In the St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater and Fort Myers areas of Florida, hurricanes and other extreme weather events are common. We know that they can cause a lot of damage to homes and roofs. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it’s important to have a strategy to provide roof protection to prevent rain or wind damage to your roof.
Here are a few tips from our experienced team to help homeowners keep their homes safe from tropical winds and other weather events in Pinellas County and beyond.
Preventative measures can help mitigate damages to your home as storms approach. Before a storm hits, you can:
- Secure everything. During hurricanes and tropical storms, the most everyday items on your property can become deadly projectiles propelled by gale-force winds. Store outdoor furniture and barbecue grills in a secure space such as the garage before a storm, and make sure smaller sheds and other outbuildings are securely anchored to the ground. To protect your home from wind damage, it is important to not only consider the wind itself, but the damage that loose items blowing around can cause to and around your home. When storing items in the garage, make sure that the garage door is reinforced.
- Remember that trees can be killers. Any trees that are growing close to your home should be assessed for removal before hurricane season. Even healthy trees can easily blow over and damage your roof and even injure you or your family. At the very least, have tree removal services remove any branches hanging over your home.
- Secure anything that isn’t attached to the ground. Outdoor furniture, potted trees or plants, grills or anything else that isn’t secured to the ground should be stored inside the home. Anything flying through the air at 80 or more miles per hour can cause serious injury to your home and roof. Go around your yard and collect any decorations, tools or other loose metal objects before the storm arrives.
- Secure loose shingles. Any loose shingles should be reinforced with roofing nails. If you don’t feel comfortable getting on the roof, contact a professional roofing team to secure the shingles and make any needed improvements before storm season arrives.
- Reinforce windows and doors. Whether you invest in storm shutters and doors or attach plywood over your windows, you need to cover up all openings to prepare for a hurricane. Purchasing and installing hurricane shutters is the safest option to protect your home from wind damage, but boarding up with plywood panels is a quick solution in a hurry.
After the Storm
Roof damage can come in many forms. Here’s what to look out for:
- Creased shingles. Creasing usually occurs during severe windstorms. High winds lift the shingle up and down, repeatedly, creasing it. It can lead to the shingle breaking completely or to water penetrations.
- Uplifted shingles. When examining your roof from the ground, it can be difficult to ascertain if shingles have been lifted. Climbing a ladder to examine the roof can be dangerous, especially if you experienced vertigo. It’s better to ask for professional help. (You can click to schedule a free estimate with our team.)
- Roof punctures. High winds can pick up tree branches and other objects and hurl them at your home like mini-missiles. Punctures can also be difficult to spot from the ground, but a roofing pro will know what to look for.
- Other signs of damage. Heavy granular loss showing up in gutters, missing shingles, tears or cracks all indicate that your roof has suffered wind damage or material breakdown.
Regular roof inspections are a wise investment. Ideally, we encourage our clients to have inspections at least once a year, as well as after major storms such as Hurricane Ian. Frequent inspections can help homeowners save money because fixing small problems won’t lead to larger, more costly repairs.
How Homeowners Can Detect Damages
The worst storm damage isn’t always the easiest to see. You may have to go looking for it. During storm season, be prepared to inspect your roof periodically. The earlier you identify roof damage, the sooner you can a professional roofer to provide the necessary repairs before the next storm rolls in.
Begin in the attic during the daytime. Grab a bright flashlight and climb safely into the attic. What to look for:
- Sunlight showing through the roof decking. Possible cause? Holes in the roof decking. Urgency? Very important. Contact a roofing contractor ASAP.
- Dark stains or streaks of water. Urgency? Very important. Once mold starts to grow, it can be dangerous to your family’s health and well-being.
- Sagging of the roof deck. Urgency? Very important. Possible cause? Weakening of the roof deck from moisture. This could lead to structural issues or even collapse. You should have the roof inspected at the earliest opportunity.
Inspect the outside of your home. What to look for?
- Missing shingles. Possible cause? Wind damage. Urgency? Important. Missing shingles should be replaced ASAP.
- Cracked or curled shingles. Possible cause? High winds or flying debris. Urgency? Contact our team to determine if repairs or a reroof is best to protect your home and family.
- Dark patches of shingles and gutters filled with granules. Urgency? Important. Granules protect the underlayment of asphalt from the elements, including UV rays. Without them, the asphalt shingles can dry out, crack or even break off from the roof deck.
- Debris on the roof or around your home. Urgency? Important. Branches, leaves and other debris may be covering up other damages to your roof. The debris, over time, can rub loose the granules embedded in your shingles, exposing them to the elements. It’s important to keep your roof debris-free.
- Bent or detached flashing. Possible Cause? High wind or flying debris. Urgency? Important. Flashing helps keep water from chimneys, vents and other roof penetrations and should be thoroughly sealed to prevent water intrusion.
If you are comfortable climbing a ladder, then a review of your roof after a weather event can be helpful to spot any problem areas. If you are not comfortable climbing a ladder, then contact Classic for a free inspection. If you are climbing a ladder, then here’s what to be on the lookout for:
- Loose nails. Possible cause? High winds. Urgency? Important. Loose nails or nail heads raised above the shingle surface should be repaired as soon as possible.
- Debris in the gutters. Possible cause? High winds. Urgency? Clogged gutters can contribute to water damage to the outside of your home. Contact a professional to provide gutter cleaning services if you are not comfortable doing the job yourself.
Climb safely or not at all. When using a ladder, remember the three-point rule: Keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, on the ladder at all times. Keep ladders — and yourself — away from power lines. Remember: Wet branches conduct electricity, too. If you are not completely comfortable using a ladder, wait for a team member from your roofing company to arrive.
Dealing With Wind Damage
After storms, you may receive solicitations from unfamiliar contractors looking for work. Classic has been providing roofing services to homeowners in St Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater and Fort Myers areas of Florida for 20 years. All our full-time craftsmen are trained and certified via the GAF training academy. What’s more, we never use subcontractors.
The sooner you address storm damage to your roof, the more secure your roof, family and valuables will be for the next storm. Classic Roofing & Construction provides free estimates and easy financing, using our in-house team of craftsmen. Call us at 727-361-2798 in Tampa or 239-932-5225 in Fort Myers, or schedule a free estimate.