Oklahoma is one of the most tornado-prone states in the country. One part of your home that is most vulnerable to tornado damage is your roof. Not only can roof damage during a tornado lead to the need for expensive roof repairs, but once the roof of your home is compromised during a tornado, the rest of your home is then more susceptible to the damage that tornado high winds can cause.
If you are designing a new roof for your home in Oklahoma, then follow these five tips for a tornado-resistant roof design that can protect your home and family from these potentially deadly natural disasters.
1. Choose the Right Roof Material
Some roof materials can withstand high winds much better than others. The three roof materials most resistant to high winds are metal panels, asphalt shingles, and concrete tiles.
Metal roofs offer superior wind resistance due to how metal panels interlock and overlap when attached to their metal roof underlayment. When properly installed, metal roof panels join so tightly together that storm winds cannot flow underneath them and lift the roof upward. For ultimate wind resistance, choose a metal roof with concealed panel fasteners and a four-way interlocking panel design.
Asphalt shingles can also offer good wind resistance if you choose shingles with a high wind resistance rating. For ultimate tornado protection, choose class H asphalt shingles that are designed to withstand up to 150 mph winds.
Concrete tiles are naturally wind-resistant due to their natural porosity. Wind flows through concrete tile pores, which prevents uplifting of the tiles. Concrete tiles are naturally resistant to winds up to 125 mph or even higher.
2. Opt for Multiple Roof Slopes
While two-slope gable roofs are common, they are not very wind resistant. High wind forces can cause them to collapse or blow off your home -in the midst of a tornado. Flat roofs are also surprisingly not very wind-resistant.
Research conducted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) revealed that roofs with four or more panels tend to perform best when exposed to high winds due to their aerodynamic nature. A popular type of four-slope roof is a hip roof, although there are many other multiple-slope roof styles you can choose from.
3. Design Roof Overhangs Wisely
Roof overhangs perform the important task of protecting the exterior of your home and your home’s foundation from rainwater damage and the sun’s damaging rays. However, roof overhangs that are too wide can make your entire roof less wind-resistant — upward-blowing winds can lift your roof up by these overhangs very easily.
To obtain the benefits of roof overhangs with less risk of roof upheaval during a tornado, choose overhangs that are 20-inches in width or less.
4. Connect Your Roof to Your Walls
When designing a tornado-resistant roof, it is important to ensure your roof is connected to your home’s walls. Many homeowner’s insurance companies believe that having a secure roof-to-wall connection is the most important step to limiting damage inflicted to a home by high-force winds and offer a discount to homeowners who have these connections.
When your roof is securely attached to your home walls, the weight of your home’s walls and foundation help to keep the roof in place when it is subjected to high winds.
5. Optimize Your Roof Sheathing
While it is important to choose the right roof shingles or panels, even the most wind-resistant roof material cannot protect your home properly if your roof sheathing, also called roof decking, is not structurally sound.
According to the Louisiana State University College of Agriculture, the most wind-resistant roof decking should consist of 7/16-inch or 19/32-inch wood. This decking should be held in place with sturdy nails instead of staples. An extra waterproof underlayment on top of the decking can protect your roof and home from water damage that could occur if any roof tiles do blow off during a tornado that is accompanied by rain.
When designing a new roof for your Oklahoma home, follow these tips to ensure your new roof is as tornado-resistant as possible. Contact Precise Roofing & Contracting for expert roof design and installation today.