Whether you’ve lived in the Savannah area your whole life or just moved here last year, you have most likely heard of the dreaded hurricane season that seems to span the majority of the summer and fall (technically running from June 1 to December 1). After the damage that Hurricane Matthew brought just a few weeks ago, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to protect your roof in the event of a hurricane.
Inspect Your Roof before the Hurricane Comes
The vulnerability of a roof mostly depends on its age. One the easiest steps to take would be to call a professional (such as RPI roofing) to come inspect your roof. They would be able to tell you what needs to be done in order to have the most secure roof, and they could list some preventative steps to take in the meantime. With winds that can reach up to 155+ mph, hurricane winds can cause a lot of damage to a weakened roof—more than just releasing a few loose shingles.
To begin your inspection, check the surface of the roof, either from a ladder or from the ground with binoculars. Look for curled, loose, or missing shingles, especially along the edge of the roof. If the shingles are held in place by something other than nails, it would be a good idea to call a roofer, like RPI roofing.
If you’re able to get into the attic, examine the roof from there as well. Look for areas where light is coming in, which would mean there are gaps that could let in wind and water. Also examine the rafters or trusses (those long beams that support the roof) for protruding nails.
Minimize Wind Damage
There are a few ways to make your roof stronger against hurricane-strength wind and rain.
Replace loose or missing nails in your shingles (or other points where the roof connects to the rafters).
Invest in roofing cement. This multi-purpose material is used to patch and repair holes and leaks in roofs. Apply the cement to the edges of shingles using a caulking gun.
Apply construction adhesive along each side of rafters/trusses at the points where they connect to the roof deck.
Consider hiring a roofing professional to install hurricane straps and clips. These handy stainless steel clips create a stronger connection between the structural pieces of a roof. Not only do they offer protection from harsh winds, but they could also save money on insurance.
If you have a gable roof (one that’s an inverted V-shape with vertical walls on each end), you’re more vulnerable to wind damage. Installing wooden braces that attach the rafters to the ends of the gable roof will increase stability.
Seal areas where wires enter the home to decrease the chance of water damage.
As always, if the job seems too big and you want a professional hand, give RPI roofing a call. We’ve been your premier residential roofing company in Savannah, GA since 2006.