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  • Writer's pictureShannon George

Tornado Proof Your Roof

North Carolina experiences the majority of its tornadoes between March and June with the most common strikes occurring in the afternoons and evenings. North Carolina may not be in the heart of tornado alley, but tornadoes happen with enough regularity in the state that it is smart to be prepared for these natural disasters.

Damages from tornadoes range from minor wind damage to total devastation to homes in the path of the tornado. There is no way to avoid damage with the higher category tornadoes, but there are some preventative steps you can take to mitigate damage with the lower category tornados. Don't wait until disaster strikes to wish you could have been better prepared. With the proper storm-resistant roofing, you can ensure your structure can stand up to the weather.

Read on to see the best ways you can ensure your roof is protected from the effects of a tornado.

Before you can understand the extent of the damage a tornado causes, it is important to understand the classification system when determining the strengths of tornados. Tornadoes may occur in a range of forms, sizes, and intensities, bringing with them a variety of weather.

Tornadoes are graded on the Enhanced F Scale:

With a size ranging from 250 feet to two miles wide, these twisters may move for miles over the earth before breaking apart IF your home is in the path of a tornado, there are various types of damage that can happen to your roof and home.

Types of Tornado Damage:

  • Wind-During a tornado, the wind is the most prevalent source of roof and house damage, and it generally happens in one of two ways. Wind may pull numerous shingles off a roof in low-intensity storms, or cause them to lift or break. This exposes the roof to water damage, leaks, and UV damage, and it must be repaired as quickly as possible to limit the amount of damage and repairs.

  • Debris-When heavy winds pick up trash and blow it away, it might settle on your roof, posing serious threats. Wind may pick up tree branches, garbage, and other potentially harmful things and throw them onto your roof, creating dents, damaged shingles, or a caved-in roof depending on the quantity of the material and the speed at which it is traveling at contact.

  • Hail Damage-Hail is often associated with tornadoes, and if it hits 1 inch in diameter, most roofs begin to suffer damage. A continuous hail storm, such as that which might occur during a tornado, can cause shingles to crumble, split, crack, and lose their protecting granules. This compromises the roof's seal, making it vulnerable to water entry, following leaks, mildew, and other types of water damage.

Roof damage may be unavoidable depending on the intensity of the storm. However, there are things you may do to minimize the damage.

Quality Roofing Materials-

Consider the roofing material you are installing if you reside in a tornado-prone location.

  • Wind-resistant shingles should be your first choice. There are several shingle types with varying wind ratings that generally top out at approximately 130 mph. Wind resistant tiles include a thicker adhesive layer between the shingle and the granule, as well as a thicker mat, or base layer, which is often constructed of an innovative fiberglass substance. The combination of these materials increases the likelihood that your shingles and roof will remain in place during a storm.

  • Typically, a metal roof can withstand hail better than shingle roofs. Dents in the metal may be visible, but will not impact the functionality of the roof or the waterproof ability.

  • ​​Traditional slate roofs, as well as synthetic slate roofs, are excellent choices because of their strong wind resistance. Slate roofs are resistant to adverse weather conditions, and it is hard for wind to penetrate the material and raise the roof. Unlike conventional slate, synthetic slate is substantially lighter, yet it still delivers the same durability and wind resistance.

Roof Slopes-

  • Two slope gable roofs may be the most popular for new homes, but they are not the most wind-resistant type of roof. With strong winds, two plane roofs can lift off the house. Instead, consider a roof with four or more planes. Hip roofs perform better when subjected to high wind forces and are an excellent choice for a home in a tornado-prone area.

Roof To Wall Connection-

  • When creating a tornado-resistant roof, it is vital to ensure that your home's roof is well-connected to the walls. A house is stronger when it is linked and operates as a unit. Older homes will not have the same requirements or ability to withstand the wind. In newer homes, these connections are often requirements for insurance, but in older homes clips, straps, or brackets can be connected to the roof, and walls will increase the roof's stability and lessen the likelihood of the roof lifting in heavy winds.

Herring Residential and Commercial Roofing Protect Your Home by Ensuring Roof Stability.

If your house has suffered tornado damage or you are worried about its potential to survive tornado damage in the future, the specialists at Herring are happy to help you. We specialize in roof repairs as well as roof replacements on residences throughout North Carolina. Schedule your free consultation and estimate now.


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