License Number : CCC1335335

It’s not just the high intense winds of a hurricane that can damage your roof. Flying or falling debris can be a problem too. If you are new to living in Florida, there’s a few tips and tricks to securing your home for hurricane season, particularly if you intend to “shelter in place” when these storms hit. After your windows and doors are secured, your roof will need protection too.

Get a Roof Inspection

Have your roof inspected. Anything that is loose will need to be prepared before the season begins. Every shingle, every gutter, and every bit of flashing has to be nailed down tight. A roofing contractor can do both the inspection and any repairs that are needed. Plan a few months in advance to hurricane season as everyone else in Florida is already doing the same thing.

Trim Trees and Remove All Loose Yard Debris

Hurricanes can have wind speeds of up to 160 miles per hour, depending on the severity and category of the hurricane headed your way. Winds around 50 miles per hour can effectively break tree limbs and uproot weaker trees. Remove all low hanging limbs from over your roof as a precaution. If you have any trees that are really close to the house, seriously consider cutting them back or cutting them down entirely.

Any other loose yard debris should be cleared and hauled away. This includes twigs, sticks, leaves, loose rocks, etc. What might look good as landscaping can become a projectile in a hurricane. 

Lock Up Everything in the Shed (If You Have One)

Bikes, outdoor toys, lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and anything else used to work in the yard or play in the yard should be locked up tight within hours of the landfall of the hurricane. If you don’t lock it up, you run the risk of it damaging something on your home. If you can’t lock it up because you don’t have a shed or a garage, place it as far away from the house as you can on your property and chain it all together. 

Cover Skylights and Dormer Windows

Any window-type of structure in your roof is at risk during a hurricane. Skylights and dormer windows are just some examples. While these are not common structures here in Florida, they should be thoroughly covered with tarps and secured if you do have them. Boarding them over if possible is an even better idea as the boards will be hit with debris while the glass will be protected.

Tarp Your Roof

Tarping the roof prevents the intense driving rain from getting through your shingles to the attic and walls. This involves more than just throwing tarps over the roof. The tarps have to be secured as well. Some homeowners have tarp stakes in the ground to which they can attach ropes or chains and then loop the ropes or chains through the grommets of the tarps. There is also a way to secure the tarps to the roofs, but you may need help from a roofing contractor to do that.

Strap the Roof

This protective measure occurs inside your home. You have to install metal straps and ties to the crossbars of your rafters in the attic. This holds the roof in place even when hurricane winds are strong enough to take your entire roof off. You can choose to leave the straps in place all year or detach them when it isn’t hurricane season and reattach them right before the first hurricane each year. Most people sleep better just leaving the roof straps strapped. 

Make Sure Your Homeowner’s Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage

Some homeowner’s insurance companies have hurricane coverage built into their policies. Other companies offer hurricane coverage as a separate rider you pay for in addition to your regular coverage. Be sure you have hurricane damage coverage in spite of all of your preparations for hurricane season.

Even the most well-prepared homeowner occasionally discovers some damage that will need to be fixed after a hurricane. Because it is expensive to make these repairs without insurance, you will want to add hurricane coverage if your insurance doesn’t already have it included. If you do all of the above, your home is ready for whatever Mother Nature is going to throw at it this year.

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