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Hurricane Preparation – Is your roof Hurricane ready?

Is your roof Hurricane ready? While every element of storm preparation is important, the roof system is probably the most critical and most often overlooked.

During a storm, the roof is a transfer point of wind energy and is part of your first line of defense against immediate and future damage.  How your roof is built is as important as what it’s made of.  Your roof system should incorporate the following considerations:  access, deck, slope, weight, traffic, local weather condition, wind zone, codes, insurance, and budget constraints.  Proper roof maintenance, and sometimes retrofitting of braces or hurricane straps, can help ensure that damage will be minimal when tough weather hits. Conduct periodic inspections, roof systems should be inspected twice a year by a roof repair specialist, who has a good understanding of the basic components of the roof system.  Spring and Fall are good times to do this because they are prior to and just after the severe Florida rainy and hurricane seasons.   Additional inspections should be ordered after severe hail and windstorms or after any installation of new mechanical equipment.

Roofs rarely fail all at once and attention should be paid to each of the components. All good inspections should be performed with a checklist which prompts consideration of areas of concern.  The checklist should allow you to rate the condition of the different components of the roof system.  Every roof is different and special conditions always come into consideration. Most roofs will be in decent condition, but almost every roof will require minor repairs.  Some will require significant roof repairs.  If your roof is leaking, serious damage has already been done.  Your roof insulation, if exposed to a leak will lose most of its effectiveness and your decking system could become questionable if exposed over a significant period.  Damage to the roof also can result in substantial water damage and ultimately lead to significant mold problems so it is critical that you take every measure to avoid a problem before it starts.

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