Weathering a Hurricane: How to Build a Stronger Roof

POSTED ON: December 1, 2020

While there is no true hurricane proof roof or home, there are designs you can use to reduce the potential for damage to your roof in Lafayette, LA. Hipped roofs are more aerodynamic and less susceptible to damage than gabled roofs. If your dream home must have a gabled roof in Lafayette, LA, bracing that gable more securely than traditional building methods will reduce the potential for damage as well. New construction homes can use lateral bracing, structural panels under the joists, and more.

Moderately pitched roofs in Lafayette, LA (3:12 to 6:12 ratio) fair better than steep or lower pitched roofs as this reduces the load on the house. For example, one story homes with roof pitches between 6:12 and 12:12 can essentially be treated like a two-story home in terms of aerodynamics and wind-damage. Larger roof overhangs present a challenge, and any greater than 2 feet must be engineered to reduce uplift from strong winds.

When it comes down to materials, the layers of the roof matter from the decking to the shingles. Thicker plywood (between 7/16ths of an inch and 19/32-inch) that is nailed down rather than stapled provides greater stability when confronted with high winds and heavy rain. Specialized hurricane nails are recommended as well. Where the roof connects to the walls of your home, hurricane straps rather than clips are preferred. For coastal areas, corrosion resistant straps and connectors are required to withhold uplift loads. Roofing material is rated for wind and impact resistance, and if you live in a hurricane prone area it is best to choose the highest rated material available.