Preparing your house for an impending storm is essential to protect your home and ensure the safety of your family. By taking proactive measures, you can minimize potential damage and increase the resilience of the home, and you may be able to prevent having to file a roof storm damage insurance claim. While there might not always be time right before a storm to do everything on this list, keeping up with the exterior of the home and doing as much as possible before the storm arrives can make a big difference in how your home makes it through.
1. Clear Debris From the Roof
Remove any loose debris, such as leaves, branches, or twigs, from your roof. These items can cause roof storm damage by allowing water to pool on the roof, which damages the shingles and can lead to leaks. Debris can also end up puncturing the roof, causing more extensive damage during the storm. Regularly inspect your roof and clean it before a storm to avoid potential blockages.
2. Reinforce Loose Shingles
Inspect your roof for loose or damaged shingles before roof storm damage occurs. Replace any missing shingles and secure loose ones with roofing adhesive or nails. Loose shingles can be easily torn off during a storm, exposing your roof to further damage, especially if your home suffers roof hail damage. Reinforcing them before the storm hits can help maintain the integrity of your roof.
3. Cover the Roof With a Tarp
Sometimes, it’s not possible to fix a roof before a storm comes. When there is a storm and the roof is already damaged, further damage can destroy the roof and let water into the home. Having an expert put a tarp on the roof can help prevent further damage and ensure the roof’s stability during the storm to protect everything inside the home. After the storm, have a storm damage roof inspection done and begin repairs.
4. Check Flashing and Seals
Ensure that the flashing around chimneys, vents, skylights, and other roof penetrations is in good condition to prevent the need for extensive storm damage roof repair. Check for cracks, gaps, or deterioration and repair or replace as necessary. Additionally, inspect the seals around these areas to prevent water leakage during heavy rainfall. In severe storms, these components can suffer roof hail damage and may need to be fixed or replaced.
5. Reinforce Roof Anchors
If high winds occur regularly with storms, consider reinforcing your roof. Hurricane straps or anchors are designed to help prevent roof wind damage. These metal connectors help secure the roof structure to the walls, making it more resistant to strong winds. Consult a professional to assess the suitability and installation requirements for your specific roof type to ensure protection against roof wind damage.
6. Clean Out the Gutters
Clean your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water flow and prevent blockages. Remove leaves, debris, and any obstructions that could impede water drainage. This will help prevent water from overflowing and potentially causing damage to your home’s foundation or roof. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize debris accumulation in the future. This is something that should be done regularly, but can also be done right before a storm to make sure the home is prepared.
7. Secure Doors and Windows
Strong winds during a storm can cause significant damage by breaching doors and windows. Ensure that all doors and windows are properly secured. Reinforce weak points by installing storm shutters or plywood coverings. Seal any gaps or cracks around doors and windows with weatherstripping or caulking to prevent water infiltration. If water does enter around a door or window, take immediate action to prevent water damage inside the home.
8. Clear the Surroundings
Remove any loose objects from your yard or outdoor spaces that could become projectiles during high winds. Patio furniture, garden tools, and toys should be stored indoors or secured to prevent them from causing damage. Trim trees and branches close to your home to minimize the risk of them falling onto your property during the storm.
Remember, safety should always be your top priority. Regular maintenance and preparedness can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your roof during storms, providing you with peace of mind and protecting your home. It can also minimize the potential for having to file a roof storm damage insurance claim. If there is any damage, a storm damage roof inspection may be needed to determine the right storm damage roof repair.