Welcome to storm damage repair
The roof is the part of the house that really protects occupants against the elements and by doing so it also becomes the most susceptible to damage. Yes, some of the most powerful storms can be predicted by the weather forecast, but the damage they are going to cause remains unpredictable until they strike. From shingles flying off and debris penetrating your house, to trees collapsing and structural instability, roof damage just cannot wait and must be handled in a timely manner.
How to avoid Wind Damage to your home
Once a hurricane or major storm hits, it’s too late to protect your home and property. But there are things you can do now to limit future wind damage. Some are fairly simple and inexpensive; others will require a contractor. You’ll need to consider the characteristics of your home, your financial resources and the building codes in your community. This homeowner’s checklist will help you learn what you can do.
Do you know your risk?
Ask your emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for information about the hazards in your community.
Is the roof sheathing properly installed?
During a windstorm, wind forces are carried from the roof down to the exterior walls, down to the foundation. Homes can be damaged when wind forces are not properly transferred to the ground.
Roof sheathing (the boards or plywood nailed to the roof rafters or trusses) can fail during a hurricane if not properly installed. Examine the sheathing from the attic. If many of the nails have missed the rafters, you may need to renail the sheathing. If you’re putting on a new roof, make sure the sheathing complies with current recommended practices.
Are end gables securely fastened to the rest of the roof?
In a hurricane or other wind storm, the side walls of the roof (end gables) take a real beating and can collapse. Gable bracing often consists of 2”x4”s placed in an “X” pattern at both ends of the attic: from the top center of the end gable to the bottom of the brace of the fourth truss, and from the bottom center of the end gable to the peak of the roof.
Is the roof fastened to the walls with hurricane straps?
Hurricane straps (made out of galvanized metal) help keep the roof fastened to the walls in high winds. They can be difficult to install, so you may need a contractor for this project. Ask your building department whether hurricane straps are required or advisable in your area.
Are double entry doors secured at the top and bottom?
The exterior walls, doors and windows are the protective shell of your home. If the shell is broken during a storm, high winds can enter the home and put pressure on the roof and walls, causing serious damage. For each double door, at least one of the doors should be secured at both the top of the door frame and the floor with sturdy sliding bolts. Most bolts that come with double doors, however, are not strong enough to withstand high winds. Your local hardware can help you select the proper bolts. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors.
Has the garage door been properly secured?
If the garage door fails, winds can enter your home and blow out doors, windows, walls and the roof. Ask your building department for guidance on what to do.
Are windows protected by storm shutters?
Installing storm shutters is one of the most effective ways to protect your home. Purchase or make shutters for all exposed windows, glass surfaces, French doors, sliding glass doors and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available made out of wood, aluminum or steel. You can also make storm shutters with 5/8-inch thick exterior-grade plywood.