Did you know that roof failure is the most common type of hurricane damage? It's true, and it's also scary that hurricane-force winds can literally lift a roof off a building. They can do plenty of other damage too. And now that it's the thick of the hurricane season, you need to know exactly what to do if you are in one of the many areas of the country that is affected by these fierce storms that can impact a commercial building, including its roof. Here is a handy after-the-storm list to keep nearby during this unpredictable time of year.
As soon as it is safe to do so after a hurricane has gone by your area, do an initial assessment of the roof, looking for signs of damage. Although determining whether your roof or building has suffered structural should probably be left to a professional who specializes in commercial roof inspections, replacements, installations or repairs, you can certainly do a visual inspection yourself. Among other things, check whether membrane sections are punctured or have come apart, edge details are missing, HVAC units are damaged, etc. Always keep safety as your top priority – the storm may have left soft spots or created holes. Also look in the building interiors underneath the roof for signs of roof damage.
This is another step that you should do extremely cautiously and only if it is safe. Debris on your roof should be cleared as soon as possible to reduce the risk of damage if it moves along the roof surface. On the ground, debris should be moved out of the way of roof access points, foot traffic and vehicles. Downed power lines – either on the roof or around your property – should be completely avoided. Exercise care, as some items may be heavy, sharp, toxic or unsafe in other ways.
As soon as possible after a hurricane has moved out of your area, contact a qualified professional commercial roofer in your area. Let them know what damage you have already noticed and line up an appointment for them to do a thorough inspection as soon as possible. Then, complete any recommended repairs promptly.
Hurricanes can be brutally destructive. But being prepared and responsive to any roof issues that result in your commercial building after a hurricane or tropical storm can decrease your stress levels and increase peace of mind.