As summer comes to a close, residents in Florida are hopeful that a relatively quiet hurricane season will remain so. From June 1st through November 30, homeowners across the state brace themselves for what can historically be a time of extreme weather patterns that cause significant damage to property and person. From Andrew streaking a path of destruction through South Florida in 1992 to the infamous 2004 season, hurricanes are an all too often occurrence that demand preparation and safety.

In 2014, the Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be less than the historic average of preceding years. The most recent forecast called for 7 to 12 named storms, including up to 6 hurricanes. After Arthur and Bertha, this leaves the potential of 4 more named storms with winds that exceed 74 mph, the minimum speed for classification as a hurricane. This below average prediction should give Floridians some relief from worry but, as always, vigilance is needed during each season.

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Given our city’s unique location in the state, Jacksonville roofers will tell any client that we are always at risk of significant damage caused by extreme weather. As storms crawl up the coast, leaving the warm waters of the Caribbean behind and entering the Gulf Stream, Jacksonville is left in the crosshairs even if we don’t suffer a direct strike. This means that homeowners must be prepared to confront a deluge of rainfall and sustained winds that threaten the integrity of your property. It is important to protect your home in advance of any coming storm.

The most essential part of your home that needs to be protected as a hurricane approaches is the roof. The roofing system is your first line of defense against the damaging elements associated with extreme weather. Without a fully-functioning
roof in the days after a hurricane, your home will be susceptible to further damage as the meteorological activity continues to be unpredictable.

So what steps can you take to protect your roof? Let’s take a look at a few that can be completed to ensure your home is prepared in advance of a storm:
• Hurricane straps: Hurricane straps and clips create strong connections between the structural elements of your home. They tie rafters to top plates and load-bearing walls. Many older homes were not built with this potentially structure-saving feature but they can be retrofitted at a later date.
• Inspect your roof: Homeowners can conduct their own roof inspection, checking for loose or missing shingles, but it is recommended they call an expert to complete this task. Repairs may be needed and untrained eye may not catch what could be a life-saving improvement.
• Trim Your Trees: Make sure there are not any dead sections on your trees threatening your roof. In a storm of any significance, these dead branches and limbs can break off, with the potential to puncture and threaten the integrity of roofing system.

These are just a sampling of the steps homeowners should take to prepare for a hurricane or other threatening storm. When in doubt, it is always advisable to contact one of the many reputable Jacksonville roofing companies and have an inspection carried out by a trained professional.