Preparing Your Roof & Gutters for Hurricane Season

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you must already be very familiar with the kind of damage such powerful storms can cause. The devastation and costs of facing these storms can be significant and very difficult on your personal finances. However, there are some things you can do to protect your home and your family from the storm. One of the simplest ways is to follow these simple tips that will help you prepare your roof to hold off the storm. Getting ready for a hurricane may sound like the challenge of a lifetime, but it really doesn’t have to be that way.

Possible Roof Damage from Hurricanes

Even if you’re not in a heavily impacted hurricane area, you can still be at risk of sustaining serious damage to your property by not preparing for hurricane fallout. Hurricanes bring with them large amounts of water as well as strong winds. Both of these forces can be very damaging to your home and your roof. If your roof is not prepared for hurricane season you may find yourself facing much more damage to the interior of your home than you may expect. Strong hurricane winds can blow off your roof as well as roof accessories such as gutters, exhaust vents and other important pieces. Additionally, these same winds can also pick up and hurl items towards your roof. Depending on their size, shape and weight this can cause even more problems if your roof gets punctured or sustains any damage that causes water to enter your home. If you’ve ever encountered some form of flooding in your home you will know how devastating this damage can be. Once moisture enters your insulation and walls they will need to be replaced in order to avoid facing serious mold and mildew problems. Furthermore, your personal possessions and even the building structure are at risk from unwanted rain water entering your home.

Inspect Your Roof Before the Hurricane Season

To combat this, when living in a hurricane zone, having a regular annual roof inspection and evaluation is an absolute must. A licensed and knowledgeable contractor can make a huge difference as to how your home will weather the storm. As a professional they will easily identify any potential problem areas on your roof and drainage systems that should be taken care of before the hurricane season. Did you know that even a Category 1 or 2 storm can cause considerable damage such as ripping off shingles, tiles and even your flashing? While Category 3 or 4 storms are a lot more serious and can result in some damaged decking. Finally, a Category 5 storm can completely tear off your roof leaving your home completely exposed to the elements. Regardless of the category of storm, hiring a professional to inspect your roof can mean the difference between getting through the storm or facing thousands of dollars of damage.

Schedule a Roof and Gutter Clean Up

Following your roof inspection, it is critical to do a very thorough cleaning job of your roof and gutters. As we mentioned previously, poor drainage of your roof is one of the main causes of unnecessary damage to your home. As your home will face a greater quantity of water for extended periods of time, it is crucial to make sure that you do your best to ensure that your roof and gutters are prepared to handle massive amounts of rain and intense winds without breaking under these extreme forces. Taking the time to clear and test your gutters and downspouts should be your first step and number one priority. Using gloves, clear out as much debris as you can reach with your hands. For hard to reach areas, a broom or other long and thin pole will come in very hand to gently push debris out and prevent blockages. If your roof is particularly high, it is best to hire a trained professional, as they are trained in how to be safe when cleaning high roofs. As you’re cleaning make sure you inspect your gutters for any loose or broken pieces that may prevent it from channeling water away from your home. Once you’ve cleaned the roof and gutters use a hose to simulate some rain. Spray it at the roof and take note of how the water flows. Are there any areas where the water pools, flows over or escapes beyond the drainage system? These are potential areas of concern that will need to be addressed.

While hurricanes can be absolutely devastating, there is nothing worse than knowing that you could have done something to prevent your own tragedy. Making sure your roof is prepared to face the storm is a simple but very effective way to minimize potential damage to your home. Not only is the cleaning your roof going to improve drainage but it will also expose any issues and deficiencies on your roof that you might have otherwise missed. You may notice some sagging, poorly attached shingles, and spots that have generally poor drainage due to spout location or loose gutters. As you or your cleaning contractors prepare your roof you will have an excellent opportunity to address these issues so you don’t get a nasty surprise during the storm.