Storm Damage

Prepping Your Roof for a Tornado

tornado causing bryan roofing damage

As storm season continues to gear up in strength home often forget to prep their homes for high winds and heavy rains.  In the event of a hurricane or tornado, unprepared homes see far more damage than those that are prepared.  And while there may be little that you can do against super storms like F5 tornados, you can protect your Bryan roof against lesser storms.

Forces Acting on a Roof During a Tornado

A tornado creates immense stress on a roof in Bryan, Texas by manipulating the air flow and pressure on the roof, from almost all directions.  As a tornado approaches, winds that blow over the top of roofs create a collapsing pressure on the wall receiving the brunt of the winds force.  A second force is applied to the adjacent walls, creating pressure that forces the wall away from the house.  Finally, pressure, upwards towards to the roof will pull the roof back.

When these forces combine during a tornado, the house acts like a squeezed can with its lid being ripped off simultaneously.  The summation of all of the forces, break roof attachments in the order of strength; weakest attachments to strongest.  The older the roof, the more likely the attachments are weaker, even from normal aging.

Looks like an Explosion

Many homeowners that have been hit by tornado often describe the aftermath as if an explosion occurred.  Quite frankly, many images often depict what appears to be an extremely chaotic scene.  However, the resulting piles of debris actually follow the natural course of physics.

When a tornado rips a roof off of its weak connections, exterior walls have no bracing which increases lateral instability.  Much like the roof of a car gives structural support to the entire framing system, the roof gives structural support to a house.  Without it exterior walls tend to collapse outward.

How to Reinforce Your Roof

Hurricane clips are the most popular device for adding additional support to the roof.  These can be supplied by just about any home improvement store and roofing contractor available, in hurricane and tornado prone areas.

Hurricane clips are connective devices that actually translate the force and load experience on a roof to the foundation of the attached home.  The devices are easy to install and remove and can be reused.

Hurricane clips can provide protection up to 1500 lbs. of force for each hurricane clips.  In the event of a tornado it’s important to realize that the entire reinforcing system or hurricane clips is only as strong as the weakest connection.  That means that the reinforcing system will begin to fail when the weakest hurricane clip breaks free from the roof.

Best Use Practices

Hurricane clips are best used when installing from the exterior of the home and under the sheathing.  This provides the added layer of protection while keeping the roof and home aesthetically sound.

Because different municipalities have different requirements on hurricane clips, they should be installed by a professional roofer who has the storm experience to place the right clip in the right place.  Proper installation of hurricane clips will help prevent your roof from lifting and lower overall damage, if any.  For more information on hurricane clip installations for Bryan roofing, contact Schulte Roofing today.