Hurricane season can be a scary, uncertain time for homeowners in regions likely to be affected by hurricanes. And there's some evidence to suggest that hurricane season is growing longer, which means that you'll need to spend more of the year watching the weather reports and staying prepared. There's nothing you can do to shorten the hurricane season or change the path of a storm headed your way, but there are things that you can do to protect your property before and during a storm.
Taking protective measures can help minimize the damage that you incur and possibly save you money. Protecting your roof is especially important; keeping your roof intact through a hurricane will prevent a lot of potential water damage to the rest of your house. Take a look at some important things you should do before and during a hurricane to protect your roof.
Inspect Your Roof
The better the shape your roof is in, the more likely it is to withstand hurricane-force winds. Therefore, it's important to inspect your roof for damage and make needed repairs before a hurricane heads your way. This may be the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your roof survives a hurricane.
You can inspect your roof for visible damage yourself. Use a ladder to reach the roof or binoculars to view it from the ground. Look for shingles or tiles that are missing, curled, loose, or that appear to be askew. You can also access your attic during the daylight hours to see if you can spot points of light coming through the ceiling. These might indicate gaps that will let water and wind in during a storm.
If you spot any damaged areas, contact a roofing contractor from a company like Maynor Roofing & Siding Co to make the repairs. Making some simple, minor repairs now could save you from having to buy a new roof after a hurricane.
Reinforce Your Roof
Even if your roof is in good shape, you may want to take some extra steps to reinforce it before hurricane season gets underway. One way to do this is with hurricane clips. These are metal clips that attach your roof to your walls from the inside of the house. You'll need a roofing contractor to attach them.
Some roof designs are more vulnerable to hurricane winds than others and may require additional support. Gable roofs are a good example — their design makes it more likely that they'll be ripped off by especially high winds. Your roofing contractor can attach wooden braces to the rafters of a gable roof to increase the wind resistance.
Redirect Water Leaks
Even with good preparation, some damage to your roof during a severe storm might be inevitable. But it's important to try to minimize the damage if you can. If you have drywall ceilings, a leak in one area of your roof could lead to a larger ceiling collapse if you're not careful. The drywall will absorb and spread the water through the ceiling, making it weaker and more likely to collapse as it gets wetter.
If your roof is leaking, you'll probably notice a water pocket or bubble in the ceiling in that area. Poke a hole in the bubble with a screwdriver and place a bucket underneath to collect the water. This allows the water to flow freely through that area instead of spreading through your whole ceiling. It will be much easier to patch the leaky roof and repair a small hole in the ceiling after the storm than it would be to replace the entire ceiling.
You can also use a garbage bag or tarp on top of your roof to protect a damaged area and redirect water away from your home. However, you should never tarp your whole roof. Stick to the damaged area only. Tarping an entire roof will lead to more damage from the nails intended to hold the tarp in place, and may necessitate replacing the entire roof later.
If you have doubts about your roof's ability to stand up to a hurricane, contact a roofing contractor in your area for an inspection, repairs, or reinforcements.