How to Prepare Roof Gutters Before a Hurricane
Hurricane season is getting longer and more dangerous each year so it is more important than ever to know how to protect your home, especially your roof. Did you know that almost 80 percent of the damage homes suffer during a hurricane is to the roof?
Keeping your roof gutters clear and in good condition can help reduce the amount of damage your roof takes on and how much water damage seeps into your home. The more prep you do, the less damage you fill face in the aftermath.
Here are some tips on how to prepare roof gutters before a hurricane:
Clean Out Your Gutters
If the forecast is calling for a hurricane, no matter how small, and you haven’t cleaned out your gutters in a while, then don’t wait any longer. There is no time like the present. Either have a company come out and do it for you or, if you are comfortable on a ladder, then get up there and clean them out before the bad weather is expected to hit.
Ways to clean your gutters:
- A leaf blower or a hose– but make sure you wear goggles and a dust mask and heavy work gloves.
- Purchase a gutter cleaning kit that can connect to your leaf blower.
- Use a garden trowel or gutter scoop to clean it out by hand. For best results, start at the drain outlet near the low end of the gutter. Then just dump into a bucket to dispose of when you are all done. It is best to do it when the leaves are only slightly damp not real soggy.
Besides focusing on what is just in the gutters, also make sure to use the leaf blower to blow any leaves or debris off the roof itself so it doesn’t all end up in the gutters the next time it rains.
Check the Condition of Your Gutters
You should also check the condition of your gutters and make sure none of them are broken or falling apart. Because that will make it difficult for the gutters to do their job. Experts recommend that you apply a gentle pressure to the gutters to make sure they are secure and won’t blow off. This is important to avoid not only water damage but also to prevent further damage to the roof.
Test the Roof Gutters Out
To really be sure that your roof gutters are prepared for hurricane season, you need to get up there and perform a visual inspections of the roof. Be on the lookout for missing, warped or broken shingles or rust spots on the flashing. Anything that looks like it is buckling or curling means that there was water damage their before. If there are any popped nails, make sure you nail them down.
You also need to run water off the roof while you are watching to make sure that your gutter system is draining properly.
Take some time to also inspect the inside of the house for any possible leakage like spots or stains on the ceiling or peeling paint.
Here are some other ways to prepare your roof before a hurricane:
- Make sure all cables and wires are fastened securely and there is nothing loose on the roof.
- Have someone come out and prune all the tree branches that overhand the house and are in precarious positions.
- If you have an attic or roof check, check the attic and the underside of the roof deck and look for signs of leaking or for tiles missing. Shore everything up the best you can so you won’t get water damage during the hurricane in these areas.
- If you have the time and money get a proper roof inspection from a professional. They will be better able to determine if there are any problem areas that you should have corrected before the hurricane hits. Remember that a roof inspection should include a detailed report, pictures of your home and an estimate for any repairs that might be needed.
- While you have a roofing expert out, ask whether or not your home could benefit from roof tie-downs. Roof tie-downs also known as “hurricane straps” can help protect your roof from the high winds that accompany a hurricane.
Besides checking on wayward tree branches that might overhang the roof, you should also take a very close look at all the trees on your property. Diseased or just old trees are more susceptible to damage during a hurricane because they are not strong enough to withstand all those heavy woods. Before hurricane season starts try to get cut down any trees on your property that you are afraid are going to fall down during a storm. A fallen tree can damage your home and cause injuries even death to your family so it should be taken very seriously.
The SpoutOff Can Help
Using TheSpoutOff system can help keep your roof gutters cleaner so you don’t have to panic right before every storm. TheSpoutOff are rain gutter outlets that can be easily added to a new gutter system and they are designed with larger openings which prevent leaves and debris from getting clogged up in the gutters. They also make it easier to check on your gutters because it comes with a removable downspout that allows you to inspect the system from the ground instead of having to climb a ladder.
Another great plus is that these outlets are easy to keep clean through the removable downspout that allows you to check on the outlets without having to climb a ladder. With TheSpoutOff, a fear of heights or balance concerns will no longer keep you from properly taking care of your home and it is a lot cheaper than hiring a professional cleaner to come regularly to clear out all the debris.
The SpoutOff can be retrofitted to your current gutter system or it can be added to a new one, depending upon your needs. The instructions are relatively easy to follow so it is something you can easily install yourself, but any local gutter company can do it for you as well. Never have a clogged gutter again.
Besides The SpoutOff System, there are also gutter shields you can get that will also keep your gutters from getting really clogged. Making sure your gutter system is up-to-date and properly installed can help too.
For more information on preventing ice dams on roof or dealing with a clogged gutter, contact The SpoutOff today.