Charleston Roofing: Article About Hurricane Readiness
Your roof is your home's first line of defense against the ravaging winds and relentless rain of a hurricane. Unfortunately, once a hurricane watch is announced, you have dozens of tasks and countless details to handle, and there simply is not enough time or manpower to adequately shore up your roof. That's why it's critical to take steps to ready your roof before hurricane season begins.
If your home or roof is fairly new, your professional Charleston roofing contractor has probably already put some measures in place to ensure that your roof is able to weather a fierce hurricane. Whether protections are in place or not, however, it's a good idea to perform a quick check of your roofing system now, before a hurricane is imminent.
Hurricane roof preparations are conducted both inside your home and outside, so pick a mild day for your inspection. In your attic, examine your trusses carefully. Your trusses support your entire roofing system, so they must be secured. If you're not sure how to do this, refer to the American Red Cross and FEMA hurricane preparation booklet illustrating proper bracing methods. Once trusses are secured, add hurricane straps for extra support.
Now, inspect the underside of the roof deck where it is attached to your trusses. Look for evidence that the fastenings between the trusses and decking boards may be wearing.
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Replace loose nails and add a line of construction adhesive between the two structures for extra assurance. Any wind that can come through your roof deck and into your attic can cause wind pressure to build up in your home, so if you see any bare spots in your roofing deck, fix them.
Next, walk around the outside of your home and take care of any tree branches or limbs that look like they could snap due to hurricane forces. Make note of any lawn ornaments, decorations or accessories that could become airborne in strong winds, and keep that list for last-minute hurricane preparations.
During a hurricane, failing asphalt shingles are the biggest contributors to wind damage and losses, so make sure yours are all completely secure. Shingles more than six years old, shingles on the ridge and hip joints and shingles along the eaves and rake are particularly at risk because they are more often partially unsealed or unfastened. Even worse, once one shingle becomes loosened and blows off the roof, each subsequent shingle is more likely to do the same.
To protect against shingle blow-off, re-nail loosened fasteners and run roofing cement along the shingle edges. Make sure that both sides of hip and ridge shingles are firmly attached to the roof deck, and secure shingles lining your eaves.
With your shingles tightly secured and your trusses braced, you can plan other storm preparations. For more information about additional ways to ready your roof for a severe storm, talk to your experienced roofer.