The wear and tear a roof takes—year in and year out—is usually what will ultimately require repair or replacement. But that process can be radically accelerated by storm damage.
The fable of the ant and the grasshopper will come into play here. If you’re the plan-ahead type (like the industrious ant) then scheduling an inspection for your roof is the best preliminary step. If it’s been years since your roof was installed, then having a professional roofer take a good look at it and then follow up with needed maintenance is the best thing you can do—long before bad weather hits.
And if you are anywhere in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, Iconic Roofing & Exteriors can provide you with these services. We’re headquartered in New Castle, Delaware, and have years of residential roofing, windows, doors, and siding experience in the region. Calling us will give you one less thing to worry about when a storm rolls in.
Likewise, if you have large trees near your house, then scheduling an arborist to examine them for potential risk should be on your checklist. They can find any signs of disease that have weakened a tree, making it more susceptible to breaking or being uprooted under the stress of high winds. Removing large limbs that, if they snap, will cause damage to your roof upon impact, can also happen before a storm is on the horizon.
Now, if you fall into the last-minute demographic (a grasshopper type), then scheduling a roofer (or arborist) when the weather map is already colored red isn’t really a plan. But there are still some things that you can do to better prepare your roof for an incoming weather event.
Removing debris from your roof—leaves, pine needles, pollen, maybe a whiffle ball or frisbee—is a good first step, since such materials can find their way into your gutters and then clog them. And you don’t want to go to the trouble of cleaning your gutters and downspouts—which you will want to do as a basic step of storm prep—to have them just get clogged up again. Blocked drainage can cause water to work its way under your roof shingles, creating leaks and loosening them.
This is especially important when winter storms hit since ice dams can form when water does not work its way off your roof before freezing. Ice that goes into a thaw/refreeze cycle can work its way in strange and mysterious ways, including acting like a pry bar under shingles, other roof elements, and between gutters and your house (eventually causing them to collapse).
This is all a way of emphasizing that, if you know a storm is on the way and you want to get the most bang for your buck, cleaning out your gutters is the best investment.
While you’re up there, take some pictures. Before-and-after photos can come in handy if you have to file an insurance claim down the road.
Another important item on the pre-storm checklist is being sure you have a few tarps on hand. Covering a damaged area immediately after a storm—when it’s safe to do so—can cut down on interior damage, especially since roofing companies will be busy if a serious storm has cut through an area. But don’t expect to hit the store after the storm to buy any, since they tend to sell out when bad weather has struck.
Finally, remember that many things that reside in your backyard—lawn furniture, scrap lumber, toys—can become projectiles when high winds sweep down. Once airborne, they can damage your roof upon impact, not to mention windows and anything else in an object’s flight path.
When it comes to preparing for severe weather, try to channel your inner industrious ant and prepare ahead of time.