How to protect your home and roofing system against hurricane season. There is no hurricane-proof roof. Even the most advanced technology roofs cannot protect against hurricanes. You, as a homeowner, will need to ensure that your roof is well prepared and maintained in order to protect you from the elements.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hurricanes are becoming stronger and more severe. Although there may be more or less hurricanes in any given year, the general trend is for hurricanes causing more damage. It is now more important than ever that you do all you can to protect your home from hurricanes and make sure your roof is protected. Here are some practical ways to make sure your roof is resilient to storms.
How Hurricanes Impact Roofing Systems
Some roofs are able to withstand major hurricanes without damage, but others suffer extensive damage. Some roof trusses can even cause the house to collapse. The construction of the building is a major factor in the roof’s performance during hurricanes. These are the main factors that will determine if your roof will be blown off your house in a hurricane:
- Location of your home.
- The strength of the structural connections within the building.
- The roof’s shape.
- Other architectural options.
What can you do for your roof to be protected from a hurricane?
Preparation is key to protecting your roof from a hurricane. You can’t control your home’s design or the roof. Factors that affect roof performance are not out of your control. They are all about making sure the roof does the best job possible under the circumstances.
1 – Request a preseason roof inspection
Your roof’s first line defense against hurricanes is professional roofers. A roofer should inspect your roof before hurricane season starts. You might be able to spot any potential issues, such as bent flashing or missing shingles.
This could make your roof more susceptible to severe winds. Damage to the roof’s edge, including the fascia or soffit boards, is one of the most common problems. Roofers need to pay particular attention to this area and make sure it is secured before hurricane season.
Routine maintenance such as cleaning gutters and downspouts, trimming tree branches, and securing your roof against damage from storms can help to protect your roof.
Ensure that your trusted roofing contractor is inspecting your roof. Also, make sure you have their contact information in case there is an emergency.
2 – Select performance products
There are many roofing options and materials available. Select roofing products with wind warranties of up to 130 mph (210 km/h). If you live in an area with high winds, we strongly recommend that you use a high wind application.
Roof performance can also be affected by the choice of underlayment. Make sure your roof has at most the minimum amount of water and ice protector. Synthetic underlayments offer greater moisture protection than felt. Even if some shingles get blown off, the right type of underlayment will help to reduce water infiltration into your home.
3 – Use building codes
You will typically only need to bring your roof up to code with any changes in the building codes if you have a roof replacement or repair. Sometimes, however, you may be able to get additional protection by following the recommendations in the building codes. Ask your roofing contractor in Myrtle Beach whether it would be in your best interests to have your roof updated to comply with any new building codes before a hurricane.
4 – Inspect or add hurricane ties
They strengthen the connection between the roof truss & home’s structural elements. This prevents roof blow-off during strong winds. Think about including hurricane ties. Your roofer should inspect your hurricane ties for any corrosion or other damage, even if they are already in place.
5 – Roof repairs
It is smart to call your roofer before a storm hits to have any roof repairs completed. Even minor roof problems can cause more severe damage in a hurricane.
Roof vents are particularly important to inspect and fix. These are essential components of a roofing system and can cause damage during hurricanes. To prevent hurricane-related vulnerability and leakage, make sure you choose hurricane-rated roof vents.
6 – Protect skylights
High-wind conditions and hurricanes can make skylights especially vulnerable. Modern skylights are made with either tempered glass or plastic. This means that they don’t leave behind dangerous shards if they break during a hurricane. Although skylights are designed to resist wind, they can still be damaged by high winds or hurricanes.
Your roofers should replace your existing skylights with hurricane-resistant skylights. Although they aren’t hurricane-proof, they have higher wind resistance than other options.
You may be able to cover your skylight using a metal cage, plywood, or a specially designed skylight shutter if this is not possible. Your roofers will need to repair any damaged shingles around the skylight they have punctured with nails in order to secure the skylight cover.
7 – Secure roof documentation
For insurance purposes and limited warranty claims, take some photos of the roof before it was installed. You should also take photos from different angles. The roofer may be able to take photos from the top of your roof of points of interest such as skylights or chimneys. To ensure that you don’t lose the photos if your phone is damaged, save them to your cloud storage.
You may also want to scan and save digital copies of any limited warranties that your roof might be covered by, including those issued by your manufacturer or the roofers who installed it.
8 – Store potential projectiles
In hurricane conditions, many of the objects that you have left on your property could become projectiles. These objects can cause damage to your roof, your neighbor’s property, and other areas of your house. Bring in lawn furniture, trampolines and children’s toys before a hurricane.
10 – Verify your home insurance
The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies in the United States do not cover flooding or other hurricane damage. Check with your insurance provider before you decide on a policy or even before a hurricane. Flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program in the United States.
Make sure your coverage is sufficient to cover the entire cost of your roof replacement in case it is destroyed by a hurricane. To increase your coverage dollar-wise, it may be worth purchasing an umbrella policy. This will allow you to cover more of the roof replacement cost.
Protecting your roof from hurricanes
It is a good idea to consult your trusted roofer when considering the best steps to take to protect your home against hurricanes. If a hurricane causes damage to your roof, you will be able to find financing options that can cover the cost of roof repair and replacement. This can make it easier for you to get the damage repaired quickly. Prepare for hurricane season by planning ahead.
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