It’s hurricane season! That means if you live in a home around the coast you best get yourself ready. If you don’t then the damage that could be done to your roof will be astronomical.
Hurricanes do more than just blow a few shingles or tiles off your roof. It can also cause water damage or blow debris on your home that will cause awful structural damage. This your first season having to deal with it?
Don’t worry we know how to prepare. Keep reading to find out what kind of roofing damage a hurricane can do, how to look for damage after the storm has brushed through, and how to prevent the damage from happening in the first place.
1. Common Damages
When a large category hurricane sweeps through you can expect some damaged to the roof. If they didn’t crack and get blown off your roof, they’ll lift up at least. The most common causes of destruction are going to be from wind and water damage.
Wind damage can and will damage your roof depending on how high the winds get. What kind of damage you’re dealing with depends on the type of roofing materials you have.
Wooden shingles tend to splinter and asphalt ones will crack. If the winds get really nasty then splinters and cracks will be the least of your worries. High winds can knock your shingles off your roof altogether. If you have a tile roof, the wind can lift them and ever worse blow them off altogether.
After a horrible hurricane, you should go to your attic to check for water damage. When the winds lift the roofing materials up or off your roof, it makes it vulnerable to leaks.
In the case of wooden shingles, the heavy water can weaken them and cause them to fall off the roof without the wind putting in much effort. As far as asphalt goes, the water won’t damage it but the cracks caused by the wind can leave an opening for water to get through. And for tile roofs, it can lift and wiggle the tile and make small holes in the materials under the tile.
2. How to Spot the Damage
Now that you know how a hurricane can damage your roof, we’re going to tell you how to look for damages after it’s blown through. Here is how to inspect your roof in the safest way possible.
Inspecting for Leaks
Water damage is pretty easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Go to your attic and look for stains. The stains marks will be much darker. Check around the valleys, vents, ridge, hip and especially the bottom edge of the roof. After you’ve inspected your attic check out the ceiling and walls over the rest of your home to look for the same thing. Use a high quality LED flashlight. This brings out the stain marks.
If you see any water stains around your home then it’s likely that the hurricane damaged your roof enough for you to need repairs.
Looking for Signs of Damage on the Ground
Before you go trying to climb on your roof to look for damage, check around the outside of your home. It’s a little safer and the obvious damages will show themselves on the ground.
You’ll see shingles or tile that were knocked loose during the storm. You may also see metal that fell off your chimney or eaves. Both these things signify that you’ll need repairs.
Structural damage that comes from say, a tree falling in the middle of your roof is obvious. Even if a tree didn’t fall on your home, there may be structural damage done to your roof from the storm.
This is damage that you may not notice until you’re walking on your roof and your foot slips through. That’s why it’s important that you don’t step on your roof until a professional comes in to inspect.
Sometimes hurricanes can produce hail so you’ll need to check for this kind of damage. It will show itself in the form of dimples on the surface of your shingles or broken tiles.
Again, you shouldn’t get on your roof to look for damage. If you want to do a quick sweep through of the top of it, grab a ladder and climb to the top. Check for damages from afar on the ladder and then get down.
If you see any evidence of the things that we’ve mentioned, then call in a professional to handle it. They will be equipped with the safety equipment need to do a more thorough search.
3. Avoiding Damage
There are ways that you can secure your roof before hurricanes hit. This will stop damages before they happen and maybe save you a bit of money on repairs.
Inspect, Secure, Seal
The best way to stop damages is to look for vulnerabilities beforehand. Check and see if you have any shingles that already look like they are on their last leg and get them replaced before the storm brushes through. Repair broken or loose tile as well.
If you’re worried about keeping water out, you can secure any weak-looking seams with waterproof tape.
Cut Down Trees
You won’t have to worry about structural damage from trees falling on your roof if you cut them down before they get the chance. Trees are pretty sturdy and can stand up during normal weather conditions.
Hurricanes aren’t normal weather conditions though so it’s better to cut down any trees that are too close to your home to avoid the possible destruction.
Add Roof Straps
Some homes around the coast are required to install metal straps before a storm to have an extra brace against hurricane winds. It’s pretty effective. You can talk to a roofing contractor for more information about them.
Expecting the Worst Out of Hurricane Roofing Damage
Are you worried about your roof during this hurricane season? You should be. Heavy winds and rain can blow shingles off your roof and cause horrible water damage to your home.
Use this guide so you know what kind of roofing damage to look for and how to avoid it before it happens. Protect your family.
Want to get your roof looked at before a bad storm hits? Contact us to schedule an inspection.