Well, it’s coming up on that time of year again. With spring comes rain, with summer and fall — hurricanes. It’s once again time to prepare your home for that fun weather that comes around year after year. Did you know that 90% of all insurance claims are from homeowners reporting roof damage that occurred during a storm? A roof is the first line of defense for a home, so it should come as no surprise that it takes the brunt of the weather beatings. While you can’t stop the weather from happening and you can’t change things that are out of your control, what you as a homeowner can do is take the proper steps to ensure that your home is as ready as it can be. Doing this can minimize or even prevent damage to your roof caused by bad weather during the storm seasons.
You’ve got your forecast, so it is time to get moving. First and foremost, have your insurance coverage paperwork at the ready, just in case. While hopefully, you won’t have to reference it, it’s always a good idea to have it handy. Once that is in safekeeping, it’s time to head outside before the storm comes.
Well, before you can take any steps in getting anything ready, you have to make sure your roof is already in tip-top shape. Take a look around, get out the ladder if you need to. There should be no shingles out of place. If something looks a little wonky to you, you’ll need to get up there and check to make sure nothing is loose. That includes shingles, flashing, and gutters.
If you do notice that you have some loose shingles or flashing, take the extra steps to drive a nail or two in, or at the very least, use some construction adhesive to secure those loose pieces down. If shingles or other objects catch the wind in a storm, they can be torn right off. Because roofing materials are overlapped and layered, you are likely not looking at just a shingle or two if something were to happen. If any material is loose on your roof, it leaves entire sections vulnerable to possibly being damaged or blown off.
Another good tip, while you’re doing inspections, is to take pictures. It provides photo proof of what your roof looked like before a storm in the unfortunate case your home does suffer any damages. Those photos are handy to have when dealing with any insurance claims.
Landscaping makes our homes look so lovely. Having the right trees can really set off the rest of the property quite nicely. Those trees also have sticks and leaves and branches that can do some damage if not maintained properly. In preparation for upcoming weather, it is a great idea to make sure your trees are trimmed back away from your home, which lowers your chances of debris falling on your roof. Ideally, branches should be trimmed back at least six feet from your home. Not only will this distance protect your home from falling debris, but it will also help to prevent wind from whipping branches into your home or even lifting your roof at the edges. Strong winds and heavy branches are certainly capable of some major damage.
Yard Clean Up
During a storm, especially ones with heavy winds, anything in your yard can be a potential danger. A plastic lawn chair can be lifted up, a garbage can could be blown long distances, even toys, trampolines, and other patio furniture can pose a risk not only to your home, but your neighbor’s as well, and even your cars. It is very important to put all loose items in your garage. If you don’t have a garage, make sure these items are secure wherever they are stored. Having furniture blown into your home or up on your roof is nothing you want to deal with.
Secure Windows and Doors
Of course, you don’t want flying debris crashing through a window, but did you also know that if these were to be damaged, it can also affect your roof? That’s right. If your windows and doors are damaged, this can actually increase the pressure in your home, adding a ton of strain to your roof. The myth of keeping a window open to alleviate pressure during a storm is completely false. It’s actually the opposite. Windows and doors should be closed tight and protected to stop any wind from the storm coming in. Whatever air that enters the home will need to find an exit, hence the added pressure on your roof. Those who have left windows and doors open have actually aided in damages happening faster to their home. Isn’t that a nifty little science lesson?
That’s right —after the storm has passed, check out your roof again. Even if the storm didn’t seem as bad as the weatherman thought it might be, or you don’t notice anything initially, it’s very important to inspect again. What could have a been a minor issue, such as a few loose shingles or clogged gutters from debris coming down, can become a major issue if left untreated. Before you know it, what could have been a simple fix is now a complete replacement job. While most storm damage may be covered by insurance, it’s still a headache no one ever wants to deal with.
In taking simple steps to check out your home and make sure everything is in excellent order, you are proactively protecting your home from the storm seasons and bad weather ahead. As we have said in past posts, roofs sometimes seem a little high maintenance. While this may be true, keeping up on that maintenance and routinely inspecting your roof will only guarantee it a long lifespan.
If inspecting your roof sounds a little intimidating or if you have found some damage from a passing storm, please feel free to give us a call. We can help to inspect or repair your roof.