New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) August 26, 2011
Reroof America understands... If the names Hurricane Ike, Rita, Katrina, Charlie, Frances, Ivan, Isabel mean anything to you, then you know that these were some of the most devastating hurricanes over the past 30 years. The other thing that these hurricanes have in common is that Reroof America assisted with disaster relief and damage repairs. In fact, many of Reroof America’s 60,000 plus roofs completed have been in hurricane prone areas, so suffice it to say… Reroof America has learned a thing or two about hurricanes over the years.
For starters, here are some elementary hurricane actions that may help keep you safe:
Have a plan – If you live in a coastal state you should know how vulnerable your family and your home is to hurricanes or hurricane force winds. Check to make sure you know where evacuation routes if they are present in your area.
Have a supply kit – Once a hurricane is headed your way, it may be too late for supplies. It is important to have a disaster supply kit ready with non-perishable items and supplies, prior to hurricane season.
Monitor conditions – the national weather service and the weather channel are excellent sources for on-line information; in addition, a battery powered radio or satellite device is recommended to track conditions through the NOAA weather radio.
Some basic hurricane readiness items around your home will help keep you (if you are not evacuated) and/or your home in the best possible position to survive the storm. There are several major potential threats to your home including, wind, flooding and even basic home security. Reroof America recommends the following:
For Protection Against High Winds - First and foremost all doors and windows should be covered. If storm shutters are not installed, marine grade plywood is the next best solution. Have a professional install straps or otherwise set up a system to secure the remainder of the buildings exterior including the roof, garage doors, siding, and roof frame, especially on gable roofs that may be more susceptible to high wind damage. If you have rain gutters installed on you home, assure that they are clear of debris and assure that all fasteners are tightly attached to your home. Finally, remember that anything around the outside of your home including large trees and other items will become projectiles with the high winds and should be removed if at all possible.
High Winds and Your Roof - Many roofing manufacturers have wind warranties that go up to as high as 130 MPH. However, it is critical that you understand that when a hurricane hits your area, your wind warranty most likely becomes void. Hurricanes are considered “Acts of God” and will void your protection. So, while having a highly rated wind roofing system installed on your home means that your roof is more likely to withstand the hurricane; it does not necessarily mean that your roof is warranted against parts or all of it blowing off during a hurricane. You should read the fine print on your warranty paperwork to verify your coverage. In addition, most contractors’ workmanship warranties will be voided with hurricane force winds.
The type of roof you have will factor in to the amount of damage to which you are susceptible. As mentioned, gabled roofs are more susceptible to damage from a hurricane. A gable roof looks like an “A” on the ends with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The edge of the roof line is called the rake edge and can be the most vulnerable area. Other issues with gable roofs can be the potential uplift to the roof sheathing and subsequent damage to the roof trusses, which hold the roof together. Preventing blow-offs on gable roofs will be discussed later in this article.
Home Flood Protection - If you home is in a low lying area and you happen to be in a storm surge area, you may not be able to prevent water from entering your home. Reroof America recommends that all electrical and otherwise combustible items be raised off of the floor to help prevent damage. Additional preventative items that can be installed in many homes include sewer backflow valves.
When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through all sorts of media. During a hurricane situation that can be monitored, you might have a day or two to get ready. Some helpful tips for evacuation:
1. Contact friends and family in near by locations for possible shelter.
2. Keep a full tank of gas in your car if an evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
3. Make transportation arrangements with friends or your local government if you do not own a car.
4. Keep a battery-powered radio or hand-held device and follow local evacuation instructions, and conditions.
5. Communicate with friends, family, neighbors or co-workers as to where you are going when you evacuate.
Finally, make sure your home is secure locked tight and secure. Close all interior doors and secure everything as much as possible. Remember, you may have more than just the storm to contend with in a disaster situation.
After the storm, there are immediate safety conditions that are of utmost importance. The critical dangers include, washed out roads, contaminated buildings, down power lines, contaminated water, debris in roadways, debris lodged in homes and other free standing structures, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring, and slippery floors. Often times it can take days to weeks for power to be restored to a hard hit area.
The first responders to hurricane catastrophe are typically the America Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These organizations typically help with the immediate health and safety issues that result from hurricane force winds and flooding.
Following the removal of the primary hazards, damage assessment and reconstruction can begin.
Guidelines To Selecting A Building Contractor– The type of contractor that you select to help repair your home will primarily depend on they type of damage to your home. Your insurance carrier will assign an insurance adjuster who will be the coverage expert on your home. For detailed insurance information and tips on coverage terminology, you can visit http://www.reroofamerica.com and select the insurance information tab. Many insurance carriers also have recommended contractors like Reroof America who are insurance repair experts. While your carrier does not require you to use their contractor, realize that your carrier recommends them for many reasons such as: thoroughly background screened, trained and OSHA compliant installers and a proven track record of customer service. Most insurance recommended contractors carry well above minimum levels of general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance, which is a necessity of any contractor working in insurance related repairs, especially in a disaster situation. In addition your insurance carrier or a third party administrator may back the contractors’ workmanship.
Other organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and in the case of roofing, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) or many manufacturers’ certifications (such as GAF Materials and Owens Corning) are a good ways to judge the reputation and validity of the roofing contractors in your area. In many states, there is a licensing board that requires verifying levels of competence from contractors; some allow contractors to merely pay a fee, while some require strict testing and insurance compliance. Check with your state licensing agency. You should never use an unlicensed, uninsured contractor. Finally, never pay any money out of pocket until the work is complete. This last point is one of the largest sources of construction scams.
Tips on products and programs to help your home survive the next hurricane:
Building Code Compliance – You local building code and that of the International Residential Code (IRC) and/or the International Building Code (IBC) dictate the construction requirements for all types of construction including framing and roofing. The local codes will vary from state to state and are likely more stringent in hurricane prone areas of the country. You will want to be able to discuss the code requirements with your contractor as well as doing some research, as most of the information is available on-line.
Roofing Selection – There are many types of roofing systems available, and most of which have applications for wind resistance and offer wind warranties (remember, these are not hurricane warranties). Your primary decision as to the roofing type that you select for your home can be the aesthetics of the roofing. If your insurance company is paying for your roof to be replaced, then you will have some options depending on whether or not you want to change the look of your home and upgrade to a different style of roof. Once again, your roofing contractor should be able to help you by offering several different styles of roofing, based on the area in which you live, the style of your home and your out of pocket budget. However, like many homeowners, a disaster is not something you planned for, therefore replacing your roof to its previous style may be the best option and choosing a roofing contractor like Reroof America, that installs full roofing systems to code and manufacturer specifications is critical.
Bracing & Hurricane Straps – Truss bracing, gable end bracing and hurricane straps are required by building codes in some areas, recommended in other and represent a better way to secure your home from hurricane force winds. Truss bracing typically consists of the installation of 2X4s the length of your roof, overlapping the ends across two trusses. These braces are typically installed 18 inches from the ridge, in the center span and at the base, with eight to ten feet between braces. Gable end bracing consists of 2X4s placed in a cris-cross pattern from the top center of the gable to the bottom center of brace of the fourth truss. Finally, hurricane straps are designed to help hold your roof to walls. These straps are metal that attached rafters and trusses to wall studs. All of the building reinforcements should be installed and/or inspected by a qualified professional.
Final recommendations on hurricane readiness safety and repairs from Reroof America Contractors include; plan ahead… there are plenty of warnings and time to be proactive when it comes to hurricanes, follow directions… from local authorities and keep safety your first priority, do your homework… when it comes to repairs and choosing the right contractor for any insurance or otherwise damage related repairs.
About Reroof America
Reroof America Corporation is owned and managed by J.R. Emrich, President. The company’s began in the roofing industry in 1979. J.R. Emrich and his companies operate debt free and utilize multiple suppliers in several states. Bonding capability is up to 4 million dollars. The Dun and Bradstreet credit rating for the company is 1R2 and the D&B # is 83-696-7372.
Reroof America is based out of Edmond, OK, having completed over 60,000 roofs in over 15 states over the past 32 years.
Reroof America’s primary business is residential roof replacement; however several locations have commercial divisions, window divisions and offer other residential construction solutions. Reroof America is fully licensed and insured in all states within which it operates, and is a member of NRCA, BBB and multiple local and regional associations.
For Information About Reroof America Contractors, Reroof America Corporation, Reroof America Management, or Metro Roofing, contact Mark Lenzer at: 405-330-5400 or mlenzer(at)reroofamerica(dot)com or follow reroofamerica on facebook.