Protecting Coastal Property: Securing the Roof

Hurricane Property Preparation > Roof Protection

In this series of posts, we explored how to protect high-risk coastal properties from suffering hurricane damage. We’ve already covered garage reinforcement, how to secure windows and doors, and tree trimming tips to prevent limbs from becoming weapons in extreme winds. In this final installment, we’re going to take a closer look at how to properly secure the roof. As the first line of defense, owners of high-risk coastal properties can protect their investments with a comprehensive Property Insurance policy.


Homeowners can’t fix what they don’t know is broken. An inspection can be done within a day, or a professional roof inspector can be hired for just under $200.

According to House Logic, look for curled, loose, or missing shingles or roof tiles. Pay particular attention to the edges of the roof. Also check the spacing of the nails that hold the shingles and underlying roof deck onto your houses. Nails should be approximately four inches apart along edges. Nails, not staples, should be used to secure the roof deck to the rafters.

Take an inside look.

If the home has an attic, inspect the roof from the inside. If there are any spots where the outside is visible, mark it and replace the shingles. Also look for exposed nails which indicate that the plywood has shifted or rotted. These should also be replaced to keep the roof fully intact, as well.

In addition, a roofing contractor can apply “hurricane clips” that connect the roof to the home’s walls to reduce the likelihood of the roof blowing off in extreme hurricane winds. If the roof is a gable roof, or an inverted “V,” wooden braces that attach to the rafters at the ends of gable roofs increase stability.

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