Since September 11, 2001, the federal government has declared September to be National Preparedness Month. Living in Florida, we know that hurricanes comprise a regular threat with the season beginning in September. It seems that no sooner have we recovered from one major storm, then another one threatens.
Have you prepared your roof for this year’s hurricane season? If not, it’s time to do so. What steps should you take?
Cut Back Trees
For all the benefits you derive from your shade trees, they can become your worst nightmare in a violent storm. If your trees overhang your roof, you should cut them back. If high winds break off limbs, they can smash or pierce your roof. Also, outlying trees should be relieved of any dead branches and all should be pruned to maintain good health. Strong landscaping vegetation can more readily resist the uprooting and branch-snapping force of a hurricane.
Establish a Relationship with a Trusted Roofing Company
Even if you possess the talents for ordinary roof repairs, it pays to have a reliable roofing company on your speed dial. Serious and sudden damage requires professional repairs. Plus, if your roof sustained an injury during a storm that you can’t fix yourself, you’ll receive a faster response if you’re already a customer of a roofer. New business usually waits until the company has taken care of its established client base first.
Secure Loose Shingles and Flashings
Take the time to inspect your roof while the weather remains nice and calm. If your roof has asphalt shingles, bring a long-handled probe and a tube of shingle-sticking adhesive. Check the seals on each shingle, gluing back down any loose ones you find. Also, pay close attention to any metal flashing where an edge is exposed. Typically, skylights, pipe jacks, and sidewall flashings will have an exposed edge. If any appear bent upwards or have the fastening nails popping up, re-secure them. Often, just pounding the nails back in will suffice, but be prepared to replace nails or screws.
While you’re up on the ladder, check for leaves and debris in your gutters. Make sure they’re squeaky clean in advance of hurricane season. Be sure to flush out the downspouts, too. If water backs up in your gutters during heavy rains, it can also flow into your exterior walls and soffits, not to mention how it can erode the ground around your foundation.
Have a Ladder Handy
If you prefer to never climb a ladder and your roof, you probably already have a roofer available to prepare your roof this year. Even so, in the event of sudden calamity, you may need to deal with roof damage on your own before your roofer can arrive. Keep a ladder available in your garage for this purpose. If you can find an emergency helper, they may not have a ladder or the means to bring it to your home.
Buy Large Tarps and Nails
Should your roof take the worst of a storm, most likely you will have to cover the damaged area yourself to prevent water penetration into your home. Buy large tarps and roofing nails and store them near your ladder. Also, consider smaller tarps for any skylights. These you can strap in place with a series of bungee cords.
Keep in mind the principles of flowing water. To protect a leaking area, you’ll have to tarp up and over the ridge(s) to prevent water from flowing under your tarp and directly into the exposed area. Never attempt to anchor the tarp. Always nail it to the roof. Don’t worry about creating holes in good shingles; worry about what those anchors will do when the wind whips the tarp and sends them flying. Unless you can park your car up there to anchor a tarp, always nail it.
Lastly, keep your roof in good shape even when it isn’t National Preparedness Month. One way to maintain a serviceable roof for as long as possible is to keep the mold and moss from eating away at the system. Beacon Roof and Exterior Cleaning specialize in mold, moss and algae removal and prevention. Give us a call today!