12 Tips to Keep a Roof Over Your Head

After a Monsoon Storm:

12 Tips to Keep a Roof Over Your Head

This week I have spent the week on a California beach having a little family reunion with my family, my parents, and my siblings and their families.

Last night my brother received a call from a friend who informed him that the roof on my brother’s home in Arizona had partially collapsed as a result of the latest monsoon storm.

The air conditioner, covered in dust from the latest storm, had frozen over and then the ice had melted in the desert heat.

The weight of the melted water and the frozen air conditioner was too much for the roof and the air conditioner sunk right through.

My brother was not alone.

Thousands of homes throughout the valley sustained damage in this week’s storms.

We have been dispatching crews to assess damage and mitigate losses all week and my phone is filled with pictures of the aftermath left in the wake of these powerful storms.

During monsoon season, Arizona roofs are especially susceptible to damage.

Here are twelve tips that can help you keep a roof over your head this summer.

After a Monsoon Storm:

1. Know Your Enemy

On Monday afternoon, July 9, 2018, a massive monsoon storm tore its way across Phoenix, leaving no part of the valley unscathed.

Walloping a powerful punch of rain, dust, hail, and severe winds, the storm knocked out power to over 100,000 homes and caused damage to thousands of valley homes and businesses.

More dust and rain blew in again today, in another monsoon storm just two days after the last one.

And they will likely continue to roll in, one after another, for the next month or so as we work our way through this year’s monsoon season.

It’s important to understand the cumulative and ongoing nature of the storm patterns during monsoon season.

Then carefully and regularly assess your home and property for damage after every storm to prevent escalating issues. As the storms pile up, so can property damage.

After a Monsoon Storm:

2. Understand the Threats

There are a variety of ways monsoon storms can damage your roof, including wind, rain, dust, and hail.

Roofs are designed to have a wind resistance rating of up to 60 mph, but during storms like the one we had on Monday, it not unusual to get wind gusts above 75 or 80 mph.

Winds this strong can easily loosen or remove roof tiles, damage flashings and gutters or cause debris to penetrate or damage a roof structure.

Monsoons carrying heavy rains make your roof susceptible to moisture damage.

If the water makes it past the roofing materials to your roof deck, the moisture will eventually cause rot in the wood and lead to extensive damage.

Dust is another, less obvious, threat to your roof.

The coating of dust can cover air conditioner coils causing them to freeze and leak.

Over time dust can also erode and undermine roof sealants leaving you more exposed to wind and water damage.

Additionally monsoon storms can sometimes carry hail, which can break or crack roof tiles, and even puncture roofing materials, leaving the roof and home exposed to future water damage.

After a Monsoon Storm:

3. Inspect for Damage

Some damage is obvious.

It’s hard to miss the two-story tree uprooted and relocated to your driveway, or your neighbor’s trampoline that has taken up rent-free residence in your pool.

The damage on your roof may be less obvious.

As you know, heavy rain, wind and hail can loosen roofing materials.

When the outer shingles or tiles are damaged, lifted, or cracked there is greater possibility of water damage, so it is important to check your roof after every serious storm and regularly throughout monsoon season.

Be aware that walking on your roof to check its structure and look for damage can actually cause more damage and is risky.

Binoculars are the best way to check your roof after each storm.

Look for loose or missing tiles, any cracks in the tiles, or areas where the tiles are lifted or not lying flat and straight.

After a Monsoon Storm:

4. Flat Roof Considerations

Depending on the type of roof you have, you should be on the lookout for different things during your visual inspection.

With a flat roof you want to ensure that there is no debris or branches or other large objects, blocking or plugging where the water needs to drain off the roof.

Always remove any debris or foreign objects blown onto the roof by the storm.

Check for open or vulnerable seams where water can get underneath the roofing system and into your home or business.

If you see an opening or crack, have it repaired immediately.

Many flat roof systems can be easily repaired by a professional with an acrylic or silicone coating.

After a Monsoon Storm:

5. Pitched Roof Considerations

Pitched roofs have long valleys where water runs down.

Check that these canals are clear of any debris or rubble that might block the flow of water.

Again, carefully remove any debris deposited onto your roof by the storm.

Also, periodically have the seals checked to make sure they are watertight and haven’t eroded from dust or heavy rains.

After a Monsoon Storm:

6. Check Gutters

In your inspection, be sure to inspect your rain gutters and downspouts for blockages or damage that may have occurred as a result of the latest storm.

Make sure the gutters are hanging properly and that they are clear from debris, leaves, and branches that might have been relocated and deposited by severe wind gusts.

When the next storm arrives and the rain is coming in torrents, these are the most important tools to get the water off your roof and away from your home’s structure and foundation as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Your gutters and downspouts can prevent foundation damage and flooding.

After a Monsoon Storm:

7. Check Flashings

As you conduct your roof inspection, look for missing or lifted or bent flashing.

These are the metal strips that cover the edges of the roof and areas on the roof near an AC or heating unit, vent, skylight or a chimney.

These areas are particularly susceptible to water damage if the flashing is damaged or missing and will be the first place water enters.

After a Monsoon Storm:

8. Reevaluate Landscaping

As a general rule, it is better to plant trees and shrubbery farther away from the house and roof.

While they can look attractive, trees and plants that grow too close to the home endanger the roof anytime there is a serious wind storm.

If you decide to plant your trees or shrubbery close, be sure to keep them properly trimmed and the branches lightened to reduce the chance of damage to your roof.

After a Monsoon Storm:

9. Look for Watermarks

Watermarks or dark spots are evidence that there is already a leak and water is sitting or was sitting in that area.

Use a flashlight to check for suspicious marks and stains in the attic and ceilings and in other areas of your home.

If you find water damage, it’s important to get the area and materials completely dry as soon as possible.

Even small leaks can lead to serious problems.

Wet and moist materials that are left untreated can deteriorate and decay easily and are extremely susceptible to mold and fungal growth.

Use fans and dehumidifiers to accelerate the drying process, especially in humid, monsoon conditions.

An experienced restoration contractor is an invaluable resource when you have water damage. At Titan Restoration, we are experts in water removal, water damage mitigation, and in-place drying.

We have decades of experience, a warehouse of the best equipment available, and we respond immediately to emergency calls.

We actually pioneered an effective, in-place drying procedure that is now an industry standard and we understand the techniques and timelines to completely dry your property.

After a Monsoon Storm:

10. Call a Professional

If you find damage or areas of concern on your roof, avoid common mistakes by hiring a professional to repair the damage rather than doing it yourself.

Many homeowners who try to do small roof repairs themselves can make common mistakes that can actually lead to more damage.

For example, if you inadvertently overlap the roofing material from the low side to the high side, the water will actually crawl underneath the loose flaps instead of merely running down the roof.

Another common mistake homeowners make is trying to seal up penetrations and accidentally sealing it so water can’t get out, causing the water to run into the house as a result.

Left unattended these “repairs” can lead to severe water damage and even a collapsed roof.

After a Monsoon Storm:

11. Avoid Storm Chasing Scams

Unfortunately, once a severe storm has blown though the valley, you can count on storm chasing scams to quickly follow.

These are generally, out-of-town contractors that do quick and often shoddy work.

Be aware of the increase in scams after a monsoon storm and always use licensed, established contractors to work on your home.

Generally, these irreputable contractors will knock at your door and use scare tactics to convince you that you need their services right away.

The storm chasing roofer will claim that they work directly with insurance companies, and they will say that it will cost you nothing. Sounds good so far, right?

However, the way the scam works is that they take the total amount paid out from the insurance while charging the insurance company for good material, but they only complete the bare minimum work with poor quality materials.

The homeowners that turn to storm chasers are left with an incomplete job, or a poorly repaired roof, done with inferior materials.

Many times these roof repairs only last a few years.

Avoid these scams by only working with contractors who have an established business in the community, with years of experience, reviews, and references for the work they have done.

After a Monsoon Storm:

12. Prepare for the Unexpected

No matter how vigilant and careful you are about inspecting your roof and watching for possible damage after a monsoon storm, it is still possible for unexpected damages to occur.

Microbursts can do incredible damage even to new roofs and flying debris or branches from the surrounding neighborhood can penetrate any roof structure.

When this happens, dust, rain and storm debris will also quickly find their way into your home.

When you find yourself in an emergency situation like this, have a plan in place. Know who to call for immediate help. The faster you can get a temporary tarp in place, the less water damage and structural harm will occur.

Titan Restoration is fully prepared to answer emergency calls and dispatch a crew to mitigate any water damage, limit your home’s exposure to the outside elements, and restore your home to pre-storm conditions.

Whether the damage is large or small, occurs on a residential or commercial property, Titan Restoration has the equipment, expertise, and experience, to prevent further damage and restore any losses.

Titan Restoration has over two decades of experience with the Arizona monsoon season. We have seen the incredible power of these storms as they have damaged roofs, homes, and commercial properties throughout the valley. From flooding to microburst destruction, from hail damage to complete roof collapse, over the years, we have seen it all.

No matter how unpredictable the monsoon season is or how significant the resulting damage is, we are ready to help Arizona home and property owners rebuild and repair. We are a dependable, qualified restoration contractor committed to restoring properties, from the roof to the foundation, exactly as they were before the storm hit.

Your roof is your biggest source of protection during a storm, but it can also be the most vulnerable to damage. Taking care of your roof and watching for potential problems, can help prevent flooding or more extensive damage when the next storm rolls through.

Given the importance of having a solid, secure roof over your head, it will be extremely valuable to use these twelve tips throughout the monsoon season to protect your property and your family, no matter the weather.

So Wrapping up for now

Conclusion

So, how were the storms in your neighborhood this week?

What are you doing to protect your home and property this monsoon season?

Tell us what’s working for you! Do let me know in case of queries in the comment section below and share it with your friends.

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