Hurricanes and Roof Damage

There is a small percentage of area in the United States that is affected by hurricanes, but if you live within that area, you are well aware of the sheer power that those types of storms can bring along with them.  Hurricanes can bring winds that are so strong they have the ability to rip roofs right from homes and businesses.  The odds are pretty good that if you live in the areas along the coast that are affected by hurricanes that your home or business has been prepared for the hurricane season.  If not, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you are not going to be looking for your shingles, gutters or entire roof after the next storm.  Some of the upgrades that you can do are quite inexpensive and can be done by the average homeowner, but not all of them.

The upgrades will also depend on how old your home is.  Keeping your roof on during the hurricane season is going to be the best thing for your home as a whole.  As long as your roof stays on, the odds are better that the rest of your home stays where it is supposed to be.  Storms that pack winds that are moving at 155 MPH or higher can put a lot of force on your shingles, tiles or even the plywood underlayment.  If your roof is well maintained and built correctly, it will weather the storm and your home should be safe to see another day.  In order to see what help your roof might need you need to get as close to the trusses and rafters as you can.  Take a good look at how the rafters are attached to the rest of the house and be aware of any places that look stressed or broken.

Your roof can be inspected by a professional for a couple of hundred dollars, if you are not confident that you can do it yourself.  Take a look at the outside of your roof as well, keeping attention on curled shingles, missing tiles or anything that looks loose.  Having just one loose or missing shingle and the domino effect can take place during high winds.  While in the attic, make sure you are looking for points of light that might be coming through.  This is a dead giveaway that something is not right and it should be noted and fixed right away.  If you see the tips of nails through your roof, realize that it might not be secured enough to take on the winds from large coastal storms.

A few ways that you can get more strength out of your roof include sealing down the shingles using a caulking gun and roofing cement.  You can also use construction adhesive to secure the ends of rafters to the deck to add strength.  Anywhere you see an exposed edge you can apply the roofing cement to help seal them up from water and possible wind damage.  The overall roof structure can be strengthened with the use of “hurricane” clips or straps.  These will connect your roof to the home’s walls and add more strength to the entire structure.  If you are living in an older home, this might be one of the cheapest ways to add strength to the roof, but they are not that easy to apply as they would be with a new construction.  If you are worried about the overall costs of getting your roof up to speed for hurricane season, ask your home insurance company if they provide any type of discounts for those upgrades.

Even in Florida where hurricanes hit just about every year, the average homeowner can save up to $4,500 per year if they added hurricane upgrades to their home.  If you are building a brand new home, it is a lot easier to have the hurricane upgrades made and it would be a recommendation of most home inspectors if you live in areas affected by hurricanes regularly.  Remember that a well maintained roof will cost you less in the long run.  Two inspections of the roof by you can make you aware of things that could cost you thousands of dollars if left ignored.

Michael Gustafson

Michael Gustafson

Gustafson Roofing is a local, family-owned roofing company that has been serving the Boynton Beach, Florida area since 1948. As one of the most experienced roofing contractors in the region, Gustafson Roofing provides a full range of roofing services, from installation of new roofing systems to repairs and maintenance. They are experts in roof replacements, installing various types of roofs, including asphalt shingle, metal, tile, and flat roofs. In addition to reroofing, the company offers roof leak repairs and inspection services to keep clients’ roofs protected. With over 60 years in business, Gustafson Roofing prides itself on quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction.