How To Prepare My Roof Gutters Before A Hurricane
Hurricane season is getting longer and more dangerous each year so it is more important than ever to know how to protect your home, especially your roof. Did you know that almost 80 percent of the damage homes suffer during a hurricane is to the roof?
Keeping your roof gutters clear and in good condition can help reduce the amount of damage your roof takes on and how much water damage seeps into your home. The more preparation you do, the less damage in the aftermath.
Here are some tips on how to prepare roof gutters before a hurricane:
Clean Out Your Gutters
If the forecast is calling for a hurricane, no matter how small, and you haven’t cleaned out your gutters in a while, then don’t wait any longer. There is no time like the present. Either have a company come out and do it for you or, if you are comfortable on a ladder, then get up there and clean them out before the bad weather is expected to hit.
Helper-Extra person to hold the ladder stable, and provide you with proper tools while cleaning.
Ladder-Ensure the proper ladder is used. Guidelines and Restrictions are noted on each ladder.
Garden Hose-You can use the hose to apply water through the gutter system to find out where the gutter maybe clogged or use the water to simply force smaller debris and leafs in the downspout direction to help move it out of the gutter system and to ensure the downspouts are working properly.
Scooper-A type of garden tool that you can easily scoop leafs and small debris out of the gutter.
Eye Protection-Wear eye protection at all times and clean occasionally.
Hand Protection-Wear gloves to protect your hands from roof shingles, rusty nails and screws, gutter edges, spiders and insects.
Trash Bags-Have heavy duty trash bags available to throw the debris and leaves into. This prevents cleanup afterwards and decreases the amount of nails and screws that may cause injuries later.
A Leaf Blower-Use the blower to remove excessive debris out of the gutter. A cordless leaf blower is the best option to reduce additional cords and excessive movement while working on a ladder. There are available options to attach a vacuum to the leaf blower.
Besides focusing on what is just in the gutters, also make sure to use the leaf blower to blow any leaves or debris off the roof itself so it doesn’t all end up in the gutters the next time it rains.
Check the Condition of Your Gutters
You should also check the condition of the gutters and make sure none of the gutters are broken or falling apart. Because that will make it difficult for the gutters system to work effectively. Experts recommend that you apply a gentle pressure to the gutters to make sure they are secure and won’t blow off. This is important to avoid not only water damage but also to prevent further damage to the roof and fascia.
Test the Roof Gutters Out
To really be sure that your roof gutters are prepared for hurricane season, you need to get up there and perform a visual inspection of the roof. Be on the lookout for missing, warped or broken shingles or rust spots on the flashing. Anything that looks like it is buckling or curling means that there was water damage there before. If there are any popped nails, make sure you nail them down.
You also need to run water off the roof while you are watching to make sure that your gutter system is draining properly.
Take some time to also inspect the inside of the house for any possible leakage like spots or stains on the ceiling or peeling paint.
Here are some other ways to prepare your roof before a hurricane:
Have someone come out and prune all the tree branches that overhang the house and are in precarious positions.
Make sure all cables and wires are fastened securely and there is nothing loose on the roof.
If you have an attic or roof check, check the attic and the underside of the roof deck and look for signs of leaking or for tiles missing. Shore everything up the best you can so you won’t get water damage during the hurricane in these areas.
If you have the time and money, get a proper roof inspection from a professional. They will be better able to determine if there are any problem areas that you should have corrected before the hurricane hits. Remember that a roof inspection should include a detailed report, pictures of your home and an estimate for any repairs that might be needed.
While you have a roofing expert out, ask whether or not your home could benefit from roof tie-downs. Roof tie-downs also known as “hurricane straps” can help protect your roof from the high winds that accompany a hurricane.
Besides checking on wayward tree branches that might overhang the roof, you should also take a very close look at all the trees on your property. Diseased or just old trees are more susceptible to damage during a hurricane because they are not strong enough to withstand all those heavy woods. Before hurricane season starts try to cut down any trees on your property that you are afraid are going to fall down during a storm. A fallen tree can damage your home and cause injuries or even death to your family so it should be taken very seriously.
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