How to Prepare Your Roof for Strong Winds
The roof is one of the most expensive parts of a home. It also happens to be the most frequently neglected. It’s important to take preventative measures to extend the life of your roof and maximize your investment.
In an area like the Midwest where temperatures go from extremely cold to extremely hot and back again over the course of the year, a roof can be subject to a lot of extra wear and tear.
Summertime also happens to be tornado season in the Midwest. Because tornadoes strike with little warning, it is essential to take the proper precautions to protect your home ahead of time as the strong winds produced by these storms can cause severe damage to your roof and shingles.
By protecting your roof, you are actually protecting every part of your home. FEMA explains how wind damage to your roof can in turn cause damage to the foundation of your home.
‘During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground.’
How can you prepare and protect your home’s roof from wind damage from summer storms?
Start by protecting your roof. Here are some practical ways to maximize your roof’s ability to stand up to strong wind.
4 Steps to Prepare Your Home’s Roof for Strong Winds
- Take a closer look
Take a look from the ground with a pair of binoculars, and inspect your roof for any shingles that may be loose, curled or missing. Pay particular attention to the edges of the roof.
Have a professional take a closer look to check the spacing of the nails that hold the shingles and underlying roof deck onto your house. Nails should be approximately four inches apart along edges. Nails, not staples, should be used to secure the roof deck to the rafters.
- Trim a tree
One of the most obvious and simple things you can do is trim any nearby trees with overhanging branches on a regular basis. Left unchecked, strong winds can cause large heavy branches to break and damage your roof and other parts of your home.
Safety precaution tip: If you are unable to trim the branches with a tool from the ground, consult a professional.
- Brace yourself
Make sure your roof is properly supported and reinforced on the inside. If you have a gabled roof (one that is shaped like a letter A on the ends) you may want to consider gable end bracing, truss bracing or both. Both gable and truss bracing involve installing a series of two by fours in strategic spots in order to maximize your roof’s ability to stand up to high winds.
You may even consider hurricane straps or clips that connect the roof to the home’s walls from the inside. This added structural support makes it less likely that your roof will be ripped off by high winds.
- Look inside
Go into your attic or crawl space to look around. Make sure the plywood decking is properly secured. If you can see nail tips coming through the decking, it should be re-secured in those areas.
When it comes to roof maintenance, procrastination doesn’t pay. If repairs seem expensive to fix now, wait until the problem has snowballed and you have no other option but to replace your entire roof.
Call in the experts at Renovations Roofing & Remodeling, Inc. before the storm season hits and schedule a roof inspection to determine whether your home is at risk of being damaged by strong winds.