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It’s time to batten down the hatches!

Batten down the hatches! Hurricane Michael just before making landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm on Oct. 10, 2018. (Image/NOAA)

Batten down the hatches is what sailors at sea used to say when a big storm was approaching. It was a warning call that trouble was brewing—and that preparations should be taken to minimize potential damage by making the ship as watertight as possible.

June 1st marks the beginning of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs through November 30th. The experts at Accuweather[1] have analyzed weather patterns over the past years that are similar to the current and projected patterns, and have predicted that 2019 will result in a near- to slightly above-normal season with 12 to 14 storms. Of these, five to seven are forecast to become hurricanes and two to four are forecast to become major hurricanes.

To borrow from the sailor’s lexicon, now is the time to batten down the hatches to ensure your roof is watertight! A roof inspection prior to a storm can help discover defects that could fail in a major wind event, creating a potentially hazardous situation. While even a properly designed and installed roof is not 100% immune from a storm’s flying debris, pressure and wind uplift, preventative maintenance now could potentially pay huge dividends in dollars saved in future repairs.

Here are some steps to help ‘batten down the hatches’ on your building:

  • Clean drains and make sure they are free of debris
  • Check for loose metal flashings such as drip edge, reglets, coping and wall terminations
  • Remove or repair items such as loose HVAC parts, construction debris, pallets, cables and obsolete equipment
  • Inspect the surface of the roof to include the field, detail areas and flashing for possible water infiltration
  • Check for failing wall flashings where wind or rain can infiltrate
  • Schedule a roof inspection with a knowledgeable professiona


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