Roofs are always vulnerable to damage. It is impossible to prevent roof damage from elements such as falling trees, hailstorms, hurricanes, and lightning. It is possible to minimize the damage caused by such weather events. To minimize and control these issues, it is important to identify the weather risk to reduce or eliminate potential damage. Although location plays a crucial role in limiting damage, there are other ways to minimize any effects. Here is a list of important ways to reduce roof damage.
Causes and Prevention
Below are a few weather-related factors that can cause roof damage and preventable losses.
- Cause – The winds of this weather disaster can cause structural damage and even fatalities. Wind-borne debris, such as tree limbs and flying signposts or building parts, can cause structural damage. The roof is the most susceptible component to hurricane damage. Due to the uplift effect, the most common cause of roof failure is the lack of a connection between the roof and exterior walls.
- Prevention – To resolve this issue, hurricane clips can be used to brace truss; special cement can also be applied under shingle tabs and appropriate fasteners must be placed in hurricane-prone areas. Proper connection and anchoring of trusses and rafters to other structural elements is key to preventing the uplift effect. Hurricane straps and lag bolts should be used instead of nails. Walls should be braced to ensure structural integrity. To transfer the load to the foundation, it is important to have roof-to-wall connections and wall-to foundation connections.
- Cause – Windblown hail damage is extremely destructive and can lead to very expensive repairs.
- Prevention – Install hail-resistant products that have the highest impact-level ratings (Class 4), based on Underwriters Laboratory standard 2218 to reduce such destruction.
- Cause – Roofs are very vulnerable to wildfire damage, mostly due to the materials used.
- Prevention – Non-combustible products (Class-A rating) or fire-retardant-treated woods should be used on a roof. Regular maintenance can also be done to reduce the impact. This includes trimming low-hanging branches and cleaning up pine needles.
Foot traffic damage
- Cause – Inspections that require walking on the roof’s surface can cause damage to the structure’s overall performance. Small cuts and punctured membranes are common problems.
- Prevention – These problems can be avoided by limiting foot traffic, using padding as a walking route while inspecting, or making repairs.
It is impossible to reduce or overcome the harmful effects of nature and man on a roof system if you are not prepared and proactive. Regular maintenance and the observance of the above steps will help. All of these are valid ways to reduce roof damage.