It’s no secret certain parts of the country are more prone to certain kinds of storms. In the summer months, this can mean hurricanes in coastal areas, and in the Midwest, tornadoes and thunderstorms. In the Northeast, heavy snowfall can be an especially difficult problem in winter. And straight-line winds can strike pretty much anywhere at any time.

If you’re a business owner, protecting your commercial roof from severe weather events should never be far from your thoughts. Mother Nature can do serious damage, so it’s important to be as prepared for commercial roof repair as you can. These are some ways to protect your commercial building from injuries to its most vulnerable surface.

Secure the Roof Cover

Roof covers come in two basic varieties: low-sloped and steep-sloped. Low-sloped or flat roof covers keep water from seeping through to your building, while steep-sloped covers allow rain to run off at an angle. When preparing for severe weather, take a walk around your rooftop to look for any loose or missing materials. These can increase your roof system’s vulnerability to high winds. They can also allow water to seep inside the building; plus, too much standing water can exert enormous pressure on your roof. If you notice anything like this, get it fixed immediately.

While you’re up there, also keep an eye out for any debris. When high winds strike, loose items can cause damage to the roof and other building structures when they’re tossed around.

Check Out the Flashing

Roof flashing is installed around the edges of your roof and secures the roof cover to the walls. It’s usually in the form of metal strips but can be made from other materials. Flashing also usually forms the edges of different roof structures to keep them secure and prevent water from seeping into your building at seams and joints. If any of the flashing is loose or rusted, chances are it’s already water damaged and should be fixed. A big storm will only make the situation worse.

Don’t Forget Your Gutters

Gutters, downspouts, and drains are designed to keep rainwater moving away from your building during weather events. This prevents water damage. But blockages can impede water movement and cause it to pool or seep into places it shouldn’t. The best way to prevent this is to remove loose objects on your roof that could cause clogs or blockages.

If your gutters and downspouts haven’t been cleared lately, it’s also possible leaves and other debris might have built up inside them, so you should have them cleaned regularly. Also, before a storm, make sure your gutters and downspouts are battened down. Gutters should be anchored by gutter straps, which are designed to resist high winds.

Make Sure Lightning Protection Systems Are Secure

If your building’s roof has a lightning protection system, make sure it’s strapped properly and all cables are in place. Disconnected cables will prevent the system from working properly, leaving you open to a major fire hazard.

Replace or Remove Old Roof Structures

When you’re inspecting your roof, look out for rusted screws, metal panels, and unused structures that might be loose. At the same time, it’s important to make sure any metal units are secured with hurricane straps, if hurricanes are an issue in your area. Check vents, stacks and solar panels to make sure they’re secured properly as well. The same goes for satellite dishes.

If you have any overhanging trees, make sure to trim them back so they can’t do any damage.

Think About What Comes Next

Before a major storm hits, you should arrange an inspection for after it takes place. Make sure to document the condition of your roof before and after a storm in case you need to file any insurance claims. Make sure you have enough money budgeted to cover repairs your insurance company doesn’t.