The roof is one part of the house that gets the most damage during natural calamities such as hail or serious storms. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, in 2008 the United States lost $28 billion dollars due to property damage. According to roofing specialists, while there’s no way to control the forces of nature, there are ways to reduce or even prevent the property damage caused by natural disasters.
Causes of Roof Damage
There are a number of weather events that could have harmful effects on house tops. The following is a list of some notable natural disasters.
- Hail – In the United States, there are approximately 3,000 hailstorms annually that cause severe damage to both commercial and residential buildings. Homes that are situated in places that are hail prone, such as the Great Plains and the Southeast regions, require roof replacement about every 7 years.
- Tornado – While there isn’t a material that is durable enough to withstand the direct impact of a tornado, choosing the right type of roofing and design can help to minimize its destructive impact on homes.
- Heavy Snow – Heavy snow can cause severe strain on trusses causing them to partially or completely collapse. Another problem during heavy snowfall is that snowpack could cause runoff to stay in a puddle, causing water to seep through the finishing and cause an internal leak.
- Wildfire – While there is no possible means of stopping a wildfire from causing property damage, choosing the right type of roof with a high flame-retardant property could effectively slow down the spread of fire.
Risk Reduction Strategies
One of the most effective means of preventing damage to a roof caused by natural calamities is to do research. Certain areas are prone to certain types of disasters. For example, the Great Plains experience hail stones that are at least 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Certain areas in the North suffer heavy snow during the winter. These facts should be considered so that the right type of design and material can be used. A commercial roofing company can also provide reliable information about choosing the right roof for a certain location.
For homes situated in hail prone areas, impact resistant roofing should be installed. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety of 320,000 homes showed that those using impact resistant roofing had significantly lower damage claims, sparing owners from $200 to $300 worth of repairs.
Design is also an essential factor to the longevity of a roof. Places prone to heavy snowfall should avoid the use of flat or low slope designs, as snow can easily collect and pile up causing the trusses to give in due to the extreme weight or cause leaks from non-moving water. The same factor should also be considered with houses located in wind-prone areas. Gable is the most ideal type of design for such areas as it prevents drag and reduces stress on the trusses, thus preventing damage. The type of finishing is another factor. Using brittle shingles on such areas can result in high maintenance costs. Using metal on the other hand is far more cost effective.
Another risk reduction strategy that can be used in places with a high risk of wildfires is using fire retardant material. While using such material won’t stop a fire, it will slow down the spread and keep the roof from fueling the blaze.
Repair from damage caused by natural calamities is a costly undertaking. Employing a contractor for the job takes thousands of dollars. By consulting a commercial roofing service during the planning phase, damage caused by natural calamities can be reduced or even prevented!
Do you have any Woodlands commercial roofing concerns? Schulte Roofing is an expert in commercial roofing and can answer any questions you may have about your commercial roof!