Between June and November each year, hurricane roof damage is an all too real possibility in Florida, that’s just a few months away. August and September in the Sunshine State are especially dangerous, so it’s a good idea to protect your roof during the stormy months.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Wind damage from a hurricane can be immense. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to prevent serious hurricane damage to your roof.
Secure Loose Objects
Loose objects around your home can become lethal projectiles. High winds can pick up garden furniture, outdoor objects such as bicycles and children’s toys, and even vehicles. Trees may be uprooted, and branches broken off, which are a major source of hurricane roof damage.
Have Your Roof Inspected For Loose Tiles
Even seemingly minor damage to your roof may disguise more serious problems. Individual tiles may be lifted, cracked, or broken by flying debris. This may allow water seepage into underlying layers of the roof and may eventually cause a leak into your home’s interior. Water has the propensity to find the path of least resistance and will flow through any gaps it finds.
Have Your Roof Covered
To protect your roof in advance of potential hurricane roof damage, it’s advisable to call the experts and have sheets of plywood attached to your roof to prevent tiles from being damaged. The plywood should be treated with a water-resistant product first, to avert secondary water damage.
A less expensive method is to have roof sheeting attached. Roof sheets are typically made of acrylic, polystyrene and PVC, but zinc or steel sheeting is also available.
Strap Your Roof Down With Hurricane Ties
You could also have your roof strapped down with hurricane ties, these are attached over the roof to the foundations or walls of the structure. In Florida, these are mandatory for homes built after 1992, but can also be fitted retroactively.
Use the hurricane off-season to protect your roof and other areas of your home against potential damage in season.
Secure Windows, Vents, and Garage Doors
Windows, vents, and garage doors are also vulnerable to being broken by flying objects. It’s a good idea to have shutters installed in these areas, which will also protect against further destruction if your roof is damaged.
Have A Roof Inspection Done
Ask your roofing contractor to undertake a full inspection: they will look for any holes, loose or broken tiles, blocked gutters, and other potential areas of concern.
Keep Your Roof Clean from Vegetation Growth
Keep your roof clean by preventing any build-up of mold or plants growing in the gutters. Hire a contractor to undertake a high-pressure clean to remove any accumulation of foreign materials or debris.
Choose The Optimal Roofing System
If you are considering a new home build, speak with a professional contractor about the best design for your roof in a hurricane-prone area. A multiple-panel roof with a 300 pitch is the best for wind resistance. Roof overhangs should be kept to a minimum to avoid wind uplift of the roof tiles.
Protect Eaves and Ridges
Ensure that roof ridges and eaves are well-protected — in fact, anywhere that wind can penetrate and lift tiles.
Have Basic Repair Materials On-Hand
Remember that after a hurricane, materials such as replacement tiles, and an adequate supply of wooden sheets and nails to fix a damaged roof may be in short supply. Many neighbors may have similar roof damage, and suppliers may not be able to deliver goods easily.
Thus, it’s best to keep a supply of repair material on hand that your roofing contractor may need in an emergency.
Use A Professional Roofing Contractor
This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: Never attempt any work on your roof yourself if you’re not trained to do it.
No matter how safe and quick you think the job may be, one misstep on a loose tile or being overcome with vertigo could easily end in disaster. Your roofing contractor is trained to deal with all scenarios and will have the expertise and equipment necessary to affect any repairs. As much as you may want to save a few dollars, any mishap may end up costing more in both monetary and personal terms.
Stay Vigilant and Informed During Hurricane Season
Hurricanes can cause enormous damage and loss of life to both humans and animals.
If you are under a hurricane warning or watch, take all reasonable precautions to protect your roof to keep your family and home safe and listen to official reports and respond accordingly. If you have taken appropriate steps to protect your home and mitigate the possibility of hurricane roof damage, you should be able to ride out the season in complete safety.
Hurricane Damage? We Can Fix That
ABC Roofing knows all too well what happens when a hurricane rips through and destroys everything in its wake. Hurricane Wilma devastated South Florida in 2005 and left over $24 billion in infrastructure damage with some places never fully recovering. Don’t be left without a roof over your head! If you do find yourself dealing with roof damage from a hurricane, call the experts at ABC Roofing. We’ve been taking care of South Florida’s roofs since 1988 and we’ll take care of yours too.