Living in an area that is prone to hurricanes or even just high winds can make choosing building materials more complicated. You want to choose materials that look attractive yet you also want your home to withstand damaging winds. These tips can help you choose the right materials and structure for your roof in high wind areas, according to RGB Construction.
Best Roofing Materials for High Winds and Hurricanes
When it comes to materials for your roof, metal is one of the best for high wind areas. Metal roofs are rated for winds up to 160 miles per hour. They are durable, long-lasting, and there are no small pieces to blow off during a hurricane. Ceramic tile is another good option for roofing, although it is only rated for winds up to 130 miles per hour. It is attractive and has a more refined look than metal. However, it is also much heavier than other roofing materials. Natural slate is rated for up to 110 miles per hour and is very eco-friendly, but like ceramic tile, it is much heavier than metal or asphalt shingles. Wood shake and asphalt shingles are not recommended in areas of high wind. Regardless of the material you use on your roof, it is important that you use the highest quality underlayment to protect the interior of your home should the top layer of your roof come off.
Best Roofing Styles for High Winds and Hurricanes
Another factor in choosing a roof in an area that deals with high winds and hurricanes are the style. Most experts agree that a roof with multiple slopes, such as hip roofs, is better in hurricane-prone areas than gable roofs. Although gable roofs are more common due to their lower cost, they do not fare as well in high winds. The best option is a roof slope of at least 30 degrees. There are some experts who believe that a hexagon or octagon-shaped roof is the best style in areas where high winds are a problem.
Other Considerations for a Hurricane-Proof Roof
Most damage to a roof in a hurricane is caused when the home’s roof is lifted from the building. This is caused when high winds get under the roof and push it upward. The best way to prevent that is to connect the roof to the walls which will help prevent the roof from lifting in a storm. Another option to secure the roof is to connect the roof ridge with a center shaft where the largest space under the roof exists. This will help balance the lift should a hurricane strike. Eaves can also be minimized to 20 inches to reduce pressure. Doors, including garage doors, vents, and windows also can be a factor during a hurricane. Therefore, you want to protect them as well to keep the wind from building up under your roof.
Common Roof Damage Caused by Hurricanes and High Winds
The most common damage caused by high winds is missing or damaged roofing materials. Wind can get under shingles or tiles, pulling them from the roof and exposing the underlayment. There is also often damage to the ridge vents as they are at the peak of your roof. If they are damaged, rain can quickly enter the attic and cause damage. The step flashing offers protection around vents, chimneys, exterior walls, and upper windows. If that is damaged during a hurricane, a gap will exist between the roof and the structure the flashing was designed to protect. It is also not uncommon for gutters to be damaged during hurricanes and high winds due to flying debris, tree limbs, or other factors. Skylights, vents, and attic fans are also susceptible to damage during a hurricane. Once the storm passes, be sure to check all roof structures closely or call a professional like RGB Construction to perform a thorough inspection of your roof.
Protecting Your Roof During a Hurricane
If you live in a storm-prone area, it is important that you take steps to protect your roof as much as possible. Some of the ways you can do that include:
- Place a protective layer of plywood over asphalt shingles or use roof sheets designed for that purpose.
- Trim tree limbs so they are not hanging over your house.
- Remove all objects that could become projectiles, such as garbage cans, patio furniture, and toys.
- Consider investing in hurricane shutters that will keep the wind out of your house and reduce the chance of roof uplift.
- Have your roof inspected annually before hurricane season. Replace or repair any missing or broken tiles or shingles. If you have a metal roof, have it inspected for rust and rusty screws that can weaken the integrity.
- Clean your gutters and drains.
- Consider adding roof straps to give your house more structural integrity.
Your roof is your home’s first defense against the elements. When you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or high winds, it is important that you plan ahead to keep your home safe should a storm strike. Keep in mind that coastal areas often have high winds even in storms that are not hurricanes, including nor’easters and even brief summer thunderstorms. These winds can cause as much damage as a hurricane and the damage often occurs quickly. This means that even if you don’t deal with hurricanes often, your home could still be susceptible to damage from a storm if it is not properly protected.
If you live in a hurricane or wind-prone area, contact the experts at RGB Construction to see how we can help you prepare your roof for storms. We take excellence seriously and all our technicians are highly trained. We are a veteran-owned company, committed to workmanship, timeliness, and integrity. We treat your home as if it were our own. Call us today at 856-264-9093 or fill out the easy online form to see how we can help you get your roof storm ready.