Hurricane Season is Coming! Are you Ready?

June 1st through November 30th is the official Atlantic hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), although earlier or later storms are possible. The Eastern Pacific season is slightly longer, beginning on May 15th. If you own a home in a high-risk area, you are encouraged to be proactive for the upcoming hurricane season.


2023 Hurricane Forecasts

This year the experts at Accuweather estimate a fairly average hurricane season with the following:

  • 11-15 named storms
  • 4-8 hurricanes
  • 1-3 major hurricanes

Last year there were 14 named storms, based on weather predictions from Accuweather this year should be the same.

How to Protect Your Roof During a Hurricane

Whether it’s a catastrophic hurricane or a powerful tropical depression, wind gusts, flying debris, and torrential downpours can cause considerable damage to your home.

Roofs are especially vulnerable due to their exposed location and large surface area. Storm winds can cause powerful uplift forces capable of peeling shingles off the roof’s surface. Rake edges and eaves are especially vulnerable. Once your shingles are gone, the wind starts to work on your underlayment, and soon your roof becomes defenseless against the pounding rain.

Should your home experience blown-off shingles, you may risk water infiltrating through the roof deck and into your walls and ceilings. Use the following guidelines to help prepare your home for the 2023 hurricane season.

Arrange for a Pre-Season Inspection

Your home’s roof will have a better chance of making it through a severe storm if you take care of problem areas before bad weather arrives. Therefore, schedule a roof inspection prior to hurricane season to check for loose or cracked shingles and damaged flashing. This is also a suitable time to discuss ways to shore up your roof in case of strong winds.

Provide Added Support

If you live in a region prone to hurricanes, you might want to reinforce your roof’s framing. While added support is easiest to install at during the initial build of a home, it is possible to reinforce your roof through the attic space. A professional roofing contractor can explain the pros and cons of various roof strengthening methods, such as:

  • Braces
  • Collar ties
  • Strapping

Choose Quality Products

Your choice of roofing materials can affect the amount and type of damage your home experiences during a weather event. For that reason, roofing contractors, builders, and insurance companies recommended using products tested for wind performance, which have been successful in real-life situations.

Take a look at these stories from homeowners who experienced the impact of Hurricane Ian in 2022 and whose roofs withstood the force of the storm. Owens Corning’s Duration® shingles with SureNail® Technology triple-layered protection, and Oakridge® shingles with a double-layered nailing zone protection are excellent examples of how specially designed shingles can help provide wind protection during storms. 

In addition to using high-performance asphalt shingles, consider these options to help prepare your roof for the upcoming 2023 hurricane season.

  • Asphalt Cement can be used under any loose or unsealed shingle tabs, on ridges, and the roof edges for added security. If properly installed, your roof should be sealed without the ability to pull up shingle tabs. However, if your roof does need to be fortified to prepare for the hurricane season, a roofing contractor can use an approved asphalt cement meeting ASTM D4586 specifications to help create a seal.

If you are building a home in a storm-prone area or in process of getting a new roof, consider underlayment products engineered to offer your home added protection during storm season.

  • Synthetic Underlayments provides an additional layer of protection between the wood decking and the shingles, mainly to help guard against wind-driven rain. In addition, should shingles blow off, synthetic underlayment that remains attached to the roof deck can help keep the elements out.
  • Self-Adhered Underlayments, such as ice and water barriers, are designed to help protect the roof where water collects or flows, including valleys, vents, chimneys, and skylights. During a hurricane, the wind can drive rain in horizontal sheets. Self-adhered underlayments can help prevent water from penetrating the roof deck. In hurricane-prone areas, contractors may apply one of several WeatherLock® Ice and Water Barrier options over the entire roof.

Be a Proactive Homeowner

When it comes to hurricanes, being prepared is much better than reacting to an emergency. So, keep your home hurricane-ready with regular inspections and reliable products designed to defend against wind gusts, driving rain, and flying debris.

Check into Potential Insurance Discounts

Proactively helping protect your home may earn discounts on your homeowner’s insurance. Some states even require insurance providers to offer discounts to homeowners who observe hurricane-related building codes**.

Depending upon your insurance carrier, you may need to schedule a wind mitigation inspection. During this assessment, a certified inspector will determine how well your home can potentially withstand intense winds. They’ll look at the siding, windows, doors (especially the garage doors), and, of course, the roof.

Consult a Roofing Expert

If your home’s roof is starting to show signs of wear and tear or you would like a pre-hurricane season inspection, contact an independent roofing contractor. They can discuss the benefits of repair vs. a total roof replacement and advise you on hurricane prevention strategies for your roof.

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