Hurricanes can produce winds as high as 150 miles per hour. This can do a lot of damage to your home and property, especially your roof. In the midst of a hurricane, a roof that is not fortified against high winds may lose shingles, felt paper, and even sheathing.
Hurricane season begins June 1. That may seem like a long way off, but time passes quickly. If your roof isn’t hurricane ready, your home could be vulnerable. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect your home from hurricane-force winds and rain.
Get Your Regular Roof Inspection
Have your roof inspected by a roofing expert at least once annually before the start of hurricane season. Roofers are busy, especially when spring comes, so you can also perform an inspection yourself. If you have a clay roof, look for these problems:
- Broken tiles
- Efflorescence (white powder)
- Missing tiles
Use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground, or get close to your roof from a ladder. Do not stand on the roof, as you may inadvertently cause damage. If you have a shingle roof, look for issues such as:
- Cracked, missing shingles
- Sunken areas
- Curling shingles
- Asphalt granules in the gutters and at the bottom of downspouts
Regardless of the materials that your roof is made from, you should also go up into your attic and check the sheathing for signs of roof leaks and water damage. Look for stains on the underside of the roof. These stains may come from moisture or mold.
You can also look for signs of pest infestation and crumbling wood, both of which could be another sign of water damage. If your roof is showing signs of wear and tear, have a professional roofer give you a quote for repair.
Retrofit Your Roof
Retrofitting is the process of improving a structure after it’s been built. Hurricane retrofitting is necessary in many homes that were built decades ago because building standards and hurricane protections have changed over time. Roofs can be retrofitted in many ways, depending on the type of roof and what was involved in its original construction. Here are some of those ways:
- Fasten roof sheathing with additional screws and nails. This must be done by a skilled, experienced roofing contractor who knows how to do this without compromising the structure of the roof.
Some homeowners are tempted to retrofit their roof on their own. This is not advisable, as roof repairs or changes made by a nonprofessional may not be up to code, and some improper installations could even cause structural damage to the home.
Know When to Replace Your Roof
Even the best maintained roofs have a limited life span. Replacing a roof before it reaches the end of its service life can help ensure that the roof will be safe from hurricane-force winds. Below are the expected life spans of most roofs.
- Clay tile: 30 years
- Slate: 50 years
- Wood shake: 20 years
- Fiberglass shingles: 20 years
Some homeowners have a hard time determining the age of their roof and thus are not sure when their roof will reach the end of its service life. If you’re not sure how old your roof is, check with your local building permit office for the permit that was pulled when the roof was installed.
If there is no record of a permit on file, have the age of the roof evaluated by a roofing professional. He or she can judge the age of the roof based on the wear and tear in the shingles or tiles.
Schedule Roof Work Early
Spring is a very busy time for roofing companies. Often, the best companies will become booked months in advance. Homeowners who do not contact roofers far enough in advance of the busy season will find themselves waiting months for roof repair. This could put you well into hurricane season without hurricane retrofitting.
To ensure your home is protected, start contacting roofers in your area now. Your roofer can check your roof for defects and retrofitting to ensure that your home is ready to face hurricane-force winds.
Contact a Reputable Roofer for More Information
If you have more questions about hurricane preparation, contact a reputable roofer with experience retrofitting residential roofs. A good roofer should be able to give you more information and can help you decide whether or not your roof needs to be retrofitted.
As your roofing company in Oldsmar, FL, Acoma Roofing Inc. is happy to answer your questions about hurricane retrofitting and hurricane preparation. To find out more about how you can keep your home safe from hurricanes this coming June, contact us today.