Strong winds are most commonly associated with hurricanes and tornadoes. While these are extreme situations when damaging winds can strike a home and cause roof damage, any severe storm or even strong gusts of wind on a clear day can result in property damage. In addition to winds, heavy rain, hail and other elements can wreak havoc on the top of your home. When your roof is in excellent condition, it can more successfully withstand these elements and may be less susceptible to damage. These are a few steps you should take now and regularly going forward to protect your roof.
Schedule an Annual Inspection
If you are not in the habit of scheduling an annual roof inspection, you may be unintentionally exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. A professional roofer can identify weaknesses and deficiencies that make your home more susceptible to damage. These are weaknesses that you may not detect through your untrained eyes. Once you are aware of them, you can take steps to correct them and to get your home ready for the next big storm that passes through the area.
Check Your Roof Periodically
Your roof may be damaged between annual inspections and may require prompt attention as a result. Get in the habit of walking around your home to look for signs of roof damage on the ground, such as granules from the shingles or broken shingles. You can also inspect the roof from your ground-level vantage point to look for buckling and other issues that require immediate attention.
Inspect the Attic
After inspecting the roof’s condition from the exterior, venture up into your attic. Look for sunlight shining through the roof as well as unexplained moisture after a rain shower. These are serious concerns that indicate that the roof is vulnerable to more substantial damage when the next storm passes over your home. These issues also indicate the risk for water damage, pest infestations and other issues.
Make Repairs Quickly
Regardless of how you identify the need for repair work, the repairs should be made as soon as possible. The integrity of your roof influences its strength and its ability to protect your home as it should. Any weaknesses in the roof’s structure can expose your home to additional damages. This includes something as seemingly minor as a single missing shingle.
Trim the Trees
During storms, tree branches that are close to the roof can bend sharply and reach the home. They may also bend downward under the heavy weight of water, snow or ice. Your trees should be trimmed back at least a few feet away from the home. When possible, avoid letting tree branches hand directly over your roof. These branches may break off and cause structural damage to the roof and the home.
Consult with an Expert
Your home’s roof is only as strong as the gables and underlying structure that it is built on. An annual roofing inspection will not always identify issues with the structure that should be addressed. Making the assumption that the frame of the home is solid and secure can be dangerous. An engineering or structural expert can tell you about the strength of the home’s frame.
Reinforce the Structure
If structural issues are identified, these should be addressed immediately. You may learn that the structural integrity is sufficient, but the expert may recommend specific projects to reinforce it in its most vulnerable areas. This may be particularly important if you live in an area where strong winds or heavy layers of snow and ice are common.
Depending on the climate where you live, your home may endure tremendous force from severe storms. Your roof often is impacted most significantly by these storms, so it must be strong and free of vulnerabilities. Each of these important tips will help you to maximize the benefits of a quality roof going forward.