Hurricane Irma is now classified as a Category 5 Hurricane. Its 180 mph winds are well above the 157 mph threshold set for hurricanes classified as Category 5. It is heading west and could hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Depending upon where Irma tracks, the storm could hit Florida, Georgia and/or the Carolinas early next week.
According to the National Hurricane Center, "when a Category 5 hurricane hits land, a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed." with power lost in some areas possibly for weeks or even months.
As we watch the path of this catastrophic storm, there are things you can do to prepare your home and specifically the roof for the hurricane season.
If possible, have your roof inspected by a roofing contractor to check for leaks or weak spots. A well constructed roof is better able to withstand hurricane force winds. Inspect the roof from the inside of the attic looking for points of light coming through the roof. These can also let wind and water in. Watch for protruding nail tips in the rafters or trusses can indicate the roof decks may not be secured properly.
Replace missing or incorrectly hammered nails in the shingles or the points where the roof deck connects to the rafters. With a caulking gun apply roofing cement to the edges of shingles. Where the rafters or trusses connect to the roof deck, apply a bead of construction adhesive.
Also, if possible, have a roofing contractor install hurricane clips to connect the roof to the home's walls from the inside. Those roofs with access via an attic can have metal roof straps attached for about $400 to $600. Windows, doors, skylights, and areas where wires enter the house should be sealed to prevent water entering the home.
Trees, dead or hanging limbs should be trimmed back before a hurricane. Check your drains and downspouts to make sure they are clear during heavy rains. Check support posts to porches, carports, or other structures attached to he home to make sure they are firmly attached to the ground.
Finally, check your homeowner's insurance to make sure the coverage you have is adequate. Some insurance companies offer discounts on hurricane insurance to homeowners who have specifically tried to minimize damage from storms. These can include storm shutters to roof attachments. Also, make arrangements with your roofing contractor to inspect your roof after the storm.
Harper Roofing will inspect your roof for FREE. They will work directly with your insurance company to make this process as simple as possible. Check out our A+ rating with The Better Business Bureau and our 5 star rating on Houzz.
Harper Roofing specializes in re-roofing residential homes in Charleston, South Carolina. Follow our blog for info on maintaining your home and protecting your family.