ISTOCK.COM | DEB DRURY
Storms can reveal weaknesses in a home’s roof, but it is best not to wait for bad weather to find out what needs repair. Inspecting and retrofitting a roof—or replacing it if necessary—can help protect your home before extensive damage occurs.
How you stormproof a roof depends on the kind of roof you have, and there are special considerations to be made for other architectural details. The main goal is to seal up gaps, or prevent them from ever forming, in joints and penetrations to keep stormwater out—and the roof on.
Some retrofits can be accomplished by the homeowner, while more extensive and complex tasks should be left to a roofing professional. If you plan to do the work yourself, always remember to wear fall protection when working at heights.
For a shingle roof with slightly worn shingles, asphalt cement can be used to reinforce or repair loose tabs. Roof cement can be used for more heavily worn surfaces.
Tile roofs wear most at the hips and ridges, and worn tiles can be reinstalled with expanding foam adhesive and attached to a wood or metal ridge board.
Metal roofs require regular inspections and upkeep, including checking for rust. Fasteners can be added or replaced if worn or missing.
Other components of a roof to inspect before a storm include the sheathing and framing and connections to walls.
A gable end, the triangular part on top of a rectangular wall, can be supported by strengthening the wall itself and ensuring that it is well secured to the house, or by strengthening the connection between the gable end and the outside wall below. Gable end overhangs endure strong wind forces, so it is crucial that they are well attached. The connections can be strengthened with saddle-type hurricane clips or joist hangers.
Ensure that the sheathing is securely attached so wind doesn’t force its way under it and lift the roof. Make sure that the roof frame, made up of rafters and ceiling joists, can hold up to storm forces. Similarly, make sure the roof is securely attached to the walls.
Posted: 11/2/2020 2:10:04 PM