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Windstorm Damages Thousands of Roofs in Walla Walla Valley

January 2008 made history, with wind gusts measuring up to 100 mph, leaving a wake of destruction that resulted in millions of dollars in damage to thousands of homes and businesses throughout Washington states Walla Walla valley.

After the storm swept through and the worst was over, Walla Walla was declared in “a state of emergency” by the governors office as thousands of trees lay across the roads, roofs, cars and power lines. Entire sides of buildings had been swept away, roofs were dismantled, business signs gone forever and thousands of commercial businesses and homes were without power for days on end.

As the power was restored and the damage was being calculated, the cleanup had to begin. And it was hard to tell where to start. Contractors were bombarded with thousands of calls from general construction, yard cleanup, siding repair and roofing. Thousands of roofs, from new to old, had to either be replaced or repaired. It looked as if every roof in the Walla Walla Valley had damage. From several shingles missing to entire roofs dismantled – it was a sight to see. Thousands of people tied-up every roofer in the valley for at least seven months or more, making it near impossible to get an appointment if you had planned for a midsummer re-shingle. Every neighborhood had roofing crews working around the clock to repair or replace existing roof structures as fast a possible to help prevent further damage from occurring due to water leakage.

Now, almost nine months later, the mayhem has died down and the roofing contractors and other construction crews have gone back to their normal work schedules. And with winter now almost upon us once again, it may be just a matter of time before another storm hits and the process starts again.

But to fare better if there is another storm, it is wise to take precautionary measures to at least reduce the damages and associated cost of what occurred in 2008. Below are some suggestions for homeowners that have shingle roof systems so they can try and reduce the amount of damage if another storm occurs.

1) Make sure the roof is heat sealed well so that no shingle edges are loose.

2) A tree barrier helps stop the wind.

3) Keep tree limbs off the roof as they will drag and tear off the shingles.

4) Use good quality shingles.

5) Use a good company that you know is credible and stands behind their work.

6) Install the roof at a time when it can cure properly, usually during the summer so that the shingles cement together in the heat.

Prevention is important, so make sure you home or business is storm-proofed and ready.

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