Jun
29

How to Protect Your Roof & the Rest of Your House From Weather Damage

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Here at Bill White Homes, we know your home isn’t just a building. It’s the place where you raise your kids, entertain your friends, and enjoy time with family. It’s also one of your biggest investments. And though extreme weather can cause serious damage, fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect and maintain your home from weather-related issues.

Storms can wreak havoc on your roof

According to Climate.gov, weather causes billions of dollars worth of damage to property in the U.S. each year. When it comes to your home, wind, rain, hail, and snow can all damage your roof. Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles, tiles, or flashing. Have the issues fixed right away to avoid problems becoming worse during inclement weather.

Strong winds can loosen roof tiles and shingles, making your house more susceptible to leaks when it’s raining, so inspect it regularly for issues. Also, keep trees ttrimmed away from the roof to avoid branches or the trees themselves from falling on your home during a storm.

Wind and trees aren’t the only troublemakers when it comes to your home’s roof. During the winter, snow can lead to a number of issues if you do not clear it from your roof. Sometimes the weight of the snow can damage your home, but most of the time it’s ice dams that are a real problem. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms near the edge of your roof. The dam prevents snowmelt from draining off the roof, causing water to back up and leak into your home. This water can damage your ceiling, walls, insulation, and even your foundation.

Ice dams are formed when the center of the roof is warm (melting the snow) and the edges of the roof are still below freezing. This situation is generally caused by heat escaping from inside the home. You can certainly remove snow and ice dams from your roof with a roof rake. However, the long-term solution is to stop warm air from flowing out of the top of your house. Make your cceiling airtight and add more insulation into both your ceiling and attic to reduce heat loss.

Hail can also cause fractures in your roofing material, and over time, this can weaken the roof’s whole structure. After any major storm, you should have your roof inspected and any gaps or leaks fixed immediately.

Water can cause costly issues

Rainwater and snowmelt can leak into your home through the gaps and cracks in the roof and walls, and of course, torrential rains can cause flooding, too. Water leaks and seepage can cause damage to floors, ceilings, walls, furniture, and belongings. Freshome points out water damage can be costly and time-consuming to clean up and fix, and also lead to fast-growing mmold and mildew concerns.

In order to reduce the risk of rain damage, inspect your home for any places that water can leak in and take steps to protect your home, such as grading the soil away from the foundation. Waterproofing your basement can also help mitigate water damage.

Paying for repairs

As a homeowner, you’re well aware of the various repairs that crop up from time to time. Ideally, you’ve prepared a home emergency fund to help pay for significant repairs like weather damage to your roof. If you haven’t set aside money for emergency repairs, it’s time to make this a priority. Target an annual cash reserve of 1 percent to 3 percent of your home’s value, though more is always better.

When severe weather causes significant damage to your home, your homeowners insurance will more than likely help cover the costs of repairs. However, if damage is a result of a poorly kept roof or gutters, you may be on the hook. Again, it’s best to have an emergency fund set aside, but sometimes repair costs can exceed your savings. If you’ve been putting off a roof repair due to cost, you can make this a priority through a few financing options. Two of the most common are a home equity line of credit or a home refinance. A home equity line of credit allows you to tap into your home’s equity in the form of a loan, while a refinance allows you to cash out some of your equity and possibly secure a lower interest rate on a new mortgage. For more information on refinancing, review a refi FAQ list like this one from PennyMac USA.

Weather can really be tough on a roof. If you plan to list your house with Bill White Homes soon, or plan to live in your house long-term, you’ll want to protect your investment. Take the aforementioned measures to avoid the hassle, time, and cost of weather-related damage to your home.

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