Hurricane Idalia announced a dramatic start to this year’s storm season, and we’ve sure got more tempests ahead. And it pays to be prepared.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that preparation only entails taking precautions that will protect their homes before a storm hits. But what about the aftermath? Having a clear plan already thought through will be immensely helpful in the event that your home suffers damages.
As roofing specialists, we’re able to offer you expert advice on how to respond to roof damage after a hurricane. We’ll walk you through what to do, and arm you with the knowledge you need to stay calm and get repairs made quickly.
1. Prioritize Safety First
So you’ve heard a loud thump on the roof, or watched in shock as a tree came tumbling down on your house. Before inspecting any damage, ensure that it's safe to do so. Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately. If you suspect structural damage to your home, it's best to evacuate until a professional can assess it. The support structures keeping your roof up may no longer be strong enough to prevent a cave-in.
Not safe to evacuate? Try to move to the opposite end of the house. You want to be in the part where the structure is still standing strong.
2. Document the Damage
Once the storm has passed, you’ll need to take clear photos and videos of the damage. This will be crucial for insurance claims and any necessary repairs.
Remember to capture different angles and close-ups of specific damage points, as well as zoomed-out perspectives that can capture the full scope of the damage. There’s no such thing as too many photos in this case, so be as thorough as you can.
3. Temporary Fixes
If there are visible holes or leaks, consider using tarps or plastic sheeting to temporarily cover them. This can prevent further water damage inside your home. However, only do this if it's safe to climb onto your roof.
If you can’t do this yourself, you’ll need to contact someone for help. It’s best to arrange this contingency before the storm hits, that way you can count on help being available. A lot of other people in your neighborhood will probably need similar assistance, making it tough to find someone fast enough.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance provider about the damage as soon as possible. They will guide you on the next steps and inform you about the claims process. Remember, the sooner you contact them, the faster the claims process can begin.
Keep a record of your communications with your insurance agent. E-mail communications naturally accomplish this, but if you’re talking to them over the phone, then you’ll want to take notes during and after the call to be certain you have accurate documentation of agreements and dates.
5. Hire Local Roofing Professionals
It's essential to work with reputable local roofing contractors familiar with the specific challenges of our region. They will have a better understanding of local building codes and the best materials for our climate. Beware of "storm chasers" – contractors who come from out of town after a disaster.
Ideally, you should identify your preferred contractors ahead of the storm. This way you won’t lose any time figuring out who to call.
6. Consider Long-Term Solutions
If your roof suffered significant damage, it might be time to consider more durable roofing materials designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. Local contractors can advise on the best options for our region.
Here at AKVM, we offer a variety of materials made to endure Florida’s toughest storms. From tile and metal roofing to luxury shingles, we have durable solutions that will keep your roof protected.
7. Stay Informed
Sarasota, Manatee, and Hillsborough counties often provide resources and updates during hurricane season. For example, Sarasota County provides a Hurricane Preparedness hub on its website that can help you plan your disaster readiness and find the help you need after a storm.
Stay connected with local news and county websites for information on assistance programs and recovery efforts. It’s a good idea to have a NOAA emergency radio on hand, along with backup batteries. If you lose power and internet connectivity, you’ll still be able to listen to updates over the radio.
8. Prepare for the Next Storm
Once repairs are complete, take proactive measures to protect your roof from future hurricanes. This includes trimming overhanging tree branches, securing loose shingles, and ensuring your gutters are clean and functional. You can find a full list of preparation suggestions here: Hurricane Roof Protection in Sarasota & Manatee Counties.
It’s always a good idea to start on this work before the storm season begins, that way you don’t run out of time to address everything that needs attention.
Get the Support You Need
AKVM is proud to be a source of help and guidance for our community. We do everything we can to assist you in preparing your rooftop for hurricanes, and repairing any damage that occurs. Whether you’re looking for professionals to perform an inspection, make upgrades, or fix your roof post-storm, our team is ready to lend a hand. Contact us today to discuss solutions that work for your needs and budget.
Contact us today to schedule your free roof inspection - call us at (941) 727-3996.