With 117 direct hits by hurricanes, Florida has had more hurricanes than any other US state in recorded history. Homeowners in Florida must be prepared when hurricane season starts in June, starting with preparing their roofs. The roof is especially vulnerable as it is the first line of defense against rain, hail and flying debris. The force from hurricane winds is enough to detach a roof from the mainframe and cause serious damage. Fortunately, there are ways you can prepare your roof for hurricane season to minimize potential damage.
1. Replace Damaged or Missing Shingles
Maintaining a clean and clear roof is vital for more than aesthetic reasons. Removing debris can help you detect any missing or deteriorating shingles. A shingle should be replaced if it is curled, discolored, or missing granules.
Missing or damaged shingles can lead to damage on and under your roof. During a storm, the rain will be able to penetrate the cracks that undamaged shingles would cover. When a hurricane comes, the excessive rain could cause rot, mildew, and mold if the shingles are not fixed beforehand.
2. Clean Gutters & Downspouts
When doing roof inspections for damaged shingles, take some time to clear gutters and drains. Get rid of all debris from your gutters and drainage systems to ensure rainwater can flow through them easily. Clear waterways will prevent standing water from forming on your roof. The backed-up water could otherwise make its way into your home through leaks or holes. If you need assistance cleaning gutters, Epic Roofing and Exteriors have professionals that can clean gutters effectively.
3. Trim Overhanging Trees Near Your House
Often, the first thing you notice after a hurricane are tree branches scattered all over the streets. These branches can impale a roof or damage a roof’s structural frame. The last thing you want to deal with after a hurricane is roof damage from a falling tree or tree limb. Take preventative steps to eliminate this possibility by trimming tree limbs on your property. As a general guideline, tree branches should not be within six feet of your roof.
4. Install Hurricane Straps
Hurricane straps, also known as “roof tie-downs” are galvanized steel brackets that connect rafters and wall plates. Hurricane straps are now a requirement within Florida’s building codes and are essential in tropical environments. The straps will help strengthen the roof and make it more resistant to high winds.
5. Get A Roof Inspection
A roof inspection is necessary when preparing a roof for hurricane season. A roof specialist will examine the entirety of your roof. They will check for any rips or structural damage, and make sure that all weatherproofing materials are sufficiently secured. In addition to checking for leaks and punctures, they make sure equipment is firmly mounted and the gutters are clear.
6. Review Your Insurance Policy
In Southwest Florida, it is important to have an insurance policy that will cover most or all of the cost of roof replacement after a hurricane. Review your insurance policy, take photos of your home and make sure there are no coverage gaps in your policy way before a hurricane is predicted to hit. Contact your provider and determine if you’re covered against hurricanes and floods. Stay proactive before this upcoming hurricane season by contacting Epic Roofing and Exteriors! At Epic Roofing and Exteriors, we have experts with years of experience and knowledge when it comes to identifying the weaknesses and strengths of rooftops. After pinpointing any issues, we can provide you with multiple solutions that will work best for your current timeline and budget. Contact us today!