Coastal Texans are bona-fide residents of hurricane country. It’s not a question of “if” but “when” the next tropical storm will develop into a full-blown cyclone roaring out of the Gulf of Mexico.
During a hurricane or high-wind event, as your roof goes, so goes your home. If your roof is solidly constructed and reinforced, it’s more likely to withstand the relentless bullying of fierce winds. If your roof is poorly fastened to your home, it’s more likely to be carried away, leaving your entire home destroyed.
UNDERSTAND WHY ROOFS FAIL IN HIGH WINDS
As high winds from hurricanes or tornadoes blow over your home, they press down with extreme force on your roof. They exert a similar force against the windward walls. Meanwhile, pressure is exerted against the inside walls and up under the roof, creating a suction situation.
If your roof is not properly secured to your home, the combination of exterior and interior pressure may cause the roof to lift away from the walls. Often, the walls then collapse outward as if the entire home has exploded.
When your roof is properly secured to your home, the energy from the high winds is transferred from roof to walls to the ground. The roof doesn’t bear the brunt of the intense air pressure.
GET THOSE SHINGLES GLUED DOWN
There’s never a guarantee that typical asphalt shingles will make it through a hurricane unscathed. However, new shingles handle high winds far better than aged shingles. Glue and coatings begin to fail on older shingles, and this failure makes the shingles prone to fly away under strong winds.
Glued backings and applied glues on shingles don’t always adhere as well as they should. Debris, cold weather, and other environmental conditions during installation compromise the ability of the glue to set up.
Depending on the type and age of your home’s shingles, it’s possible to re-glue some of the shingles so they’ll stick closer to home during storms. If your roof is over 15 years old, replacing and reinforcing your roof is a solid investment in hurricane country. Roof installers can place a layer of quick-setting asphalt cement under your new shingles to give you more peace of mind.
INSTALL SPECIAL FASTENERS FOR HURRICANES
There are several types of metal fasteners made specifically to brace the roof to the walls of the home. These fasteners are called hurricane straps and hurricane clips. They’re made to attach wood to wood or wood to masonry. Professional roofers should install these fasteners on older and newer roofs to ensure the straps or clips are correctly placed and attached.
Hurricane straps are strips of metal with holes along their length. The holes are used to attach the fastener into wood framing. One end of the strap is screwed into a wall stud or bolted into masonry while the top end is wrapped up, over, and around the end of the truss.
Hurricane clips come in various styles. They attach the trusses to the top plates of the walls or to wall studs. Some sit directly on the top plate and are formed so that the trusses and studs sit snugly inside the clip, adding more roof reinforcement.
GIVE YOUR GABLE ROOF EXTRA BRACING
If you have a roof shaped like a triangle on either end of your home, it’s called a gabled roof. Gabled roofs are considered more vulnerable to damage from hurricanes than other types of roofs.
Often, the only bracing for the trusses underneath the shingles is the plywood sheathing that’s nailed or screwed over the trusses. Toenailing the trusses into the tops of walls is common, but the nails slip out when stressed by high winds.
Retrofit your gable roof to be more hurricane-proof by having a roofing professional inspect the construction of your roof. They should check to be sure the sheathing is properly fastened to the tops of trusses. Beads of wood glue may be run along both sides of the trusses under the sheathing to add staying power.
Gable-truss bracing and gable-end bracing are two additional techniques used to make a gable roof stronger. Two-by-fours are arranged along the length of the trusses or in an X pattern from gable ends to interior trusses. This bracing fortifies the framing of the entire roof.
Begin beefing up your roof for hurricane season today with a call to Vertex Roofing. We’ll show you the latest roofing products and materials to make your home as hurricane-proof as possible.