How to Prepare your Home for a Hurricane

November 13, 2020

We all know that the official hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 and that a hurricane can pack winds in excess of 155 mph. Wind so strong can easily pull off roof shingles, tiles, or even the underlying roof deck. But did you know that a hurricane doesn’t need to be big in order to ruin your home? If you prepare properly you can avoid the damage. If not, your home can feel the consequences even by as little as the outer bands from a tropical storm or a heavy thunderstorm. The vast majority of people don’t really care about their roofs until they see a wet stain on the ceiling. But when that happens it might be too late. The integrity of the roof could be deteriorating for a while already.

We are going to give you some tips on how you could prevent this from happening and how to prepare yourself for a hurricane so stay with us.

Get your Roof Inspected

What you should be searching for are curled loose or missing shingles or roof tiles, especially to the edges of the roof. Your nails should be approximately four inches apart along edges as well. If you have an attic, you should inspect the roof from the inside. If you don’t know what you are looking for you should definitely hire a qualified roofing contractor. You can of course manually inspect it yourself but the contractor has years of knowledge and experience which helps him to pinpoint any endangered areas on the roof and tell you its life expectancy and estimates for repair.

Best Roof Types to Have in Case of a Hurricane

  • Tile Roofs

These roofs offer amazing protection during a hurricane, but it is important to secure any loose tiles before the storm season. They can go airborne during a hurricane causing untold damage to surrounding buildings.

  • Metal Roofs

If your metal roof already survived a storm, you should definitely check the flashing details on it. And if there are exposed fasteners on it, they need to be examined for proper installation and be tightened if necessary. If you are thinking about a new metal roof you should take into account that the galvanized roof manufacturers require at least a half a mile distance to the ocean or any brackish water to qualify for a warranty on the material.

  • Shingle Roofs

Shingles are not made to defy high hurricane-force winds. Their integral locking tabs and factory-applied adhesives sometimes do not adhere properly to the shingle below. Have a qualified contractor inspect them to see if the adhesive works properly and if there is any penetration in the weak sections. You should replace damaged shingles as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage.

  • Connections Matter

The connection between the roof and walls should be strong enough to resist the uplift effect of strong winds. Roof trusses or rafters need to be tied properly to exterior walls with metal hurricane connectors or straps. Have somebody check the connections and use specially designed metal connectors to attach the roof trusses to the wall studs as if necessary. The end wall of a gable roof takes a tremendous beating during a hurricane. If not properly braced, it can collapse, causing significant damage. However, gable end walls are easy to strengthen and deserve to be a high priority on your hurricane preparedness list. 

  • Identify your home vulnerable points

Before a hurricane, you should take a look at the surroundings of your home to identify any weak spots. Protect your windows and doors, Bring in lawn furniture and other items that could become flying projectiles when strong winds hit. Also, protect electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.

  • Get your trees trimmed

It can be very dangerous to have trees hanging over your roof in the middle of a hurricane. It is not uncommon for a weak tree limb to snap and damage your home. If it falls on your roof it might cause severe water intrusion and cause electrical issues. If unlucky it can even hurt someone inside your home.

  • Clean your gutters and drainage systems

Don’t neglect your gutters and drainage systems throughout the year because if they are stuck in case of a hurricane, the water could intrude your home. Clean it up beforehand!

These are just some of the tips you should take into consideration before facing a hurricane. Prepare yourself and stay safe!