How to Protect Your Roof Before a Storm

While any roof can sustain damage during a storm, older homes are especially vulnerable to leaks and damage from winds. As a homeowner, you can take the following steps to protect your roof from severe weather. This will pay off during hurricane season and help you save money on your homeowner's insurance as well.

Get an Inspection

When tropical weather strikes, it can bring winds of 155 mph or more. Your roof will take the most punishment in this event, losing tiles, shingles and the underlying deck. A roof that is maintained well will be more resistant to powerful winds. You should inspect your roof each year and look for the following:

  • Missing tiles and shingles or loose material. Pay close attention to all roof edges. If shingles are curling up, use a caulking gun and cement down the edges. Not doing this is an invitation to disaster.
  • Nail spacing. These should be placed at four-inch intervals, and the roof deck should not be secured to the rafters with staples. Construction adhesive placed along the sides of trusses and rafters will provide a better seal to the decking.
  • Gaps in the roof from inside of the attic. These spaces will allow water and wind inside of your home. Nail tips that stick out may indicate the roof deck is not secured properly. Missing or mishammered nails should be replaced to strengthen the decking.

If you hire a roofing contractor to perform the inspection, it is possible your home can be fitted with hurricane clips to hold the roof to the walls. It should be noted that while the clips are low cost, they are difficult to install in a home that is already built. In addition, gable roofs are especially vulnerable to a wind storm. Sealing the vents may be helpful in this situation because it will prevent a buildup of air pressure.

Reduce Insurance Cost

  • When you live in an area that is prone to tropical weather, you need special insurance. You can save money on your hurricane policy by taking the steps above and adding other items like metal storm shutters. Consult with your agent to to see if your home qualifies for these significant discounts.
  • Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. By taking the time to plan, prepare and protect your roof, you can live there for many years to come even when nature does its worst.