How To Get Your Roof Ready for Hurricane Season

roof damage after a hurricane in florida

Hurricane season is about to roll in and you want to be prepared, but how do you get your roof ready? Tropical storms wreak havoc when they blow through coastal cities. Strong winds turn flying debris into dangerous projectiles and hurricanes bring hail or heavy rainfall that sometimes leads to flooding.

We’ll walk you through some tips for home maintenance that will prepare your roof for hurricane season. A hurricane-ready roofing system that is well-cared for is less likely to be damaged severely even in the middle of a powerful storm.

10 Ways To Get Your Roof Ready for Hurricane Season

For the U.S. states bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30. That is a long time for homeowners to be worried about hurricanes in your local area. Ideally, you should prepare your home’s roof for hurricanes in late April or May before the storm season starts.

1. Schedule a Roof Inspection

roof worker with white gloves on roof
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Roofs handle a lot, including abrasive UV rays, rain, hail, and snow. Hiring a roofing professional to inspect your roof is one of the best ways to prepare your roof for the hurricane season.

A roofing inspector will locate signs of damage or wear and let you know if your roof needs any repairs. During your roof inspection, the inspector checks your roofing materials, structure, and attic for wear and tear, including:

  • Loose or missing shingles
  • Cracks, gaps, or holes 
  • Damaged or worn flashing
  • Worn insulation
  • Seam separation around roof penetrations
  • Leaks or water damage
  • Condensation

Roof inspection costs range from $120 to $320 typically, for an average roof inspection price of $215.

Additionally, a quick DIY method to check for leaks is to view the underside of your roof from your attic on a sunny day. Look for slivers of light peeking through, signaling holes in your roof.

2. Complete Roof Repairs

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Be proactive about roof repairs. Repair any damage to your roof as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage will worsen over time and cause extensive harm to your house, causing costly home repairs. 

Replace missing shingles or tiles. Fix roof leaks, and if your gutters bow or leak, repair your gutters before a hurricane hits. Keeping up with roof maintenance and repairs will help your roof weather rough storms.

3. Clean Your Gutters

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Your gutter system transports water from the edge of your roof to the ground. Without it, your home would experience foundation corrosion. When your home has clogged gutters, it increases the chances of water making its way under your roofing materials.

During heavy rains, clogged gutters damage fascia boards and lead to basement flooding. Cleaning the debris out of your gutters could be enough to prevent a potential crisis. Additionally, overflowing gutters strain your gutter system, causing bowing. Regularly check your gutters for debris clogs to make sure water can flow properly.

4. Remove Roof Debris

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Roof debris can lead to standing water on your roof. In some cases, this fosters moss growth, which will pry up your roof shingles and cause roof leaks. In other instances, all the roof debris will wash into your gutters during heavy rains. Remove organic debris, including: 

  • Leaves
  • Pine needles
  • Pinecones
  • Seeds
  • Branches
  • Twigs

5. Inspect Your Trees

Man pruning large branch of a tree
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Check your yard for weakened trees that may wither from disease or old age. High winds can blow over weak trees. Storms knock down leaning or weak trees easily, especially during hurricane season. You don’t want tree limbs hanging over your roof.

Schedule a tree trimming in May before the hurricane season starts. The tree care professional will remove dead or weakened branches that may snap off during strong winds. 

6. Gather Insurance and Warranty Paperwork

When disaster strikes, be ready. To prepare for the worst, have all of your roof insurance and warranty paperwork in order. Know where the paperwork is and have those documents somewhere with easy access. Consider photographing your paperwork in case of flooding or damage to your paper files. 

Gather the following:

  • Insurance documentation
  • Roof warranties, including materials, gutters, and solar panels
  • Photograph your roof from all angles before expecting powerful storms 
  • Contact information for your insurance agent

Store your documentation in a waterproof container to ensure your paperwork will stay dry and safe. Review your insurance policies and ask your insurance company questions about your policy. Check your warranty’s expiration date to ensure complete coverage. 

7. Cover Skylights

skylight window on a roof
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Winds reach speeds up to 100 mph during a hurricane. Powerful winds blow debris, turning these items into dangerous projectiles, threatening your skylights.

Before a hurricane hits, reinforce your skylight (or skylights) to reduce the chances of the glass breaking. Use plywood or metal caps to cover your skylights and protect them from shattering. 

8. Install Roof Straps

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Roof straps are metal bands wrapped around the trusses and rafters of your roof. Roof straps tie the roof and walls together to secure your roof to your house. Typically made of galvanized steel, these ties are usually 1 inch wide. 

During a hurricane, high-speed winds can tear the roof off of your home. By reinforcing your roof with straps, you reduce the chances of shingles being torn up by the wind. Some regions, like Florida, require all homes to have roof straps, also known as hurricane clips. 

9. Secure Outdoor Objects

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During a hurricane, loose objects can turn into dangerous projectiles. Flying objects can scratch or puncture your roof, rip off shingles, and shatter skylights.

Secure loose landscaping objects like:

  • Bird baths
  • Lawn decor
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Potted plants
  • Grills
  • Toys
  • Trampoline
  • Trash cans
  • Wind chimes

10. Have a Tarp On Hand

Always have a tarp or two on hand in case you need to cover up any roof holes or cracks caused by the strong winds. This helps prevent further damage to your home. So before hurricane season starts, buy some tarps.

What Kind of Damage Can Hurricanes Cause?

Hurricanes are destructive forces that cause a lot of damage. From hail to high-speed winds, hurricanes usher in a lot of bad weather that puts a lot of strain on your home.

Hurricanes cause damage like:

  • Shattered glass and skylights 
  • Flooding
  • Dents from hail damage
  • Downed power from lightning strikes
  • Wind damage from tornadoes
  • Uprooted trees

The high-speed winds of a hurricane make it dangerous to be outside during a storm. Blowing at speeds reaching up to 155 mph, hurricanes turn heavy objects into projectiles that damage anything in their paths. 

FAQ About Preparing Your Roof for Hurricane Season 

What time of year is the cheapest for a roof replacement?

Winter is the slow season for roofing companies. They often charge less for roof replacements during this time.

What is the average lifespan of a roof?

A roof’s expected lifespan depends on the type of roofing material.

Discover the average life expectancies for the common materials: 

Roofing MaterialAverage Lifespan
Asphalt Shingles15 to 30 years
Built-Up Roofing (BUR)20 to 30 years
Concrete 50 to 100 years
Clay Tile50 to 100 years
Composite15 to 40 years
Metal20 to 70 years
Slate50 to 150 years
Wood Shakes25 to 40 years

What type of roofing material holds up the best in a hurricane?

Metal roofing withstands high-speed winds up to 160 mph and it holds up well to hail. Metal roofs are durable and resistant to water damage. 

Get Your Roof Ready for the Next Hurricane

Hopefully, you already have an emergency kit ready with flashlights, batteries, cash, and first-aid supplies. Don’t wait to get a roof inspection or complete your repairs before hurricane season starts. RoofGnome connects you with the best roofing companies near you so your home is prepared to withstand hurricanes, tropical storms, and other severe weather.

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Danielle Gorski

Danielle Gorski lives with her family in Texas. She has a degree in Professional Studies and a minor in marketing. Her hobbies include reading, drawing, and writing.