It is said that when winds from a hurricane increase, the damage they do to structures increases exponentially. That’s a scary fact for homeowners living in and around hurricane season. And even though hurricane winds tend to die off 12 hours after landfall, it’s not always the case.
Take hurricane Hugo (1989) for example. It went 109 miles inland and battered Charlotte, NC with over 100mph winds. Think of the damage that could do to a home.
There are many things you can do to prepare and protect your home from the brutal forces of mother nature. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 3 best roof types to withstand hurricane weather.
How Hurricane Winds Impact Your House
When hurricane winds hit the walls of your house it creates a strong amount of pressure against that surface. As the wind flows over and around your house, it creates an equally strong amount of suction on the walls and roof.
This relentless force of pressure and suction are what cause roofs to uplift and can even remove a house from its foundation. Having the right roof could save your house from a lot of damage.
The Top Roof Shape
The most durable roof shape when it comes to hurricanes is the hip roof. Hipped roof sides gently slope downwards to the walls. There are no gables or vertical walls on a hipped roof.
A gabled house or one with only two slopes is more susceptible to incurring damage during high windstorms. Gabled roofed homes are more common in places as they tend to be more affordable to build.
The Top Roof Pitch
When dealing with roofs and strong winds, there is what is called the “sail effect”. The sail effect is the potentiality of your home’s roof being lifted off during a high windstorm.
The steeper and higher the roof is, the greater the sail effect strong winds have on it.
Because of this, having a low-pitched roof tends to hold up better during strong hurricane winds. However, a lower-pitched roof doesn’t hold up as well to heavy rainfall that comes along with hurricane weather and may cause leaking.
The roof pitch that holds up best during both heavy winds and rain is a roof 30° pitch or a 7/12.
The Top Roofing Material
If you already own a home, then there isn’t much you can do to change the pitch or shape of your roof without spending a small fortune. Changing the material of your roof may be a bit more tangible.
So which material holds up best during hurricane weather? The winner seems to be metal roofing.
Metal roofing is rated to withstand winds between 110 mph and 160 mph. With standing seam panels, there is no crevice along the exposed roof for leaks to developed making it a great protection against heavy storm rain as well.
Add in the fact that metal roofs can last 50+ years, the material is 100% recyclable, it’s easy to see why it’s the top choice for hurricane proof roofing material.
The Best Hurricane Roof Types Built Into One
So, after we put it all together, we can see that a house with a hipped roof, at a 30° pitch, and covered in metal roofing takes the cake. The hipped roof eases the amount of pressure from the winds, the slightly gentler 30° pitch minimizes the sail effect, and the strength of metal roofing equates to a strong hurricane proof structure.
Now you know the best roof types for hurricane season. If you found this article useful, read our 5 Tips on storm damage prevention for homeowners.