Hurricane season represents an occasional hurdle which many coastal homeowners must, unfortunately, learn to accept. While these natural disasters are often extremely tragic, the damage caused during these periods can be mitigated with some simple and straightforward planning. For one, some basic roof repair and maintenance can help to prevent your home from sustaining excessive damage from wind, rain, and debris. Here are eight helpful and common sense ways you can protect your roof through hurricane season:
1. Replace loose shingles.
In many areas of life, it is important to have a solid foundation before entering times of storm and stress. Roof leak repair is no exception. While it may seem like common sense, it is important to replace any and all loose or damaged shingles before the real storm begins. If improperly secured shingles are further loosened by a hurricane, your home can suddenly be at risk for much more serious water damage. Those few drops coming through the ceiling that have been keeping you up at night are nothing compared to the potential deluge which could wash in during a true tempest.
2. Invest in hurricane straps.
If there is some serious turbulence headed towards your home, consider securing your roof with hurricane straps. One of the most important aspects of protecting your roof through hurricane season is making sure that it actually stays on your house.
These handy connecting pieces will help to ensure that your roof does not physically lift off from the extreme winds of a hurricane. It may seem like an unnecessary expense now, but it is certainly better to air out your wallet now than to air out your home later. Some jurisdictions have even made these mandatory. Unless you are able to do it yourself, make sure to get a professional to install these properly. If not, after the hurricane emergency roof leak repair might be the least of your worries!
3. Secure items in your yard.
The importance of having a yard free of clutter is not just good advice to follow if you want to appear on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. During periods of high winds, any objects laying around on your property can potentially become high-speed projectiles. To avoid any damage to your roof, home, or – most importantly – you and your family, make sure to clean up around your yard before the hurricane arrives. As an added bonus from cleaning up, your neighbors will thank you!
4. Clean your gutters
Due to the volume of rain which falls during a hurricane, extraordinary stress is placed on the drainage system of your roof. Make sure that your gutters are solidly in place and clear of any leaves, sticks, moss, and other materials.
This includes both on the roof itself and also the downward drainage spouts. This will ensure that when the rain comes, it will flow easily and rapidly off of your home. You will not be a fool in the rain. In fact, you will (hopefully) avoid having to do any emergency roof leak repair.
5. Trim your trees
While they might appear to be firmly rooted in the ground, trees can also present a potential hazard during the high-speed winds of a hurricane. Loose branches ripped off of their base can cause serious damage to anything in the way – including your roof. Make sure to inspect the trees in your yard for any potentially dangerous ones. Some trimming now – especially of any branches that could easily catch the wind – will make a big difference and will help to protect your property from these larger potential projectiles.
6. Ensure that your insurance is up-to-date
If serious damage should happen to your roof (or the rest of your home), it is important to be able to rely on a solid homeowner's insurance plan. Some brokers may even offer you discounted rates on coverage for hurricane damage if you have taken some of the other steps outlined in this article.
Although simply guessing if your home will sustain damage during a storm or not is fraught with uncertainty, it is better to safe than sorry. Hurricanes and other major weather events are highly unpredictable and sometimes being prepared means being prepared for the worst. Taking out a proper insurance policy beforehand will allow you to rest easy, no matter what the weather looks like.
7. Take a look inside your attic.
Sometimes getting a different perspective can illuminate the dark areas of our lives. By looking through your attic, you might notice potential leaks that are not apparent from the outside. Look for places where light is peeking through which could be indicative of a potential trouble spot during periods of heavy rain. In addition, look for any potentially loose nails. Perhaps even consider getting your roof and attic inspected professionally. To be safe, it is best to call in the experts. Discovering the source of some minor mold issues in your loft now will save you from having to commit to more serious roof repair after a major hurricane.
8. Be aware of your own safety
While the need to protect your roof is admittedly important, it is of far greater consequence to ensure that you and all other inhabitants of your home are safe from the power of a major hurricane. The stability of your roof can go a long way towards protecting the contents of your home. However, if your house is located in the path of a serious storm, listen to local news and potential evacuation reports. Even the most well-protected roof cannot fully guarantee your safety during some wild weather.
Taking these eight steps can go a long way towards making sure that your roof not only survives hurricane season, but also remains in solid condition for next year's storms. If you are the type of person who likes to be prepared for anything, ensure that you try to check off all of these points as you prepare for what can be an otherwise tragic season.