Believe it or not, some materials can withstand a hurricane’s high wind speeds and torrential downpours. If you’re curious about a hurricane-proof roof for your home, read on to find out the best roof for hurricanes — and what you’re protecting against.
What to Prepare For During Hurricane Season
Wind-Driven Heavy Rainfall
This water damage is different from a flood because it’s rainfall created and moved around by the wind. What’s important to understand about wind-driven heavy rainfall is that your insurance company may not cover this damage. Unlike a flood, without wind, the rain wouldn’t have made its way into your house. So understanding your coverage and protecting your home is important to do before the storm hits.
Another unexpected occurrence with a hurricane season is the impact that can come from debris picked up and driven by the winds. Just like wind-driven rain, hurricane forces can transport other items and slam them into your roof or home. While not all damage is avoidable, look for dead or low-hanging branches that may become projectiles in the case of a storm. An impact from a tree limb can just as easily damage your roof as the winds and hurricane itself.
High Winds and Uplift
High winds and uplift are common with hurricanes and can cause significant destruction in their wake. Regardless of the roofing material you choose for your home, be sure to get it inspected and repaired if necessary to avoid any weak spots where hurricane gusts or uplift can start to tear your roof apart.
As if hurricanes weren’t enough, the conditions that occur during a hurricane season can often produce one or more accompanying tornados. Much like hurricanes, the best way to protect your roof against a tornado is to understand and choose the best roofing material and design for your home.
Roofing Material: What Building Material Should You Use?
Keep reading to learn more about your options.
To begin, let’s start with the best: metal roofing. Metal roofs are not only durable but they have also been proven to be capable wind resistance of approximately 140 mph winds. Category 4 hurricanes fall into this range, which means a metal roof is one of your best options for storm protection. Metal roofing is, without a doubt, a leading roof type for hurricane-prone areas.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to metal roofs design guidelines, including your roof deck, roof slope, and roof shape. A metal roof is a structural panel roof system that works best when installed by professionals who understand how to layout the metal roofs panels and how to fasten them together with proper attachments.
While a metal roof is one of your best options for hurricane protection, the most common reason it fails is improper installation. If you’re considering an upgrade, be sure to select a professional roofing contractor that understands your metal roof design and proper installation techniques.
You may also want to consider where metal roofing is susceptible to damage, like in the case of hail storms.
Ceramic Tile Roofing
Ceramic tile roofing is another popular roof material chosen by homeowners in Florida. While not as strong as metal roofing against hurricane wind loads, these roofs can still withstand 100+ mph winds.
Unlike metal roofing, ceramic tile roofing uses individual pieces, attached most often with wire, clips, and concrete. For tiles at the highest roof pitch or gable edges, you’ll likely see pre-drilled holes for screws. This is to protect against areas of the roof that are most hurricane-prone to experiencing high winds that can cause tiles to blow away. To get the most out of ceramic and clay tiles, you’ll need quality underlayment and a professional installation. With both, you can enjoy a ceramic or clay tile roof for up to fifty years with regular upkeep and repair.
What’s the difference between ceramic tile roofing, clay, and slate? The biggest factor between the variations is weight. At a much lighter weight, ceramic tile is a good choice for Florida homeowners that want to achieve a specific look but don’t have a home that can support the heavier clay tiles.
Wood Shake Roofing
Depending on where you live in Florida, wood shakes may be a common roof choice. Surprisingly, these roofs hold up extremely well in a hurricane season, are wind resistant to a wind speed of 200 mph. However, they don’t make our top of the list because of the complicated design requirements and high cost. Installation, repair, and replacement of wood shakes is extremely labor-intensive.
Another problem with traditional wood shake roofing is the degradation of wood and the possibility of fire or insect infestation. New wood shake roofs typically include sealants to protect from some of these common problems.
Most roofers and homeowners are familiar with the common asphalt shingle roofs. These roofs can withstand winds of 100+ mph, and they are a cost-effective option in most cases.
If your home is in hurricane and wind-prone areas, FEMA recommends installing asphalt shingles with nails rather than staples. This helps secure the asphalt shingles to the roof in a way that can more likely survive hurricane season and the accompanying storms.
Roof Design — How Should You Design Your Roof?
An ideal roof for a hurricane is more than just roofing materials. It’s also about roof design. If you are in the process of designing, building, or rebuilding your roof, consider these options:
The Shape of Your Roof
A hip roof is the best option to combat gusts and hurricanes. This design is more stable than a gable roof because it slopes upward from all sides and doesn’t have any vertical ends.
The Slope of Your Roof
To withstand winds and accompanying storms, choose a roof with a 30-degree angle. This roof resists uplift, which can occur when the air current moving through comes in contact with a roof that is flat. Air pressure that is higher underneath the roofing system than above it is another way this phenomenon can occur.
Fasteners and Anchors
Unlike planning a new roof, installing proper fasteners and anchors can often be done to an existing structure — protecting during a hurricane season or high winds. These fasteners can be made from carbon steel or stainless steel. An experienced roofing contractor will attach these fasteners to your existing rafters, better securing the structures together.
Prepare Your Hurricane-Proof Roof Today!
After you’re done preparing your roof for a hurricane, don’t forget to prepare yourself and your family for a hurricane. Check out our hurricane survival kit for all supplies you may need to stock up on.
If you need assistance understanding your roofing materials or design, give our team a call. We’re happy to offer a free no-obligation roof inspection of your roof that will help you be prepared in the event of a hurricane during a hurricane season.
Need help after the storm wind damage? Contact our team for emergency repairs that help you restore your home after extreme weather.