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Jacksonville Roofing: Article About Roof Emergencies

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In the aftermath of a severe storm, fallen trees and heavy winds may cause power lines to fall down. Some of these may be live wires, releasing sparks and presenting a serious hazard to anyone in the vicinity. Utility companies inform people not to touch a downed line laying on the ground and drivers are typically told to stay in their cars if a live electrical line falls upon it. However, these dangerous wires may also fall upon a home's rooftop. Knowing what to do when live wires are touching a home's roof can help homeowners and Jacksonville roofing companies work together to prevent property damage.

Once a homeowner realizes that a wire is down on the roof, the first step should be to leave the building. Even just going across the street may be a safe option, unless there are downed lines there as well. Once all the people living in the home are in a safe location, the next action is to call the utility company. Most electricity companies have a hotline that is open 24 hours per day so that urgent situations can be reported.

If the wires are sparking, the homeowner should also call the local fire department.

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The firefighters can be on site to make sure that nearby trees and other structures do not ignite due to the sparks. Once emergency crews are at the home, power may need to be turned off to the residence until all repairs can be made. Any ongoing weather such as lightning or high winds may delay the process of removing the live wires from the home's rooftop.

After the wires have been removed from the roof and any risk of fire or injury has been eliminated, it will be time to assess the condition of the roofing system. An experienced roofer will conduct a thorough inspection from the ground with binoculars as well as by walking on the top of the roof to get a closer look.

Blisters may develop on asphalt shingles due to the heat from the wires, even if no sparks landed on them. Blistered shingles may crack or split open, resulting in a roof leak. The blistered areas may also lose their granules, resulting in abnormal wear and premature aging of the roof. Other common problems caused by live wires on a rooftop include melting of the shingles or vent caps, disfigurement of metal flashing and damage to the gutters and downspouts. Foam insulation boards, roofing felt and underlay may also be damaged from sparks or heat from the live wires.

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