Blog / How to Protect Your Roof From Weather Damage
Your roof is surprisingly vulnerable in the face of storms. Even as hurricane season comes to an end, it is critical that you know how to protect your home from a storm. Wind, hail, standing water and debris causes considerable damage to your home and roof and can result in needing to replace your roof.
To limit storm damage, you must be prepared for any weather. Our guide explains how different weather conditions can affect your roof and shows you how to prevent weather damage.
Types of Weather Damage for Roofs
Throughout the year, your roof gets exposed to all types of weather. Hail storms, strong winds, rain and debris can all cause considerable damage to your roof. You can prepare your roof for different weather conditions and potentially limit any damage.
Four common types of weather damage to prepare for include wind, hail, debris and standing water damage.
During hurricanes, thunderstorms and particularly windy days, strong gusts of wind can damage your roof. Gusts of wind can lift, curl and crack roof shingles, breaking the waterproof seal. Wind can also remove shingles or tear off pieces that other weather conditions have weakened.
The gaps created by missing or damaged shingles expose the underlying protective elements to the weather. When this layer is left unprotected, your roof might be at risk of leaks and other damage.
Metals and tile roofs can also have sections lifted, bent or cracked by the force of winds.
While hailstones large enough to cause significant destruction are rare, even a “small” hailstorm can result in considerable damage to your roof. The harm done by hail can be harder to spot and might look like dark marks on your roof. Hail stones can leave dents in shingles and metal. In some cases, hailstorms can crack tiles and shingles. Hail can also destroy the protective granule layer on your shingles.
Hail damage may seem minor but can weaken the structure of your roof, leaving it susceptible to further damage during storms and other weather events.
When water is left to pool on your roof, it can cause severe damage. Standing water could create sunken spots on your roof. Water will also leak through weak areas such as damaged shingles, small cracks, vent seems and loose flashing. Over time, the moisture will lead to mold, mildew and leaks throughout your house.
Other than obvious leaks, water damage is harder to spot. Moisture often starts pooling in concealed parts of your roof. The first signs are usually water spots on the ceiling or dripping water during storms.
Whether large or small, debris can cause substantial damage to your roof. Smaller debris can crack shingles and tile as well as dent and scratch your roof. These minor damages can escalate into a more severe problem, as they leave your roof vulnerable to moisture and UV damage.
Large debris can crash into your roof, leaving holes that make your house unlivable for a time.
Ways to Prevent Storm Damage to Your Roof
Rain, hail and wind can result in considerable damage to your roof. While some harm is inevitable, there are several ways to prevent weather damage to your roof. You can cut down trees, perform a visual inspection and listen to weather warnings.
Cut and Prune Trees
The first way to prevent storm damage is by maintaining the trees, hedges and bushes in your yard. Regularly check the trees closest to your roof for dead or loose branches. Strong winds can blow these branches into your roof. Heavy rain can add extra weight to branches, causing them to crash into your roof. Cut and remove these branches to protect your roof and home from storm damage. You might need to cut down old trees that are in danger of being uprooted during a storm.
Prune excess leaves and branches from shrubs and bushes, as minor damage from small debris can escalate into bigger issues.
Ensure you cut any trees that are close to your roof. Wind gusts can move tree limbs around even if the branches are secure. As the branches whip around, they scratch and dent the edges of your roof system. They can also remove any protective layers and granules from shingles. The best practice is to keep trees and branches at least 6 feet from your house, which can minimize the amount of debris thrown onto your roof.
Perform a Visual Inspection
Regularly performing a visual inspection will help you identify any weak spots or areas of concern on your roof and yard. Visual inspections are even more important before a storm. Look for loose shingles that might lift with wind or rain. Check for leaks, stains, cracks and other problems that can worsen during a storm.
Removing and securing flying hazards is the best way to protect your roof from wind damage. While doing your visual inspection, ensure there are no branches, furniture or other debris in your yard that can get thrown into your house or roof. Bring in any outdoor furniture, toys, barbeque equipment and other items. Even a plastic trash bin can cause significant damage with enough force behind it.
Secure anything that you cannot bring inside.
Your roof must remain free from water and moisture. Water will pool on and in your roof if your gutters are clogged. The longer it stays on your roof, the more damage it will cause. Water will seep through any cracks and weak spots. Damp, mildew and fungus will harm the integrity of your house over time.
Remove any branches, debris and leaves blocking your gutters and drains so that water can easily flow off your roof.
Listen to Weather Warnings
We all know how unpredictable weather can be. Weather warnings can help adequately prepare your house for any potential storms. Whether the storms happen or not, it is still crucial that you take the necessary steps to prepare. Knowing what weather is approaching will help you take the required precautions. How you prepare your roof for a windy day might be different than preparing for a hailstorm.
Hire a Professional Roofing Company With Roof RX
Florida experiences a range of severe weather, from hailstorms to hurricanes. Be prepared for any weather by hiring Roof RX. We will perform a professional inspection and identify areas that need repairs before a storm hits.