A hurricane or other strong storm can do excessive damage to the roof of your house. That is why it is important to carry out both pre-storm and post-storm checks.
Both high speed winds and significant rainfall have implications on the safety and structure of your building and can cause leaks.
Leaks can, in turn, cause indoor flooding and an unstable roof. Here are some pre and post storm tips for coping with a hurricane or other severe weather event.
Before the Storm
Before the storm it is essential you carry out a number of checks.
Look for Potential Debris
For safety reasons, it is important to secure any loose debris or elements of the roof which could dismantle or travel during high winds.
Loose debris can be a hazard when moving at high speed and may inflict damage elsewhere.
Furthermore, roofing tiles assist in deterring rain water away from the house, something that won’t be possible if they’re ripped away.
Check the Flashings
Flashings are metal building materials which are used to help structure and build a stable roof by attaching it to other parts of the home. These too can come loose during rapid winds so it’s best to test their tightness in advance.
Secure Rooftop Equipment
Any equipment such as AC vents on the roof will need to be examined to ensure it will withstand a hurricane. Make sure they are attached properly if there’s any doubt.
Plywood is relatively durable and can be used to cover up skylights. Pieces should be at least ¾ inches thick and solid enough to protect the lenses. This should be attached so that there is no possibility of it flying away in the wind.
Of course, it’s not just wind you need to prepare for.
Rain can cause flooding if drains aren’t clean and clear, so it’s a good idea to remove blockages. Failing to do this may lead to a buildup of water in the roof itself which can ultimately cause a devastating collapse.
Prepare For the Worst
Prior to a storm, there are ways to ensure that any insurance claims you may need to make post-storm are processed smoothly.
Taking photographs of the roof in its current state will serve as evidence if it becomes damaged. A pre-storm inspection () can also assist in ensuring your roof is in good standing order and serves as further evidence of your current roof condition.
After the Storm
Following a storm or hurricane, the first step is to conduct an indoor inspection. It is essential to do this before examining the outer building as it will provide clues as to where any damage has occurred.
This involves examining the ceilings and walls for cracks, damp, leaks or damage. If there is a visible leak, it could be due to your roof tiles coming loose or being ripped off altogether.
The next step is to go onto the roof and look for any tiles that are missing, dislodged or displaced.
These will need to be secured again (or replaced with new tiles if they are too damaged).
Another thing to look for is if there’s any metal flashings missing, as this is another common cause of leaks. If you find any gone, or if they’re coming loose, they will require a replacement as soon as possible.
You may have a rough idea of where a leak is occurring, but if you need to narrow it down any further, use a hose pipe to experiment with different sections of the roof and see if any water runs through the roof into the structure.
Another thing to consider is the drain. If there was a lot of rain during the hurricane then it would have put your guttering system through its paces.
Inspect this again to ensure there’s no clogging from leaves or mud. This will save you no small amount of time and trouble in the future.
You can take a number of proactive steps to make sure that your roof is in good standing order should a hurricane occur. There are also important checks and inspections that need to be completed post-storm to ensure the good maintenance of your roof.
Make sure you’re prepared for what Mother Nature will throw at us this season & get in touch with us. Remember, luck favors the prepared so don’t neglect your roof!