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It’s Hurricane Season – Is Your Roof Ready?

Posted on August 13, 2013

Hurricane Roof Damage

A hurricane ripped off the roof sheathing on this house at the gable end, a common failure point. (Photo courtesy of the Florida Division of Emergency Management)

Peak hurricane season is here and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an above normal Atlantic hurricane season, with the potential for it to be very active from mid-August through November. With images of damage from Hurricane Sandy still fresh in our minds, they provide a reality check of the roof damage one singular hurricane can cause.

Hurricane Roof Damage Can Be Extensive

With major storms reaching top winds of 39 mph, hurricanes with top winds of 74 mph and major hurricanes reaching top winds of at least 111 mph, one could imagine how much pressure is put on your rooftop. Add to this the wind velocity, torrential rains, wind gusts, blown down trees and flying debris, and the potential for significant roof damage increases. In fact, roofs are most at risk for damage during a hurricane, followed by the home’s walls, windows and foundation.

Research from John Hopkins University identified three top ways a hurricane can damage a roof:

  1. Uplifts shingles and subsequently tears other shingles at the fasteners.
  2. Blows away roof sheathing, compromising the roof’s structural system.
  3. Punctures the roof by uplifting ground debris, like tree limbs, signs, siding, etc.

Most hurricane roof damage can cause water to penetrate through the home, resulting in interior damage to ceilings, walls, flooring and furnishings.

Getting Your Roof Ready for a Hurricane

The same John Hopkins University report found that homeowners can take steps to minimize roof damage from a hurricane. A good starting point is a Roofing Annex roof inspection, especially if your roof is a few years away from its life expectancy. A roof inspection will look for any roofing problems so roof repairs can be made before a major storm or hurricane hits.

Roofing issues that will not withstand the affects of a hurricane are:

  • Inadequately attached roof coverings. Shingles or tiles that are loose can cause damage to eaves and corners of the roof. During a hurricane, the interior of your home will be at risk.
  • Missing shingles and tiles. Missing shingles weaken your roof, making it unable to withstand top hurricane winds.
  • Some degree of roof damage. If a roof is already compromised, a hurricane is likely to damage it more.
  • An improper connection between the roof and exterior walls, which could cause the walls of the home to collapse during a major hurricane.
  • Misaligned fasteners. When misaligned, fasteners are not providing the support needed to secure your roof.
  • Shingles and adhesives that are inadequate to handle wind speeds.
  • Failure of roofing adhesive, nails and mortar connections. This occurs from wear and tear, loosening your shingles.

A certified roof inspection will identify any of these issues so they can be addressed before severe storms hit.

Make Use of Our Storm Damage Services

Sometimes roof damage can happen to your roof no matter how many proactive steps you take. For example, hail can cause damage even on new roofs, although it is not as severe as that on older roofs. If your roof suffers storm damage, get in touch with the Roofing Annex. Our storm damage services will ease your anxiety and get your life back to order quickly.

We’ll even help you through the roof damage insurance claim process, or, with your permission, work directly with your insurance company. Even if you can’t see roof damage, you should always have a storm damage roof inspection done after a major storm to ensure the structural integrity of your roof has not been impacted. Our professional and certified roof inspectors are dedicated to ensuring the safety of your roof. After all, the rest of your house depends on it!

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