It’s never too early to be prepared for hurricane season

Innovative Roofing Group Hurricane Season
May 28, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.

By Jennifer, Innovative Roofing Group. 

Get your commercial roof ready for the before, during and after of a hurricane with these tips. 

Hurricane season, which stretches from June to November along the Atlantic coast, is coming and it’s time to make sure your roof is prepared to withstand the storm. The most vulnerable areas during this time period are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The experts here at Innovative Roofing Group have put together a guide for preparing, withstanding and recovering from these storms, read on so you can have critical tools to protect your property this hurricane season. 

Hurricane hazards that affect your commercial roof 

Heavy winds 

Hurricanes can produce winds between 75 mph to 150 mph. Roofs are built to withstand typical winds but the sustained intensity of hurricane winds can be extremely destructive-ripping down gutters, flashing and any loose roof components. 

Heavy rain and flash flooding 

Hurricanes can cause 6-12 inches of rain to fall within the first 24-hours after landfall. Heavy rain can wreak havoc on your roof causing major structural damage and leaking. It can cause flash flooding and wash out roads and bridges. Additionally, water can pool on a flat roof causing leaking and roof damage. If the roads are impassable, it may take days for a crew to get to your property to assess the destruction. 

Debris 

Anything that is not nailed down can be a deadly projectile during a hurricane which can create tears, punctures or gashes in the roof’s surface. 

How to prepare before hurricane season begins 

Perform regular roof maintenance 

Scheduled routine maintenance is good practice to prevent roof deficiencies and extend the lifespan of your commercial roof, but it is also an essential component to prevent serious damage to your roof, in the event that a hurricane hits your area. We highly recommend you have your roof professionally inspected each year before hurricane season to address any serious issues. Innovative Roofing Group’s qualified Maintenance Department will check your roof’s seams, joints, flashing, curbs and remove any loose items and debris. Repairing any deficiencies prior to a hurricane is imperative. 

Trim tree branches around your commercial property 

Trim trees and bushes away from the roof by at least 3 ft to prevent roof damage during a hurricane or a big storm. This will also help to reduce leaves clogging the drainage system. 

Clean gutters, downspouts and drains 

Clean all gutters, drains and downspouts of foliage and debris that can cause a blockage and ensure all gutters and drainpipes are properly secured. 

Actions to take when you find out a hurricane is near 

Do an assessment of your roof 

Ensure all roof-mounted equipment like A/C units are secured and anchored. Confirm all penetrations are properly flashed and secured. Remove any debris on the membrane. Check for any roof deficiencies that could cause a potential problem and have a qualified roofer make the necessary repairs. 

Make sure the drainage system is functioning and secured 

Check your gutters and downspouts for blockages and make sure they are secured properly. 

Cover skylights 

Cover with plywood or a metal cage to protect them from flying debris and potential leaking. 

Secure hatches 

Confirm that all roof access hatches are secured properly. 

Things to check after a storm 

Check for damage 

If your roof has been severely damaged, do not let anyone on the roof to avoid serious injury. If it is safe to go on the roof, check all penetrations, flashing, seams, joints and equipment for damage. 

Check for leaks 

Mold and mildew can develop very quickly after a heavy storm so check for leaks inside the building as well as on the roof membrane. 

Document the damage 

Photograph the damaged areas so you can use them during the claims process. 

Call your insurance company immediately to report damage 

If you notice your roof has damage, call your insurance company right away. You will likely be one of many people filing a claim so you will want to be at the head of the line in order to get the process started. 

Original article source: Innovative Roofing Group

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