Hurricane season isn’t over until the end of November. As the National Weather Service tracks storms and keeps everyone updated, make sure that you and your family are ready to wait out any severe weather. If you decide not to evacuate or can’t evacuate, these emergency supplies may be all you have to go on for a while.
While you should always maintain a kit of emergency supplies, it’s particularly important to double-check that kit this time of year and replace items as necessary. Don’t let yourself get caught by surprise with an expired kit. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need and a plan for staying safe this hurricane season.
Food and Drink
Your disaster kit should contain a three-day supply of nonperishable food for each person in your home. Make sure it’s easy to open and prepare as well–for instance, opt for pull-tab tops on canned foods so you don’t have to worry about a can opener. Along with the food, make sure each family member has a three-day supply of clean water with at least one gallon per person per day set aside. Don’t substitute the water for other drinks like fruit juice or soda. While these drinks may taste better sometimes and last a while, because of their less beneficial nutritional content and the potential to increase thirst through high sugar content, they should be saved as a last resort.
Of course, there are plenty of non-edible supplies you should include in your emergency kit. These include:
- 7-day supply of any prescription medicine your family needs
- Sanitary wipes
- First aid kit
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Extra cash
- Copies of personal records: passports, proof of address, medical papers, etc.
- Family members’ contact info
- A full tank of gas
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radio to monitor the weather
- Extra batteries
- Extra sets of keys for your house and car
- Cell phones and extra chargers and/or battery packs
- Spare clothes
- Baby supplies: diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
- Pet supplies: food, carrier, leash, etc.
Pro Tip: Take before and after photos of your house to document any damage that may occur. Your insurance will appreciate it.
Before the Storm Hits
Keep your gas tank full and go down the checklist to see what supplies you may need. Keep an eye on the weather in the meantime. Prepare your home for severe weather by covering the windows, moving valuables inside, and any other steps you deem necessary. Most importantly, make sure your family knows the evacuation plan if it comes to that. Protect what’s really valuable.
Be Ready for Anything
Even the most advanced weather equipment is occasionally wrong. Sometimes, a hurricane projected to die at sea causes severe damage on land. We can never be completely sure what the weather might bring. The best we can do is make sure we’re ready to weather the storm.
Join the conversation for more ideas for your hurricane preparedness checklist.
For many homeowners, DIY repairs offer a quick, inexpensive way to improve your house. There’s certainly plenty of housework that DIY can easily handle. However, for more important home repairs or maintenance, you may not be able to fix the problem yourself. Roof repairs fall into this category.
The safety and efficiency of DIY roof care depend on a number of factors, but fixing the roof yourself is generally not advised. Aside from immediate safety concerns, there is also the possibility that you might only worsen the problem. Consider a few key components before you start your DIY roof project.
Roof maintenance does require you to spend a fair amount of time on top of your house. Aside from the possibility of falling over the edge, the damage to your roof could be severe enough that putting additional weight on the roof is not safe. The roof itself could break. Not only does this add more costly repairs to your project, but you could also find yourself falling through a hole in your own roof. You open yourself up to potential risks with DIY roof maintenance.
Thorough Repair Work
Unfortunately, the average homeowner doesn’t always recognize the signs of subtle roof damage. Whether it’s from wear and tear or a particular weather disaster, your roof takes quite a beating with time. Not knowing what roof damage looks like means that you can easily overlook necessary repairs in your DIY project. Hire a professional to perform a thorough roof inspection to make sure you get the best repair possible.
Pro Tip: While it’s best to leave a thorough inspection to the experts, keep an eye on your roof. Check for water damage after heavy storms and call a repair service if anything seems wrong.
When is DIY Appropriate?
For a simple repair, taking care of the problem yourself will cost you less time and money. A few cases where DIY is appropriate include:
- Caulking leaks
- Replacing a couple of shingles
- Cleaning the gutters
- Removing leaves and other small debris
These small projects require little effort or precision to get exactly right, so the risks involved in performing these repairs yourself is minimal. However, don’t overestimate your abilities. If your roof is badly damaged or needs more extensive repairs, save yourself a headache and call a professional.
Extend the Life of Your Roof with Professional Maintenance
Roof care may not be a major concern for you unless you’re dealing with severe leaks or damage. But if you regularly have your roof inspected by a professional and perform small DIY maintenance yourself, you can extend the life of your roof and by extension, the rest of your house. Keep your home in good shape with periodic inspections and repairs.
Ready to schedule your free roof inspection? Connect with us and start talking with our roofing experts!
From time to time, you’ll find yourself dealing with a leaky roof and no easy solution. Maybe it’s a holiday weekend and your roof repair service can’t come for a few days, or maybe they’re waiting on supplies themselves. Whatever the cause, the situation likely calls for a temporary roof repair while you wait for a permanent solution.
Don’t let potential water damage to your home get any worse while you wait on permanent roof repairs. With careful efforts, you can make a temporary roof patch to prevent further problems. There are 3 primary methods of roof patching that you’ll likely have to do.
This is the simplest, cheapest, and most common solution–simply cover the affected area with a waterproof tarp. Cover the entire damaged area on your roof, smooth the tarp out, nail it in place, and cover the heads of the nails with a little roofing cement to seal any more tiny holes. Though this will keep the rain out in the meantime, a tarp is obviously not a permanent solution to the ultimate problem. Don’t delay the roof repair any longer than you can get away with.
Pro Tip: NEVER walk on your roof while it’s raining outside–the fall risk is simply too high. If you don’t get a chance to apply the tarp during a break in the rain, see if you can mount the tarp from inside.
Reattach Loose Shingles
If the leak is caused only by a few shingles beginning to come loose, the temporary fix is very simple. Smooth the shingles back down or shift them back into place, then nail or staple them to cover the exposed area again. Once again, this is not a permanent solution, but it offers slightly more leak protection than a tarp.
If the shingles have gone missing entirely or broken and you don’t have extras, you may have to jury-rig a temporary set of shingles in the meantime. Carefully cut out sheet metal in the shape of a shingle and attach it to the roof just as you would a typical shingle. Cover the nails with roofing cement to prevent the leak from coming back. Finally, keep a careful eye on your handiwork to make sure the leak doesn’t spread while you wait for a professional.
Protect the Rest of Your House
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the rain. Since a leak compromises this protection, it’s important to stop leaks as soon as possible. Though emergency work is a much better option, a temporary roof repair will do in the short term to save you thousands of dollars in further water damage to the rest of your house.
Connect with us for more information on storm repairs and dealing with a leaking roof.
A well-structured roof can last for years and take plenty of abuse from the weather. However, part of maintaining your roof’s lifespan is handling small incidents as they happen. If you’re beginning to notice that your roof leaks in heavy rain or even in a drizzle, it’s time for repairs.
A leaky roof is more than an inconvenience. The potential for severe water damage to the rest of your roof and to the house itself is too great to put off repairs too long. In the meantime, however, there are a few things you can do to keep the water from causing too many problems while you wait for emergency roof repairs.
Contain and Drain the Leak
If you can see a dripping spot on your ceiling, place a bucket underneath to catch the water. Once the initial dripping is contained, see if there’s a dark spot or bulge where the water is dripping from. More than likely, rainwater is pooling back there and will eventually burst out. With a little care, you can prevent this from happening. Stand on a ladder as close to the leak as you can and gently insert a screwdriver into the bulge or dark spot to drain the excess water. While you may see increased water flowing into the bucket briefly, this will prevent too much water from accumulating and causing further damage.
Temporarily Cover the Leak
Do this ONLY if you are confident you know where the leak is on your roof and if it is safe to climb on your roof. Locate the source of the leak and cover it as best you can with a waterproof tarp. If you can find the same leak inside your house, cover the interior with a tarp as well. While this is just a temporary fix, it will prevent the damage from worsening in the meantime. Even professional roofing companies can’t repair your roof in bad weather.
Pro Tip: NEVER climb on your roof during a rainstorm. Roofing material becomes slick when wet and you can easily fall.
Watch for Other Damage
Ignoring a roof leak will not make it better. Monitor your roof and the surrounding areas for any additional signs of damage. It’s probably time for a more intensive roof repair if you notice any of these warning signs:
- Dark spots or sagging on the inside ceiling
- Missing, broken, or warped shingles
- Clogged roof gutters or drains
- Missing roofing material around vents, chimneys, etc.
Emergency Roof Leak Repair
Once the leak is contained temporarily, call your local roofing contractor and schedule an emergency repair as soon as you can. Once the weather is clear enough for them to work, you should get the hole patched immediately. Don’t let your roof continue leaking and letting rainwater into your house.
Connect with us to learn more about temporarily containing leaks and inspecting your roof for damages.
Anyone familiar with severe Houston weather knows it’s very possible to take a lot of wind damage very quickly in a storm. At best, you might lose shingles and get a few leaks. At worst, half your roof could get blown off. The potential effects are simply unpredictable. And, unfortunately, wind damage roof insurance claims are not often addressed in insurance discussions.
Are You Covered?
Before any severe weather arrives, make sure you know the details of these 4 critical points about your roof insurance. Knowing the full extent of your insurance coverage and preparing for the worst could save you an immense amount of money and frustration later on.
- Most insurance policies cover wind damage
- What is an anti-concurrent causation clause?
- Insurance will choose the cheaper option
- Avoid storm chasers
1) Most Insurance Policies Cover Wind Damage
Even if there are only a few sentences about wind damage in the fine print of your insurance information, you’re almost guaranteed at least partial coverage. The real question is how much cover do you have in practice, and when will the insurance company pay? Start by reading all the fine print in your policy and discuss this question directly with an agent when you can.
Pro Tip: In some areas, wind damage insurance coverage is mandatory. In other areas, this coverage is optional and may not be provided by major insurance companies. Make sure you know what’s in your policy.
2) What is an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause?
Simply defined, an anti-concurrent causation restriction states that if your home is affected by two disasters (such as roof damage and flooding) and only one disaster is covered, the insurance company may refuse to cover either expense. Obviously, this could be a nasty surprise to anyone already dealing with a devastated house. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out if your policy has this! If you aren’t sure, contact your insurance agent and ask them to clarify any language that seems confusing.
3) Insurance Will Choose the Cheaper Option
This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever filed an insurance claim before. If your roof is badly damaged by wind, the insurance company will decide if repairing or replacing is the cheaper option, and will finance their choice. This policy usually makes sense. However, if the insurance company opts to repair an older roof with brand-new parts, the additions may not be compatible in terms of cosmetics or practicality. Talk with your insurance provider about potential compromises to this policy.
4) Avoid Storm Chasers
After a hurricane or severe weather event, plenty of out-of-town repair services see their chance to make quick money and swoop in on the desperate homeowners, offering “discounted” services. If a roofing company suddenly shows up and offers you repairs, don’t fall for their dishonest pitches. Stick with a local, reliable roofing company with a proven track record in your area. Not only will the final product be better in quality, but you’ll also avoid the scammy tactics of storm chaser companies.
Wind Damage and Roof Insurance Claims
The first step to restoring a wind-damaged home is fixing the roof. After all, an unprotected roof will continue to allow rain and wind inside the house, making damages worse. Make sure your insurance will help you get your roof back in shape so you can focus on more severe repairs.
Join the conversation to learn more about roof insurance claims and handling wind damage.
A few short weeks ago in early May, severe rainstorms in Houston brought with them golf ball-sized hail, reaching the size of baseballs in some regions. If you were among the thousands of affected families, it may be time to have a professional inspect your roof and home for damage.
Drastic hail damage, such as smashed windows, is easy to spot and arrange repairs for. However, don’t assume you just got lucky if your home escaped severe damage. Even without knocking a hole in your roof or dislodging shingles, hail can leave subtler problems behind. A professional roof repair company can help you assess the total damage and decide whether a full replacement or a few repairs are necessary.
What is Your Roof Made Of?
Your roofing materials will help you determine the extent of the damage and potential repair costs. For instance, a metal roof will dent when exposed to heavy, rapid-fire hail. A minor dent might cause a little trouble with water flowing off your roof, while a major dent could be an indication of more severe damage underneath in your home itself. Meanwhile, clay or wooden shingles will split or shatter in a hailstorm, allowing damage to spread quickly.
Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material, may lose granules during a hailstorm. In a severe case, the damage will be obvious. Other times, the missing granules will be so subtle that only a professional eye can spot them. Either way, missing granules indicate a high level of force from the hail and could be a symptom of more severe damage under the tiles. At the very least, the newly formed weak spot can turn into a leak.
What Will Your Insurance Cover?
Your roofing company can help you negotiate with your insurance provider and determine your next course of action. If the damage is severe enough that a full replacement is necessary, your insurance company will pay for a new roof. However, repairs get tricky. Some insurance providers consider certain minor repairs as cosmetic and not as critical as emergency storm repair. Your best strategy is to have your roof professionally inspected and then negotiate with your insurance company with an estimate in hand.
Pro Tip: From time to time, have your roof inspected even if you aren’t sure any damage has occurred. A professional opinion can help you prevent a minor problem from becoming worse in severe weather.
Is More Damage Likely?
Is local weather projected to get even worse and potentially damage your roof further? More importantly, how long can you really wait to fix the immediate problem? A few missing granules off a shingle ultimately require a new shingle, but your roof won’t start leaking immediately. On the other hand, missing shingles or leaks require immediate attention. Talk with your roofing contractor for a long-term plan and timeline for your roof repair.
Repair or Replace the Roof
Ultimately, your decision to replace the whole roof or pay for a few repairs will depend on your roof builder’s suggestions, the extent of the damage, your insurance’s contribution, and the likelihood of things getting worse. Different circumstances call for different solutions. Find the solution that works best for your situation.
Connect with us to schedule your free roofing inspection today and have a professional assess the damage to your roof.