Hurricanes are an unfortunate fact of life for residents of Jacksonville, Florida (and the rest of the state, for that matter). Hurricane preparation can help ensure that you and your family stay safe when things get rough, and that your home is protected from the brunt of the storm, but you’ll still need to inspect things after the hurricane blows through. One of the most important things to inspect is your roof, but you don’t have to get the ladder out just yet. There are several steps you can follow to check your home after a hurricane without climbing a ladder.
Hit the Attic
While finding damage on the roof is easiest from the outside, you can also do so from inside your home. Head to the attic with a flashlight, and inspect the decking (the plywood under the shingles). Look for signs where the deck is sagging, or signs of moisture (stains and wetness on the surface of the wood are dead giveaways). Dark spots and trails on the deck are also signs of a water leak. Turn off the flashlight and see if there is any sunlight coming through the decking – this is a sign of serious holes in the roof.
Look at the Shingle Color
After inspecting the decking in the attic, turn your attention to the outside of the house. Walk around the home and look at the color of the shingles. If you notice dark/black spots, it’s a sign that the colored granules adhered to the shingle’s surface are gone. Soon, the asphalt itself will dry and crack in the sun, causing a leak.
Check the Flashing
You may or may not be able to see all the flashing and seals from the ground. However, it’s important that you look. If you notice any curled, bent or torn flashing around the chimney, pipe vents or other roof extrusions, it’s a sign of damage and a potential water leak. All flashing and seals should be in good condition.
Look for Missing Shingles
Hurricanes blow through with intense winds – those winds can easily rip the shingles off, leaving your home exposed to water. Look at the roof for any signs of missing shingles. If there are any that have blown off, they’ll need to be replaced. Torn, twisted or otherwise damaged shingles will also need to be replaced as soon as possible by a licensed Jacksonville roofing contractor.
Your home’s gutters play an important role in protecting against water damage, but they can easily be compromised during a hurricane. Walk around the perimeter of your home and inspect the gutters and downspouts. Any downspouts that have fallen will need to be put back and secured. Look for signs of the gutters pulling away from the home, or areas where the metal has been bent. Any damaged gutters will need to be replaced. Sometimes, the fascia boards to which the gutters are secured will also need to be replaced.
What to Do If You Find Damage
If you find any damage or signs of water leaks, it’s important to call a reputable Jacksonville roofing contractor immediately. Roof repairs should be done immediately to prevent any further water incursion in to your home. In addition, a reliable contractor will be able to inspect the home to determine if there has been extensive water damage that will need repairs, or if mold has already started to grow.