How to Make Your Roof Stronger Before a Storm
The high winds, hail, falling debris, and rain during a storm can damage your roof in several ways. High winds can rip off any shingles that are not well-fixed, while hail and debris can break shingles. Heavy rains, on the other hand, can cause water to pool on parts of the roof, causing leaks that can lead to rotting and slow damage to the roof after a storm. You have to storm-proof your roof or be ready for costly damages.
Fasten the Metal Drip Edges
Drip edges keep your shingles protected from wind uplift. You need to fasten these drip edges to the roof sheathing and roof framing. According to IRC, every roof should have metal drip edges along its eave edges and rake. These edges should be fastened with roofing nails about 12 inches apart and with an overlap of about 2 inches between each section. If your area experiences heavy storms, you can go above the recommendations of IRC and have the nails 4 inches apart and overlap the joints by 3 inches. Ensure that the nails are into the framing, not just the sheathing.
Add Nails to the Shingles
The positioning of the nails and the manner in which you nail determines how well the shingles resist an uplift. If your nails are off-angle, and you drive them too much, it can fracture the base that holds the shingle. This will reduce the shingle's wind resistance. If you have mis-driven nails, you should add another nail about an inch away without pulling off the off-angle nail.
Under-driven nails are also a danger. They hold up the shingles, removing the self-seal strip that keeps water flowing. If you live in a high-wind zone, you need to add nails to shingles for them to perform as advertised. The four-nail pattern can serve you if you live in an area where winds are not as high, but in some areas, you need a six-nail pattern.
Clear the Surroundings
Debris causes so much damage to the roof. In areas with high winds, more than 70 mph, heavy debris can be lifted to the level of the roof, causing costly damages. Start by pruning trees near the home and removing any dead trees and branches from around the home. Remove patio furniture and anything else around the compound that can be blown by the wind. Note that winds of about 100 mph can lift off a car; what will it do to a small patio couch?
Check the Roof For and Fix Any Leaks
The last thing you need during a storm is a leaking roof. A small leak can cause so much damage to the roof structure and make your home uncomfortable. Check if there are water spots on your ceiling as these indicate a leak. Water marks on the sides of the walls can also indicate a leak from the roof. Have a professional repair these leaks before the storm begins, and you will be good to go.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
You need to keep the water flowing at all times. You can do this by ensuring the gutters and downspouts are always clean. Ensure there is no blockage in either the gutter or the downspouts as these can lead to water damage when the storm starts. Ensure you have the right ridge vent and you have it nailed correctly to ensure there is no water pooling on the roof.
Besides, you need to keep the doors and the windows protected from the storm. If a door or window breaks, it causes so much pressure, which can weigh down the roof in places with high wind.
Is Your Roof Protected In Case It Sustains Damages?
Is your roof covered in your house insurance policy? Storms hit fast and leave so much damage. At times, you will not manage to prepare enough. The weather department might give a warning, but before you take action, the storm hits. As such, you need to ensure you have comprehensive protection.
For starters, check your insurance policies for details, such as deductibles and the process of filing a claim. For instance, check which type of damage is covered and take photos of the inside and outside of the home before a storm. These photos will help you make a claim.
You need a simple and reliable way to check when the next storm will hit. Keep a battery-powered radio in case power goes out and you are in the dark not knowing what to expect. Again, have an emergency kit for bad weather days.
If your roof is installed well, you have the right shingles or other materials, the right nails and right nailing, and you have all the needed features of a standard roof, you do not need to worry. You can have a professional do one maintenance sweep for leaks and any damages, and you will be good to go.