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How to Prepare Your Roof for a Major Storm

While the seasons come and go, one of any homeowner's biggest enemies is the weather. Weather is the primary cause of wear and tear on the outside of your house and no matter what the sky is doing, you can't win. Sunshine will slowly degrade the quality of your roof and fade the finish of your exterior. Rain increases your chance of leaks and flooding, and even something that seems harmless like wind can literally rip the shingles right off your roof with impunity. Whether you're battening down the hatches for a summer hurricane, or getting ready for the intense sun our Florida summer's bring, it's important to understand what you can do at home to prepare your house and your roof to withstand the onslaught that mother nature is about to bring down.

Batten Down Your Hatches

Battening down the hatches is an old mariner term used on ships when a storm is on the way. The idea is to close all the doors, trapdoors, and portholes to make sure that water that hits the sides, sloshes up over the deck, or rains down from the sky can't cause the inside of the ship to fill. For your home, on the other hand, this means securing every door and window tightly. Double-check your weatherstripping and replace if necessary.

Why do doors and windows matter to your roof? During a storm, air pressure is a major issue. If a door or window blows open, can suddenly increase the air pressure in your home and push the roof upward, subtly decreasing its stability. To avoid this, keep your windows and doors closed during the storm.

Clean Your Gutters and Drain Spouts

Whether you expect heavy wind or rain, the last thing you want during a storm is for your gutters to fill and clog. This can cause your entire precipitation management system to overflow resulting in dangerous puddles sitting on the edge of your roof and water spilling out over the sides of your gutters. The gutters and drain spouts are there to direct water away from the home to reduce wear and tear on the roof and siding and to minimize the chances of pervasive water damage. Perhaps worse, gutters made heavy by soaked leaves and sticks can literally break away from the roof and fall, ripping bits of roof away with it.

To protect your roof, siding, and gutters all at once, make sure the gutters are clear and the drain spouts are unclogged before the storm hits. 

Trim Back Branches

Intense wind and large hailstones are the worst that a storm can generally do on its own, which is bad enough, but the most damaging thing a storm can do to your roof is to drop a tree branch on it. These heavy once-living objects can shatter tiles, crack your roof supports, and cost you many thousands of dollars in repairs. The best way to prevent this kind of disaster is to keep your trees carefully trimmed away from the roof. While there's nothing you can do about winds strong enough to blow a tree branch across the neighborhood, you can at least avoid your own tree branches falling onto your roof.

Get a Professional Consultation

If you're really worried about the integrity of your roof over the course of the next few storms, consider calling a professional roofing service for an inspection and consultation on storm preparation techniques. They might be able to install roof-ties which make your roof more secure against big windy storms like hurricanes and tornadoes or they may simply suggest a few routine repairs to ensure that all your roofing shingles and structure are completely secure before the storm hits. For more helpful roofing tips or to schedule an inspection for your roof soon, contact us today.

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