Sometimes you ride around your neighborhood and you see houses with blue tarps on the roof. We sure saw a lot of that after hurricane Hugo came by Columbia back in 1989. This is pretty common after severe weather.
There is not much you can do to prevent severe storm damage but there are precautions that will protect your homes interior.
If you have been in the same house for twenty years then it is time to have a professional inspect your roof. A roof that has been OK in the past can begin to leak during a heavy rain. This is especially common after a long dry spell. Extreme temperature changes can make nails back out of the roofing and come right through the shingles head first, creating a path for water to follow.
Patching these leaks with roofing tar or sealer is just a temporary fix. Once this starts happening to an older roof it is pretty much time to re shingle. If you live in a small house with a low sloping roof you may be tempted to try the job yourself. There are many homeowners who can do a good job but it is challenging work.
You need a truck to haul off the old shingles and scraps to a proper dumpsite. You also need to be able to finish the job up to an acceptable stopping point. Roofing a home is a job I recommend leaving to the "pros".
Some roofers will want to install the new roofing over the existing shingles if you have only one layer. I do not recommend this. The old shingles should be removed down to the original sheathing. The sheathing which is usually plywood should be inspected for damage then recovered with roofing felt before installing the new roofing.
Permits are required for work in the city limits of Forest Acres and Columbia. Make sure your roofing contractor is licensed and insured.
Shingles are most common in twenty-year and thirty-year grades. Most homes built twenty years ago were probably shingled with the lower grade roofing so they are due for replacement. The exception would be the fancier architectural type shingles that only come in thirty year and higher. White shingles should be replaced with an anti fungus shingle which is also a thirty year shingle.
Some people are using the new metal style roofing. You will need to make sure your neighborhood restrictions allow that type of roofing before it is installed. Metal roofing looks good but it also looks different. Just do your research before switching to metal. Metal roofing is a good product and will last a long time but it can drastically change the appearance of your home.
If you are beginning to suspect leaks or your shingles are beginning to look different don't put off having your roofing replaced.