gets damaged, water and other unwelcomed guests will immediately begin funneling into your home. To prevent this from happening during a hurricane, take extra precautions with your skylights and consider covering them with a metal cap or plywood before the storm.
Can My Roof Weather the Storm?
If you take these precautions before hurricane season or the storm itself, your roof will be able to withstand the storm. The one thing that I cannot stress enough is having a preseason inspection conducted as soon as possible. Being proactive and prepared is what will save your roof, and ultimately your home and other belongings.
Now that you know all of the preventative measures to take before a hurricane, it’s time to schedule your inspection or any necessary repairs. Finding a qualified contractor in your area may seem tricky, but with our “Top 10 Most Critical Questions You want to Ask Your Potential Roofing Contractor”, finding a roofer you feel most comfortable to complete the job will be a breeze.
In the meantime, feel free to browse through the extensive resources located in our learning center. I recommend reading “Does Insurance Cover Storm Damage to a Roof?” to be better educated about what comes out of your pocket if storm damage does occur.