Preparing your Home for Hurricane Season
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Hurricane season is upon us and forecasters predict the 2020 hurricane season to be above average, so now is the time to be prepared. OSHA states that a Category 3 hurricane or greater can cause catastrophic damage. Winds ranging from 110-158 mph or higher can hit cities or entire states. During a category 3 hurricane you can expect everything from uprooted trees, fallen utility poles, and roofs being stripped from buildings. A Category 1 hurricane can generate anywhere from 75-95 mph sustained winds and can cause severe damage to roofs.
To keep your roof protected this hurricane season our roofing repair pro’s have put together a list of helpful tips that you can follow to make sure your roof is prepared.
1. Your Safety First - Evacuate if Needed
While it's important to prepare for a hurricane, your top priority should be to stay safe and follow any instructions by your local officials about sheltering or evacuations. A hurricane evacuation notice should not be taken lightly and any instructions to evacuate from your local officials should be followed. Property is replaceable but a life is not. With that being said your safety is also important when inspecting or assessing your roof and should be done by training roofing professional.
2. Get a Professional to Inspect your Roof
If you are located in a hurricane-prone area, yearly evaluations are a must. Having a knowledgeable contractor on your roof before or during hurricane season will ensure that there are no issues. Have a roof repair technician perform repairs and double check the integrity of your roof.
A 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 are properly attached and flowing to the proper location.
3. Review your Insurance Policy
Stay a step ahead of any hurricane damage that may occur during a storm. Reviewing your insurance policy before a hurricane hits is one way to do that. This process includes preparing and storing pertinent documentation, such as warranties, insurance policies, photos of your home, and contact information.
Birmingham Roofs reminds homeowners that, if they haven’t done so already, they should consider adding flood insurance to their coverage, as most homeowner’s policies do not cover hurricane-related floods.
If you have the time, make sure there are no coverage gaps in your policy. Anything can happen during a hurricane—you should have peace of mind knowing you are fully covered.
When it comes to filing an insurance claim after the fact, you need to have well-documented evidence of the hurricane damage. That means having proof of what your house looked like before and after the storm hit. If you can clearly show the damage from the hurricane, your claim is exponentially more likely to be approved.
4. Trim Surrounding Trees and Shrubbery
One of the most dangerous, yet overlooked steps you can take to ensure roof safety during a hurricane is to trim the trees in your yard. Often, the first thing that you’ll notice during a hurricane are tree branches spread all over the streets.
These branches can impale a roof and if heavy enough, they are extremely dangerous to your roof’s structural integrity. We suggest that you cut down all loose or vulnerable branches before hurricane season, and make sure that branches are never within six feet of your house.
5. Clean Gutters and Downspout
You’ll want to clean your gutters and downspout before the rain and storm hits your area. Gutters are like a magnet for leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other debris easily clogging them. When strong rains come and the water can’t flow freely, it will get backed up, which could cause standing water on your roof. This extra weight puts a strain on the structure and can lead to a leak in your home.
Have more questions or concerns about protecting your roof before a storm?
Call Birmingham Roofs at 205-593-4487.