In Florida, severe weather can feel like a yearly tradition. Whether residents are thinking about hurricanes, thunderstorms, flooding, tornados, lightning, or damaging wind – there’s certainly plenty to be concerned about.
It’s not all negative though! The best thing that you can do is learn and stay prepared for incoming severe weather when it comes to your home’s (or commercial properties’) roof.
There’s a lot to handle when severe weather is coming your way, so let’s jump in and learn some of the best practices when it comes to preparing your roof for the long haul!
Keep Yourself In Good Shape When the Weather Is Good
Your roof’s ability to withstand severe weather starts long before a hurricane warning is announced. You need to be regularly inspecting your roof and trying to complete appropriate repairs when the sun is still shining.
This means less pressure for you as a homeowner and will allow for repairs under conditions that are easier to work in and will allow for time for you to get tools, do research, or even get needed supplies shipped in if you have to.
The best preparation is a roof that doesn’t have any leaks or problems under normal conditions. If you aren’t passing that test, you are going to have even bigger problems when severe weather hits.
That being said, let’s get to some of the specifics when it comes to your roof and severe weather problems.
What To Do When A Big Storm Is On The Way
One of the most important things that you can do is keep an open mind about what news reporters are telling you. Some Florida residents have been around a long time and have a tendency to downplay what they’re hearing from the news. We don’t want anyone to panic unnecessarily, however, you need to stay appropriately informed too.
Again, try to do what you can to prepare your home before anything serious starts to happen so you are not working in unsafe or conditions that would cause a lot more stress than you usually might have.
Securing Doors and Windows
It may not make sense at first, but one of the best ways to protect your roof is actually to start by securing your doors and windows. Plenty of big storms in Florida can have debris flying around which means that your windows are in danger of being broken.
If your windows get broken, your entire roof is going to expand from the pressure in your house. This means the structural integrity won’t be as strong and you can get all kinds of problems from simple moisture build-up to bigger issues from that debris.
At the end of the day, if you can secure your windows when you know a big storm is coming – it’s best to do so.
Be Aware of Branches
Trees represent the next biggest threat to your roof, by far. First of all, you should have a general awareness of what trees are on your property. (and neighboring properties)
If a big storm is on the way, there’s probably not a lot you can do to get rid of tree branches, but this is something you can prepare for if you have enough time. The general rule is that branches should not be within six feet of your roof. Of course, things can happen and trees can be effected by storms in unpredictable ways.
How Hurricanes Can Affect Your Roof
Without a doubt, hurricanes are probably the biggest threat to your home’s roof in the state of Florida. Sure, in rare instances you may see lightning, standard wind damage, or other threats – but the biggest thing on everyone’s mind will almost certainly be hurricanes.
Here are some of the effects that hurricanes will cause and what to keep in mind as a homeowner who lives in an area where hurricanes can strike.
How Heavy Rain in a Hurricane Will Affect Your Roof
Of course, one of your roof’s major initial jobs is keeping water out of your structure. However, in a hurricane – rain starts to intensify, go sideways, and simply just keep coming and coming.
If your roof has any leaks under normal weather, you are going to have severe problems when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Hurricanes are the worst-case scenario for homeowners though. They can take roofs which are picture perfect and end up with damage to shingles that will start a case of leaks in that instance.
The best defense is to be prepared ahead of time. However, once the storm comes, you’re going to want to act quickly to repair anything you can so that more damage doesn’t happen from residual storms coming through the area.
Be sure to track any stains or dripping throughout your structure so that you can be sure you are focusing your attention on the right parts of your roof. You’ll have to follow things up as high as they go to be sure that you have the exact spot and to make sure that you’re not missing any other potential related leaks.
How Wind in a Hurricane Will Affect Your Roof
Wind damage is one of the biggest problems you’ll have with your house’s roof in a hurricane. In Florida, winds can sustain speeds that cause a lot of problems so it’s good to know what to expect.
Mostly, the problem with wind is that it can rip up shingles or cause damage to the actual components like the vents or chimneys of your roof. Occasionally, even normal wind can cause damage so the elevated status of a hurricane’s winds can really wreak havoc on the structure of your roof in worst-case scenarios.
One thing that you should do if you know a storm is coming is to schedule a roof inspection for after the storm. Even if you don’t see any obvious wind damage, having a roofing contractor come out and look at your house after a storm is quite helpful to make sure there’s nothing that you’re missing in terms of damages.
Don’t Forget Personal Safety
At the end of the day, your home feels extremely important to you – and it is, but nothing is more important than your personal safety.
Take precaution when you are making adjustments to your property as the storm is incoming so that you don’t get trapped in a bad situation. After the storm, there can be dangers as well. Be aware of any problems with your house’s electrical system and of any shifted debris or other physical dangers as well.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
The best thing you can do is continuously be preparing your property before you even hear about a storm approaching. No roofing contractor can come out to everyone’s house once a storm is announced to be coming, so make sure you inspect your property and your roof regularly. You should also keep your insurance policies in mind so that you know what is covered and what precautions you need to take in a financial sense. The good news is that with proper precautions you can make it through the severe weather in Florida with a house that is properly prepared.