Here in southeast Virginia we are solidly inside of hurricane season, and while we have been lucky not to be hit with a direct storm recently, the impact of some kind of tropical system is inevitable.
As most of us know all too well, with storms comes storm damage. Thanks to Hampton Roads’ proximity to the coast, we often feel storm surge and hurricane force winds the worst. There are things you can do to be personally prepared for a storm, as well as things you can do to help secure and protect your home, including your roof. But there are also things that you simply can’t protect your home against, and instead need to be rigorous about post-storm inspection of your property to identify any damage as soon as possible. Let’s talk about how you can play both defense and offense to protect your home from long-term storm damage.
While you can’t control or prevent all possible damage, there are things you can do to prepare your roof for a storm. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to offensively protect your roof from the next hurricane or tropical storm.
- Check for any loose flashing. If any flashing is loose or missing, repair it before a storm comes to avoid any water damage and possible leaks. Loose flashing can also become a hazard if blown off your home during wind gusts.
- Check your gutters. Clean gutters will keep water away from your roof when those torrential rains start. You should also check to ensure gutters are well secured to avoid them becoming projectiles during strong winds.
- Repair and replace missing shingles. It may seem counterintuitive to replace missing shingles or repair damaged ones before a storm, but the reality is that one missing shingle makes the rest of the shingles around it vulnerable to winds. If one or more shingles are missing or damaged in such a way that they are more likely to blow off, then the rest of your roof is at risk. Replacing a few shingles now can prevent the need for dozens of replacements after the storm.
- Inspect your roof from the inside. Take some time to inspect your roof from inside your attic, paying careful attention to where any rooflines join up, looking especially for any wet or dark spots that may indicate an existing leak. If there is an existing leak, even one that has not been problematic before, it will only get worse during a storm, and could cause major interior damage. Repair a small leak now before it becomes a major leak in the middle of a “shelter in place.”
After a storm, doing an inspection of your property will help you identify issues quicker, making it easier to fix them before they become a major problem as well as being able to file for any necessary homeowners insurance claims. Here’s a quick post-storm roof inspection list of things to look for:
- Missing shingles
- Loose or clogged gutters
- Loose or missing flashing
- Debris that may still be on the roof
- Visible leaks or holes from inside your attic
- Damaged or warped shingles
- Dents in metal roofing
- Broken slate tiles
What to do if there is damage
If you find any of these items during your inspection, contact a roofing company right away. If possible, get familiar with roofing companies in your area before a storm rolls through so you know who to call if needed. Do research online and read client reviews, websites and get neighbors’ opinions. Only call companies that are licensed and insured and have a good reputation in the community.
Getting a professional opinion and estimate will be critical when filing any necessary homeowners insurance claims. Remember that after a major storm, roofing companies will be swamped with calls, so getting in touch early is the best way to get your issues taken care of as quickly as possible. Do not attempt to fix these issues yourself as roof repair work is potentially dangerous, not to mention any repairs you make yourself may not be covered by your insurance and may void warranties on your roofing materials.
Andrews Roofing Can Help
Whether it’s before a storm or after, if you have concerns about your roof, please contact Andrews Roofing. We’ve worked in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton for decades and we have an excellent reputation in the Hampton Roads community for quality workmanship and customer service. We understand the unique roofing issues that homeowners encounter in the Tidewater region, and we can help you make the best decision for your home.