The Sunshine State may be named for its fair weather, but living in Florida can also take a toll on your home. High humidity levels, scorching temperatures, major rainstorms, and hurricanes can be hazardous to residents and to all kinds of structures. In order to protect your personal belongings and the value of your property, you’ll need to take a proactive approach — especially when it comes to your roof. Although a properly ventilated roof can last 20 years or longer in most states, Florida homeowners need to stay on top of maintenance and repairs in order to safeguard their houses and their loved ones. Here are just a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind to protect your home’s roof in Florida.
Trim Your Trees
When you live in Florida, you’ll benefit from beautiful landscaping year-round. However, you’ll need to stay current on your tree-trimming if you want to protect your roof. Overgrown tree limbs and broken branches can easily damage your roof during a storm, while leaves and other debris can clog your gutters. And since overgrown foliage can also make it easier for pests to find their way into your home, you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent these scenarios. After all, termites alone cost Americans $5 billion in damage repair, on average! By keeping your trees trimmed back, you’ll lessen the chances that your home’s structural integrity will become compromised.
Clean Out Gutters
Even if you keep your trees well-trimmed, however, you’ll still need to give your gutters some attention. Cleaning your gutters regularly will ensure that water is able to flow away from your home uninterrupted. When gutters become clogged, the water will remain there and cause damage to your roof (along with other areas of your home). Water damage can be quite expensive to repair — and certain losses may be irreplaceable. Although Florida might not have quite as many trees that lose their leaves in the autumn, it’s still critical that you clear out your gutters to avoid damage.
Add Roof Reinforcements
Weather plays a role in 21% of car crashes, but it can also lead to lots of home insurance claim filings in states like Florida. It’s important to note that roof straps are required by state law, which means your roof should already have them. However, they may not be rated highly enough for the wind force your home might face. You may need to replace your roof straps if they’re not able to withstand 155 mile-per-hour winds. In addition, you could consider adding certain kinds of roof reinforcements, like overlapping panels or a water barrier. In a hurricane-prone state like Florida, you can never be too careful.
Prioritize Regular Inspection
Having your roof inspected by a professional on a regular basis is ultimately one of the best ways to protect your home. Ideally, you should perform a roof inspection every six months (or at least once prior to each hurricane season). When the average home has three bedrooms and 1,800 square feet, you have enough on your plate. Don’t attempt a roof inspection on your own. A professional can alert you to potential vulnerabilities, advise you on repairs that should be performed, or let you know if a total replacement is the best way to go. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — and you’ll be a lot happier if you have the information you need to avoid a disaster rather than paying to deal with it later on.
Replace Older Roofs
This year, Florida homeowners have already started to receive letters from their insurance companies. Due to a proposed piece of legislation that would allow insurers to provide cash value (instead of total replacement cost) for roofs older than 10 years old, many insurance companies are contacting homeowners to urge them to replace their older roofs or risk being dropped from coverage entirely. This could present major problems for homeowners whose roofs have a good amount of wear left but who can’t afford to replace their roofs or lose their insurance coverage. However, if your roof is actually nearing the end of its lifespan or you’re looking to replace it with a material that’s better suited to Florida’s climate, you might want to consider making the switch to a metal roof or clay tiles. This decision is highly personal, but if you’re in the position to do so and it makes sense for your home’s needs, roof replacement could bolster your property protection and even increase the value of your home in the long term.
While there are a lot of great things about living in Florida, residents do need to prepare for extreme weather during certain times of the year. In order to protect your family and your property, you’ll want to give these roofing tips some thought.