Hurricane season is something that many homeowners have to prepare for each and every year, and with the weather changing as it seems to be, it feels like people even further inland are starting to have to reckon with it. Hurricanes can cause all manner of damage to your roof, whether it’s through continuous extreme levels of rain, branches and other objects being picked up and thrown into it, or even just the pressure of those winds alone. If you’re expecting a particularly bad storm or you just don’t want to be left vulnerable year after year, then you can take action.
Storm damage can be expensive, in many cases forcing people to fully replace their roofs. Here, we’re going to look at some options that can help you, from the basics of securing down your roof, to the kind of replacement that might make your home much more resilient in the face of a storm in the future.
Make sure your insurance policy covers you
This tip isn’t exactly going to stop a storm from damaging your roof, but it can make sure that you don’t have to pay as much out of pocket in the event that it does. Don’t simply assume that your home insurance covers you in the event of a storm. Depending on where you live, that might not be a provision that’s guaranteed. Take the time to look at your insurance policy and make sure that it covers hurricane roof protection. You should also get an idea of what, exactly, your deductibles are so that you have an idea of how much you might have to pay if that storm does hit.
Ensure that you’re taking good, regular care of your roof
The weaker your roof is, the more likely that you’re going to be losing some tiles or shingles to those heavy winds, or that rainwater is going to start trickling through. Even metal roofs, which are typically the strongest in terms of resisting weather damage, need routine maintenance. At least once a year, you should have a professional come out to the house and take a closer look at the roof. Identifying any issues early on, and fixing them, could mean that they don’t serve as the weak point that allows a storm to do massive levels of damage.
Consider a metal roof
If you’ve experienced extensive storm damage in the past, or your roof is simply getting past its best days, then it might be time for a replacement. When you’re replacing your roof, keep those storms in mind. Metal roofing is by far the best option when it comes to protecting your home from wind and weather damage. They can offer up to 160mph for wind resistance, and are designed to be long-lasting, durable, and don’t offer the same problems that can come with shingles (as we will look at further.) They still need some care and maintenance, but they are undoubtedly the best option to protect the home from storms.
Be on the lookout for loose shingles
Your shingles, when locked together, are supposed to provide a strong barrier, each of them supporting the other. Any major differences from shingle to shingle can open up a weakness in that barrier. However, even if they’re designed and manufactured to be perfectly uniform, they are going to experience wear and tear differently, which can cause some to be more prone to loosening over time. If that happens, those shingles are a lot more likely to simply blow away. Take the time to ensure that all of your shingles are nailed down and not loose. If a shingle has warped to the point that it no longer nails down as easily, it might be time to replace it. It’s worth noting that metal roofs do not have this same problem.
Replenish the roofing cement on your shingles
Your shingles might be doing just fine, at a glance, but it can be better to be safe than sorry. If you want to make sure that it will hold, then you might consider inserting a line of roofing cement along the edge, just to secure it more firmly against the roof. If you have enough roofing cement, you may want to do this with every shingle along the edge. Again, metal roofs don’t need the same level of care as shingles.
Be mindful of rust
Metal roofs are designed to be rust-proof for decades after their installation. However, nails, metal connectors, and all kinds of metal components are, at some point, going to be prone to rusting, which means that they are a lot more likely to break away under enough pressure. Rusted metal is weak enough that even a milder storm is likely to pull it away, never mind a hurricane. If you see any signs of rust, then you need to start those repairs right away.
Reinforce from inside the attic, too
The rafters and trusses that connect to the roof deck do a lot to keep the roof together when it’s under severe stress, as well. Topping up that point of connection with construction adhesive can help to keep things in place when the wind and debris start battering the roof.
Check your flashing
The metal sheathing around chimneys, vents, and windows, also known as flashing, is vital for keeping rain out of your home. Take the time to check it and reinforce it with the help of a professional. It might just need to be resealed, but in the worst cases, you may need to replace it. Better than needing to replace a whole roof after a hurricane.
Get some hurricane clips
Tie-downs, or hurricane clips, can ensure that the very worst doesn’t happen by stopping your roof from simply flying away. These connect the beams of the roof to the walls, adding an extra layer of reinforcement to keep your roof in place.
While there is no 100% way to guarantee your home will not be impacted by the elements of a hurricane, leveraging the tips above will help to prepare your roof, and home, to be in the best position possible.