Preparing your roof for hurricane season is essential to prevent the immediate impact of strong hurricane winds, heavy rain, and long-term effects such as mold and structural damage. This preparation is even more critical for a commercial building where your business depends on a structurally sound building for employees to work safely.
Ideally, the process of getting ready begins before the season is in full swing. Stocking up on the necessary items to protect your roof should be in place before the first indication that a storm is on the way. The stores will quickly run out of supplies at that point. Here is a rundown of the steps necessary to minimize the impact of a hurricane on your roof as a business owner:
How to Prepare Your Roof for a Hurricane
- Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection – The most effective way to stay safe from costly hurricane damage is to schedule a roof inspection from a professional who will look for any potential weak areas of your roof. A locally certified roofing company will know the dangerous areas of commercial roofs and is familiar with the materials used in your area. This inspection is most effective before or near the beginning of hurricane season.
- Do Necessary Repairs – If repairs are not complete, loose material from the roof can be taken by the wind and cause injury to anyone around the building. Also, openings may allow water to enter and cause extreme damage to the interior, including expensive equipment and electronics.
- Have a few Tarps on Hand – Tarps have multiple uses during a storm. Several areas to use a tarp are:
- Protecting windows from damage and leaking
- Covering any areas on the roof that become compromised by the storm.
- Protecting interior machinery if this is necessary or as a precaution.
- Keeping any outside equipment safe
- Clean Drain Pipes, Gutters, and Downspouts – Check for blockages. Hurricanes can have extreme rainfall amounts in a short period. They can quickly cause flooding near your building if there are blockages in the drainage system.
- Secure all Roof-Mounted Equipment – Any equipment on the roof, including A/C and storage units, should be checked to ensure all bolts are tight and secure. Cover if necessary. Heavy machinery mounted on the roof can become dislodged if not appropriately secured and crash to the ground causing severe injury to employees and damage to your building.
- Protect Important Documents – Gather all the essential paperwork, including insurance policies, mortgage or lease information, and any other important files, and store them in a safe place off the premises. You will need to refer to this information after the storm.
- Schedule Regular Maintenance – Staying on top of regular maintenance throughout the lifespan of your roof is a great way to stay ready if a storm quickly approaches and there is no time for emergency repairs. You will only need to do storm preparation.
There is no guarantee taking these precautions will prevent damage from a hurricane, but you certainly increase the odds of having less severe problems and minimize the effects of a dangerous storm.
Steps to take after the hurricane
- Damage Control – The first task after a significant storm is to look for damage that is dangerous to anyone entering or close to the building. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way while doing this. Contact a professional who can recognize a threatening condition. Document any problems by taking photographs.
Areas to check:
- Drainage System – Look for downspouts that have pulled away from the building and missing gutters. Nails or straps on the ground may indicate loose gutters or downspouts.
- Damage to Windows and Doors – Broken windows or damaged doors are commonly affected areas.
- Broken Skylights – Debris may have broken fixtures on the roof. Don’t walk around the roof if there is any indication of weakness or pooling water, which can cause the roof to fail.
- Contact Insurance Company – Once you know the extent of the damage, talk to your insurance representative. Hopefully, your preparations before the hurricane have prevented damage, but don’t hesitate to call if you suspect any problems.
Hopefully, you will never have to worry about a hurricane aiming for your property. However, preparing your roof for a storm will significantly reduce stress if it does happen. Here in South Florida, this is always a possibility.
Please contact PSI Roofing to schedule a commercial roof inspection or maintenance in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding area, including Miami and Fort Myers. We have been proudly serving customers in the South Florida area since 1994. Commercial roof services are our specialty. Our experienced staff will happily answer all your questions regarding commercial roofing. Let’s start getting your roof in top shape today!