How to Prepare Your Roof for a Major Storm
As a homeowner, you must be aware that the weather is the most significant cause of wear and tear on your roof. Your roof has to brave all weather conditions, from the blazing sun to the stormy winds. The wind is your roof’s biggest enemy. Falling debris and major storms can damage your roof significantly. The damage is not visible most of the time but can only be brought to light during a roof inspection service.
Though your roof is left at the mercy of the storm in regions like Florida and Georgia, there are certain things you do to protect your roof during hurricane season.
Here are eight (8) things you can do to prepare your roof to withstand a major storm.
1. Hire a Roof Inspection Service
This is the most logical step of all. Getting your roof inspected regularly can help you spot issues and repair them before it becomes too prominent and causes severe damage. A roof inspector will thoroughly examine and evaluate the condition of your roof. Even a single missing shingle can lead to significant damage by compromising the structural integrity of the entire roof. Any small, vulnerable spot can cause considerable damage to your roof during a storm.
2. Clear any Debris on the Roof
If your roof has debris stuck between the shingles or sitting on the surface, it can wash off during a rainstorm and clog your gutters. Furthermore, when the debris is left to collect on the roof, it can lead to moisture build-up, which eventually leads to mold growth and rot.
3. Regularly Clean Your Downspouts and Gutter
Although blocked gutters might seem like a minor issue, they can have massive implications on the health of your roof. If your gutters or downspouts are clogged, it can cause water to back up, leading to water damage on your roof. Water pooling inside the drain can leak into the shingles and cause structural damage or lead to mold growth. The added weight of the stagnant water can cause the gutters to fall off your roof and cause significant damage to your home.
4. Keep Your Trees in Check
During a major storm, weakened or diseased trees can easily uproot and fall on your home. You can hire a professional to assess your old trees or look around to find signs of weakness or disease like missing bark, withered branches, etc. If a tree is leaning to one side, it is a clear sign that the tree has issues with its root and can topple over with powerful gusts of wind. Such trees need to be removed at the earliest. It is not recommended that you handle these weakened trees yourself. Instead, hire a professional to take down the trees safely without causing any damage to your property.
5. Pamper Your Healthy Trees
Like humans, trees need some TLC every once in a while. It is not just for the express purpose of looking good. A trim is warranted every now and then to keep your tree healthy and your home safe. It would be best to immediately trim any branches close to your roof as they can easily damage the shingles even with the slightest gusts. Large looming branches can break off and fall on your roof, causing severe damage to the structural integrity of your entire home. As a rule of thumb, keeping your tree branches at least six feet away from your roof is a safe practice. This dramatically reduces the chance of branches and leaves falling on your roof to clog your gutters or, worse, damage them during storms.
6. Tarps are Your Friends
Keeping a stockpile of tarps can help protect your roof while making minor repairs. It can also act as first aid in any damage to your roof during a storm. Covering leaks with a tarp can help you avoid a massive repair bill with such a simple tool.
7. Secure Your Yard Furniture
Any loose objects in your yard or lawn can prove fatal to your roof during a storm. Patio furniture, lawn furniture, and decorations can fly off and damage your home or neighbor’s home. Especially in places that experience hurricanes, flying debris can break through the windows and create a massive surge in pressure inside the house. This pressure can quickly rip off a roof by compromising its stability.
8. Make Sure Your Insurance Policy is Updated
It is vital to check your insurance policy to verify if it is up to date and its coverage. To be on the safer side, keep your roof warranty and insurance policy handy in case of damage during a storm. Since storms can cause a power outage, keep printed claims close by, and don’t forget to take pictures of your roof prior to the storm to ensure your insurance claim goes through smoothly.
There is a very low probability that your roof will get severely damaged during a storm. However, as long as it is not zero, you should follow these steps religiously to prepare your roof for an upcoming storm. Hiring a roof inspection service may seem like another additional cost, but it pays dividends. It is better to get ahead of the problem than to have your entire roof ripped off. A roof inspection cost seems like a drop in the bucket compared to replacing an entire roof.