Planning can help you Weather the Worst

May 01, 2018

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One of the things that make Florida so appealing is its weather.  The warmth and sunshine are great inducements to anyone purchasing real estate in our lovely state.  But there is another aspect of weather we must consider when developing or guarding our real estate investments.  That is: the inevitable storms and hurricanes which batter us fairly regularly.


2018 the Weather company is forecasting 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes this season. Cooler water temperatures in the Atlantic and warmer temperatures in the Pacific could hamper activity. The Atlantic hurricane season is expected to feature a nearly average number of hurricanes, and two of those are predicted to be categorized as 3 or greater intensity. While every element of storm preparation is important, the roof system is probably the most critical and most often overlooked.  Consider that despite rain, hail, ultraviolet rays, foot traffic, various mechanical servicing, and building expansion and contraction;
your sloped roof system must continue to keep water from entering the building.


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 wind storms 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 of time.  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.