People who live on the coast know all about hurricane season and all of the damage these storms can do. The common home is no exception. How many times have we heard about a hurricane ripping apart a whole neighborhood of houses? Who hasn’t seen footage containing the aftermath of such hurricanes? During hurricane season, your home is in danger. This is a fact almost everyone has to deal with. It just comes with the territory of living on the coast.
However, a silver lining does exist. While your home is in imminent danger during hurricane season, there are numerous ways to prepare your home for when these storms hit. There are many methods that exist which will cost little money and time. As many who have dealt with hurricanes would say, there is no such thing as being “too prepared” for hurricane season. And the roof of your home, and other things involving it, is no exception.
What to Expect During Hurricane Season
This section is for anybody who is not familiar with places that are frequently hit by hurricanes. Hurricanes contain intense high powered wind, followed by heavy rain. This wind can take debris and throw it into your car or home. Anything and every car or home you own, no matter what, is suspect to getting some semblance of damage when a hurricane hits. It cannot be avoided, but the damage that your home, roof in particular, can be drastically lessened if you just prepare properly.
The Most Common and Popular Ways to Prepare Your Roof for Hurricane Season
Preparing your roof for hurricane season is not as difficult or as time-consuming as you may think. There are many things that you can do to make sure that your roof can survive as much as it possibly can during hurricane season. Although it can be a nuisance, and most roof work is, if you do these things, they will ensure that your roof will be protected as much as it can be. Certain things are only ideal for certain rooftops, and this will be mentioned in the list below.
- Use roof tie-downs: While this is not easy nor time-consuming, it may be necessary if you live in a crowded area that could be affected by a hurricane. A roof tie-down will essentially lock your roof in place, this way it doesn’t get blown around as much as the same roof would if a strong hurricane hits.
- Update the shingles on your roof: Compared to using tie-downs, this is much easier to do and can save quite a bit of time. If you do not live in a crowded area or you have a relatively new roof that may just need some of the shingles re-tightened. This is fairly easy to do. Just apply roof adhesive to any loose shingles. If this is done 2 to 4 weeks before hurricane season begins, it will ensure that the shingles on your roof do not fly off of your roof during hurricanes.
- Trim the trees around your house: This is another method that is very simple. It is almost necessary to do this if you live in a place that has a lot of trees. If you forget or just decide to ignore this task, these trees could get blown apart during a hurricane, landing on your roof and then damaging your roof.
- Clean the gutters and drain systems: This is not pleasant work. It can be time-consuming as well as dirty. But it is a very important thing to do to prepare your roof for hurricane season. If you do not clean the gutters and drain the system, you run the risk of backing up water from entering the drains. This can overfill the gutters and cause them to tumble down. Being from a place that is privy to hurricanes, I have actually witnessed this happen. While cleaning out the gutters, look for granules, which are fragmented shingles. Unless you have a brand new roof, granules in the gutter is usually a sign that a roof needs to be replaced.
- Reinforcing the roofing system (if necessary): This is an unconventional, yet efficient way to prepare your roof for hurricane season. There are two methods of doing this: The first is to just hire a roofer to do it. The second way is to attach and overlap 2×4 pieces of wood along the trusses of the roof, leaving roughly 11 and ½ feet of space in between each piece of wood. This method can cost some time and money, but it will protect your roof from a hurricane.
- Using hurricane straps: What does everyone do to their windows during hurricane season? That’s right, they place shutters in front of the windows. Would it not also be a good idea if you could place shutters on your roof? Hurricane straps function as shutters, but for a roof. They will protect the roof from everything involved in a hurricane.
Routine Roof Maintenance Should Never be Ignored
Among the aforementioned preparation procedures, some of them do indeed require you to hire a professional roofing contractor to do work. But there are certain things that do not require hiring a roofer that you can do to prepare for hurricane season. Things, like trimming the trees around the house and cleaning the gutters, can go a long way in making sure your home will be as protected as it can for the hurricanes to come.
The reason why these kinds of things are ignored is that they are not part of a routine. When something is not part of a routine, it can be ignored for weeks, months, or even years. Making sure your roof is in decent condition and ready for hurricane season would seem like it should only be a preparation to make once a year. But if you do this once a month, it will become a routine, which will then become a habit. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on repairing a roof after a hurricane, then you should consider inspecting your roof at least once a month.
This begs the question: How does one inspect a roof? Are you supposed to just walk around on the roof looking for torn up shingles, nails that can be hammered down, and rust on the flashings? According to some professionals, it is dangerous to casually walk on a roof. Most experts suggest climbing above the roof of your house, and with a pair of binoculars, seeing what needs to be taken care of. Then hiring the necessary crew (if any) after that.
Preparing for anything, let alone a roof for hurricane season, can be tedious. It can appear like a waste of time and something that is permissible to be ignored. However, long term consequences should be considered, especially when it comes to something like a home that you own. The few hours that you spend every month to make sure that your roof is in good shape will ensure that you will not need to spend as much money preparing your roof down the road.
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