5 Tips to Prepare Your Roof for Hurricane Season
A hurricane can be a scary time. But if you live in a hurricane-prone area, you are probably a pro! Whether you are a business owner or building owner, you want to protect your property during hurricane season.
In this article, we cover when hurricane season is, what kind of damage hurricanes cause and 5 tips for preparing your roof for hurricane season.
When is Hurricane Season?
“The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from 1 June to 30 November” according to the National Hurricane Center. “The peak of the season is from mid-August to late October.”
What Kind of Damage Can Hurricanes Cause?
It’s crazy how something you can’t even see can cause so much damage. Wind can cause a ton of havoc to your roof. Wind can cause damage in a number of ways:
- Blow off roof or roof accessories
- Throwing items onto your roof
- Ripping mounted hardware out of your roof
Where there are strong winds, water and hail are likely to be close behind. Where the wind can cause damage to your roof system, there are vulnerable areas for water to enter your building. This water can cause issues with your building insulation, structure, and your property inside.
How to Prepare Your Roof for Hurricane Season
1. Schedule an Evaluation
If you are in a hurricane-prone area, yearly roof evaluations are a must. Having a knowledgeable contractor on your roof before hurricane season will ensure that there are no issues on your roof that a hurricane can make worse. Before hurricane season is the best time to have a contractor perform repairs and double check the integrity of your roof.
Your roofing contractor will look at the following areas of your roof:
- Membrane – make sure there are no rips, punctures, holes or effects of aging.
- Flashings – make sure all flashings are correctly attached and sealed.
- Mounted Equipment – make sure the penetrations are properly sealed and that the equipment is securely attached.
- Gutters/Downspouts – make sure all gutters, drains, and downspouts properly attached and flowing to the proper location.
You can even do one better with two yearly inspections: one before and one after hurricane season.
2. Trim Nearby Trees
Strong winds of a hurricane can destroy buildings and throw cars across town, do you trust those tree branches that hang over your building?
When you reach May or June, right before hurricane season, take a walk around your building and identify dead, broken or oversized trees and tree branches. These can easily be blown off during a storm and land on your building.
3. Continue with Regular Maintenance
A maintenance program is a great way to be proactive with your roof system. Having a roofing contractor keep up the maintenance of your roof is one of the best ways to ensure that your roof is ready to stand up to incoming hurricanes.
Regular maintenance can catch preliminary roof issues before they get worse, saving you money.
4. Clear Gutters and Drains
We discussed above the damage that can come from water during and after a hurricane. Cleaning and making sure your gutters are clear is essential because your gutter system takes water from your roof system down to the ground.
If your gutters are clogged, the backed-up water will sit on your roof, and the probability of water entering your building will increase.
5. Keep Up to Date with Insurance and Warranties
When a hurricane passes through your area, it can be chaotic in the aftermath. You can be a step ahead of your competitors and neighbors by having all of your documentation prepared and in a safe and easily accessible place.
Ideas of documents to keep:
- Any applicable warranties
- Insurance documentation
- Any before photos
- Contact information for contractors, insurance agents and other key contacts
When hurricane season comes, protecting people is the most important. With a thought-out and well-implemented preparation plan, you don’t have to think twice about your roof during a hurricane.
Contact our team today to evaluate and help prepare your roof for the upcoming hurricane season.
Author: Aubrey Barto
Aubrey Barto is the Marketing Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. She has two BAs in News and Media Production with Certifications from Hubspot, HootSuite, University of San Francisco and Wharton School of Business. Aubrey works closely with West Roofing’s sales and service teams, she is up on our roofs taking photos and videos for our website regularly.