A hurricane is one of the most destructive forces that can hit your home. While north Florida has been lucky to see only minimal tropical activity in the past few years, wary storm watchers keep a close eye on the skies during hurricane season, which runs from June through November each year.
Strong winds, driving rain and flying debris can cause potentially catastrophic damage to your roof – and your entire home. But, by the time a hurricane is brewing, it’s already too late to think about how to fortify your home to withstand its potential damage. Luckily, there are several improvements you can make to your home in advance that will help minimize damage and protect it from hurricanes.
How can you fortify your roof against storm damage?
Short of leveling the entire building, having your roof ripped off or collapse is probably the most damaging blow a hurricane can deliver. Not only will it expose the insides of your home to water and debris, the structure of your home may not be able to stand if the roof becomes detached.
In the Florida’s Foundation brochure, Make Mitigation Happen, there is a list of proven, researched actions you can take to help your home stand up against a hurricane. Excerpts directly from the brochure that pertain to your roof include:
- Water Barriers – Providing a sealed roof deck will prevent significant water intrusion if pieces of your roof coverings (shingles) are blown away. This also provides additional insulation to make your home more energy efficient. Don’t forget your soffit vents!
- Roof-to-Wall Anchoring – Reinforce your foundation-to-wall, floor-floor (multistory homes) and wall-to-roof connections to establish a continuous load path. A continuous load path allows your home to resist high-wind forces as a unit. Weak links in a load path are generally where damage occurs.
- Gable Ends – Gables that are taller than 4 feet will benefit from reinforcing the framing and bracing the top and bottom of the gable.
Not only will taking these important steps increase the value and safety of your home, homeowners who make wind mitigation improvements to their property may be eligible for generous insurance incentives under Florida Statute 627.711.
Hurricanes can be deadly, and protecting your home and family is serious business. It is highly recommended that you hire a professional to help ensure your roof and your home are as safe as possible. Your life may depend on it.