Tennessee isn’t new to tornadoes. The state has had more than 100 twisters between 2020 and May 17, 2022. Last year alone, there were 66 twisters. While most tornadoes in Tennessee are relatively weak, they can still cause significant damage to commercial buildings and their roofs.
When a tornado is forecasted, it’s important to take action to protect your commercial building and its roof.
Steps to Lower the Risk of Tornado Damage to Commercial Roof
1. Remove Any Debris From the Roof
Check for any debris, i.e., branches, leaves, and other potential projectiles that could be blown away by high winds and cause damage to the roof. Secure air conditioners, ventilation systems, and other objects that are not permanently affixed to the roof.
2. Inspect the Roof For Damage
Before a storm hits, it’s a good idea to inspect the roof for any damage that could make it more vulnerable to high winds. If there are any loose or missing roofing materials, have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible You should also look for any holes, cracks, or gaps in the roof surface and seal them with caulk or another sealant.
3. Install Hurricane Straps or Clips
If your commercial building is located in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, it’s important to install hurricane straps or clips. These devices help to secure the roof to the rest of the building, which can prevent your commercial roof from being blown off in high winds.
4. Reinforce Garage Doors
Garage doors are often the weakest point in a commercial building during a storm. If possible, reinforce them with heavy-duty straps or brackets. This will lessen the likelihood of them being blown inside by strong gusts.
5. Trim Trees Near the Building
Trees that are located close to the commercial building can pose a serious threat during a storm. If possible, trim them back so that they’re not touching the building. This will help to reduce the risk of them falling on the building and causing damage.
6. Review Your Insurance Policy
Before a storm hits, it’s important to review your commercial property insurance policy. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered. This will help you know what to expect from your insurer after the storm.
7. Be Prepared to Evacuate
Make sure you have a safe room in your building or an alternate place to go if you need to evacuate. Establish a plan so that everyone knows what to do and where to go.
8. Stay Informed and Listen to Local Officials
During a storm, it’s important to stay informed about the latest conditions. Listen to local officials for guidance on what to do and where to go.
9. Have a Plan in Place for Storm Roof Damage Repairs
Commercial building owners should always have a contractor they can call for emergency roof repairs. This will help to ensure that the repairs are made as quickly as possible.
Post Damage Checklist For Commercial Roof Storm Damage
The first step is to do a visual assessment of the roof and surrounding areas. Look for any obvious damage, such as missing roofing material or debris on the ground.
Inspect the Attic
If there is access to the attic, it’s important to inspect it for any signs of damage Look for leaks, water stains, or daylight coming through the roof. These are all signs that the roof has been damaged and needs to be repaired.
Check for Electrical Damage
If the storm has caused any electrical damage, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible This includes any damaged wiring, outlets, or switches.
Look for Fallen Trees or Branches
If any trees or branches have fallen on the building, it’s important to have them removed as soon as possible These can cause further damage to the roof or even collapse the building.
Check Vents, Gutters, and Downspouts
Even if there is no obvious damage, it’s important to inspect for any unseen cracks or leaks. Make sure that all of the vents, gutters, and downspouts are clear and in good working condition. These can easily become clogged after a storm, which can cause damage to the roof.
Hire a Qualified Roofing Contractor
A professional roofing contractor will be able to assess the damage correctly and make the necessary repairs. Be sure to get written roofing estimates from contractors before hiring anyone. Here are 8 questions you should ask a roofing contractor before hiring them.
Get an Insurance Estimate
If the damage is covered by insurance, it’s important to get an estimate from the insurer. This will help to ensure that you’re getting the full amount of coverage. Contact your agent as soon as possible to start the claims process.
While there is no way to stop a storm, there are ways to prepare for one. By taking the proper preventive steps, you can help to reduce the amount of damage that is caused by a storm. With advanced preparation, you can make sure that your commercial building is ready for anything. If you do experience storm roof damage, be sure to contact a qualified roofing contractor to make the necessary repairs. With the right contractor, you can rest assured that your roof will be as good as new in no time.
Eskola understands that commercial roofs require a unique type of maintenance, and we provide a professional commercial maintenance plan: Eskola Shield, to preserve your business roof in excellent working order and avoid future costly repairs. Take a look at what our program has to offer and how we can save your roof, time, and money!
Eskola Roofing is here for you before, during, and after the storm. We are available 24/7 for emergency roof repair services at (800) 884-3211. You can also contact us online for a free roofing estimate.
Not sure if your roof has been damaged by a storm? Learn about the Signs of Storm Roof Damage.