If you're replacing your roof after a disaster, a qualified roofer can steer you toward the proper roofing materials for your area, says Ellis. When repairing a roof, make sure you get high-quality shingles that are in good condition. You must also make sure the roofer completes the flashing correctly, Ellis says. Flashing is where the roof meets a vertical structure, and water can get inside if it's not installed properly.
To make sure your roof has the best chance of surviving future storms, it pays to do some maintenance and add hurricane strapping if wind storms are a problem, says McCurdy. "With hurricanes, most of the damage comes from roof damage. If it blows your roof off, your whole house is exposed. Hurricane straps are designed to hold your roof on better."
Hurricane strapping involves a truss system. Clips and straps are tied in to the roof and house-framing system in the attic. McCurdy says you're mostly paying for labor, since the materials are inexpensive. Costs vary, but, "In comparison to the cost of a new roof, it's a fraction of that," says McCurdy.
Ellis adds that it's helpful is to check the roof annually, looking for curled shingles, hail damage and water leaks. He says one of his customers has a big leak now where a branch hit the roof. "They didn't know it was there," he says, and now the interior is rotting.