How To Protect Your Roof Against Hurricanes And Other Severe Storms

This year's hurricane season may be halfway over, but it's not time to let up your guard just yet. In fact, late August through September is usually when storm activity reaches its peak. Given that a hurricane can generate strong winds in excess of 155 mph, it's crucial that your home's roof be able to withstand the onslaught of a potential storm. The following offers a few ways you can prepare your roof for the next severe storm.

Have Your Roof Thoroughly Inspected

Having a skilled professional take an in-depth look at your roof should be the first step towards protecting it against hurricane and severe storm damage. In addition to spotting pre-existing damage that needs to be taken care of, and experienced roofing contractor can also identify areas of your roof that could benefit from additional protection.

It's usually a good idea to have your roof inspected at least once a year, although an additional inspection may be useful when repairing damage from previous storms. This way, you won't be in for any surprises when it comes to improving your roof.

Use Upgraded Roofing Materials

There are plenty of ways a severe storm can wreak havoc on your roof. The uplift effect caused by strong straight-line winds can easily dislodge portions of your roof, including the underlying deck. Impact damage from hail and falling debris can shatter tiles and shingles. Driving winds can even allow rainwater to infiltrate the roof, resulting in water damage on walls and ceilings.

Using stronger roofing materials can help give your roof a better chance of resisting these types of damages. These materials include:

  • Impact-resistant tiles and shingles that are designed to withstand impacts from hail, falling branches and other types of debris during severe storms.
  • Asphalt shingles designed to withstand high winds. Special installation methods should also be used when installing asphalt shingles in hurricane-prone areas.
  • Roofing nails featuring barbed shanks that are less prone to being dislodged under high-wind conditions.

Keep in mind that these fortified roofing materials may be a bit more expensive than what you're used to paying. However, it's a long-term investment that will help keep your roof intact in future storms.

Shore Up Your Roof Structure

In addition to using stronger roofing materials, you should also consider fortifying the underlying structure of your roof. There are plenty of ways you can go about shoring up the roof structure. For instance, adding a thin bead of construction adhesive along seams connecting the rafters and deck can help increase the roof structure's overall strength. Here are a few other ideas for strengthening the roof structure:

  • Applying roofing cement along roof edges and underneath shingle tabs can help prevent shingles from being dislodged by high winds.
  • Metal hurricane clips provide a physical link between your home's roof and walls, providing your roof with additional structural support.
  • Adding a secure underlayment to the roof decking can help prevent moisture intrusion during severe storms.

Increasing the robustness of your roof structure can help it withstand damage that could be caused by high winds, large-sized hail or fast-moving debris.

Repair Roofing Damage Immediately

Damage from previous storms can leave your roof vulnerable to an upcoming storm, intensifying the damage while making it more difficult and more expensive to repair. For this reason, it's usually best to repair any damages sustained during a previous hurricane or severe storm as soon as possible.

It's also good idea to mitigate or even eliminate any landscaping variables that could severely damage your roof in the event of a hurricane or other severe storm. This includes trimming back trees and bushes that could turn shed branches into potentially dangerous projectiles during an intense storm.

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