Answering Your Questions About Roofing

Four Techniques for Building a Hurricane-Resistant Roof

by Donald Evans

If you're replacing your roof after extreme hurricane damage or even if you're just building a home in a hurricane-prone area, keeping the roof as safe as possible from storm winds is one of the best ways to protect your house during hurricane season. You can get some guidance from local building guidelines for hurricane-safe building, but if you want to go above and beyond, try using all four of these strengthening methods. You can ask your roofing contractor for advice as well.

1. Use hurricane clips to fasten the roof to the walls

Hurricane clips are best installed while you're building the house or replacing the roof, although in some cases they can be added later. These clips can be installed by your local roofing contractor. Their purpose is to secure your roof to the sides of your house, using the house itself as an anchor to make your roof much less likely to detach and blow away.

2. Use tough, durable roofing materials

Asphalt shingles are not the best kind of material to use in a hurricane-prone area because they can come loose and blow away in high winds. You may prefer tile, slate, or metal (tiles are more likely to break in a storm, however). Of course, your fastening methods are just as important as the material itself so, whatever material you use, be sure that it's as securely held down as possible. Make sure you also have a solid, watertight roofing deck as a backup in case the hurricane does manage to pry up some of your roofing materials.

3. Use extra-strength fasteners and adhesives

One way you can help hold your roofing materials down is by using special nails called ring shank nails, which are much more difficult to pull out than normal nails. Normally, this is unnecessary because people don't go around trying to pull other people's roofs off, but, when your roof is likely to be subject to high winds, it can be an invaluable trait. To make sure the roof deck doesn't blow away, add strength by applying construction adhesive in addition to the normal fastenings used to secure it to the rafters. Your roofing contractor can install anchors for additional strength.

4. Limit or eliminate overhang

The more overhang your roof has, the more of a handle it presents to hurricane-force winds. You can reduce the wind's hold by keeping overhang to a minimum. Gable roofs are very susceptible to winds, so it's wisest to stick to a more practical style with less overhang.

These four tips will help you make sure your roof is up to any winds it encounters over the years. Ask a roofing contractor like Absolute Roofing for additional advice on securing your roof based on the type of roof you have and other considerations unique to your situation.