St. Louis summers are hot and humid, but they’re also filled with hail and thunderstorms. Is your roof ready? If not, learn how to prepare for stormy weather in the Midwest.
Are You Prepared for Thunder and Hail Storms in St. Louis?
During inclement weather, you and your family probably take cover. While you shelter in place, your roof shields you from the outdoor conditions. Once the storm has passed, it may have left its mark on your structure. Hail storm damage costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year. If you’re wondering how to prepare your roof for summer storms, you’ve come to the right place.
Residential roofing systems can consist of various materials, some stronger than others. While some roofing materials stand firm against fallen debris, others are more susceptible to hail damage. Unless you have Class 4 impact resistant (IR) shingles or slate roofing, large hail, excessive rain, and high winds this summer can lead to major repairs or a roof replacement if existing damage has been ignored for too long. For these reasons, it’s important to address roofing issues as soon as they arise and always keep your roof’s condition in mind.
Prioritize Summer Roof Maintenance
You can’t predict the weather, especially not in St. Louis. Although each season deals this region a wildcard, one thing’s for sure—it receives its fair share of rain and hail. Because of this, it’s wise to take proactive measures that keep your roof in tip-top condition no matter how rough the weather gets.
Your roof system experiences natural wear and tear every day. It may not seem like your roof is damaged, but its appearance can be deceiving. Everything from roof thermal shock (temperature extremes causing roofing materials to expand and contract) to debris buildup causes daily degradation.
To prepare your roof for summer storms, follow these steps:
Schedule an Inspection
Before temperatures rise, it’s a good idea to schedule a roof inspection with trusted industry professionals. Roofing contractors’ extensive knowledge and experience enable them to spot roofing issues with ease. Annual inspections and preventative maintenance contracts are worthy investments that are way more affordable than unexpected repairs or a roof replacement.
Ongoing maintenance contracts include routine repairs and checkups that keep you aware of your roof’s condition. When contractors notice problems, they develop plans to eliminate them before they have a lasting impact on your roof. Be sure to document any damage to your roof and address it as soon as possible. Whether it’s grape-sized or golf ball-sized hail, it can still result in significant damage.
Clean the Roof Surface and Gutters
Any accumulated debris and fallen tree branches should be removed from the roof. Dirt and leaves piled up on the roof retain moisture. After a storm, they deteriorate on the surface, which can lead to mold and rot. Be sure to clean your gutters, as well. Otherwise, water, debris, twigs, and leaves can clog the system and stop water from flowing off the roof, down the drain, and away from the property.
When water stays on and around your building, it may lead to foundational issues, so gutter and downspout health is paramount. To avoid a backed-up drainage system, a great rule of thumb is to clean the gutters quarterly to keep them from overflowing with debris.
Trim Low-Hanging Trees
If large trees surround your home, call professional landscapers to remove excess foliage and cut branches. Strong winds and tornadic weather can leave large branches and trees all over your lawn, in the driveway, or blocking the front door. Anything hanging over your roof or near your windows can cause serious damage during a severe summer storm.
If trees and branches aren’t removed beforehand, they can crash onto the surface or crack roof add-ons, like skylights. This can lead to costly repairs that could’ve been avoided. Removing them in advance saves you lots of time and money later on.
Make Sure Your Homeowners Insurance Is in Good Standing
Call and speak with your homeowners insurance company to understand your roof coverage. Several factors impact how much financial assistance you qualify for if your roof is damaged in a storm. Ask about roof exclusions (roofing damage excluded from your policy) and ensure your structure is still within its usable service life.
If it’s over 20 years old, your home may be subject to a mandatory roof inspection facilitated by the insurance agent. If your roof is deemed too old to function correctly, you may have to get repairs or a replacement before renewing your policy. It’s best to find these things out sooner than later so you’re not left scrambling at the last minute when it’s too late.
Kirberg Has Your St. Louis Property Covered This Summer
Hail storms in St. Louis are nothing new. Kirberg has rectified all kinds of storm damage in St. Louis, Kansas, and Springfield, Missouri, for more than 100 years. Once we inspect your roof, we confirm the next steps, whether it’s repairs, re-roofing, or replacement. No matter what your structure needs, we perform an unbelievable transformation. Call us today to schedule your appointment and get a free estimate.