When news agencies report a monster category 5 hurricane developing over coastal waters, what, exactly, does that mean? A category 1 hurricane must have a minimum wind speed of 74 mph. As a hurricane increases intensity, it climbs the category scale. A category 5 hurricane is the highest classification possible with winds in excess of 156 mph. Where such wind speed is concerned, is there really such a thing as a hurricane proof roof? It may seem impossible, but these 8 tips are the best strategy to get a roof ready for hurricane season.
Shape of the Roof
When it comes to wind-resistance, shape matters. Aero-dynamics can mean the difference between a roof taking the full brunt of high wind or minimizing impact. The most hurricane-resistant roof that engineers have developed features a hexagon or octagon shape. Multi-panel features reduce wind load. If a hexagon or octagon doesn't appeal to your mind's eye, opt for a 4-slope hip roof. Multiple slopes perform better in high wind situations.
Slope of the Roof
The multiple slopes of a hurricane-proof roof should also lie at the right angle. A 4-slope hip roof, featuring 30-degree slopes, delivers a traditional appearance that is more wind-resistant than a 2-slope gabled roof.
Dramatic video footage of entire roofs being blown off homes is a frequent feature by new agencies. This happens because of high wind pressure that creates a powerful lift under corners and eaves. Roof designs with a central shaft connecting the roof ridge with the internal space that becomes the largest area of depression will help balance the lift effect of powerful high winds. Minimize eaves to 20 inches to reduce the area of uplift pressure.
The Egress Matters with Your Roof
All points of egress need to also be part of a hurricane-proof roofing strategy. Doors, garage entries, vents and windows all play a part in the uplift formula. They should be protected adequately.
The Top Layer of Your Roof
Are standard shingles better than concrete or clay tiles? After all, anything that flies off the roof becomes a dangerous projectile. The thought of a clay tile hurtling through the air at 100 mph is terrifying. That is why engineers and safety professionals recommend metal roofing as the safest and most hurricane-proof roofing option. A wide range of metals are available making it possible to install a gorgeous roof that is incredibly safe. In addition to the metal roofing material are metallic coatings that improve energy-efficiency and durability. Aluminum, copper, stainless steel or zinc are common choices. Some materials can even have special pigments applied to tint a metal roof to a custom color.
Upgrade The Unseen
The image of shingles flying off roofs during a hurricane easily comes to mind. However, beneath those shingles is a very critical underlayer of protection. Enhance the quality of this barrier and improve your hurricane-proof roof. Upgrade to the highest quality membrane for roof decking and flashings around roof structures, like chimneys and dormers.
Experienced Roofing Professionals
Building a hurricane-proof roof takes particular expertise. An average roof will never withstand the winds of even a low-level hurricane without receiving some form of damage. It is important to partner with a roofing company that has vast experience in the best procedures, design and materials recommended for roofs that will experience high-wind events. Your home is your most important investment. Consider a roofing company part of that investment. Hire a team with a reputation for excellence when it comes to the specialty of building and maintaining hurricane-proof roofs.
Start With A Roof Inspection
The first step to take in prepping your roof for hurricane season is to schedule an inspection by a professional roofing company. We have seen what hurricanes like Katrina, Ike and Harvey can throw at the average home. If you want to provide the best protection for your home and family, you need more than an average roof. To arrange an inspection of your roof and partner with experienced roofers who will help you develop an effective hurricane strategy, please contact us.