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St Louis Roofing: Article About Tornado Roofing Safeguards

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Scarcely a year goes by without St Louis roofing suffering some form of damage from tornadoes. There are ways of designing a roof to better withstand strong winds, just as there are techniques to help keep an existing roof firmly attached to the home it was built to protect.

Generally, the more slopes a roof has the better the aerodynamics and the lower the chances it will blow away on tornado-force winds. For this reason, a hipped roof with four slopes has an advantage over a gabled roof, which has only two. However, studies have shown that a steeply sloping gabled roof is more stable in a strong wind than a roof with a shallow slope. Single-story homes tend to fare better than multi-story structures.

Following a severe Maryland tornado in 2002, the National Association of Home Builders performed tests and conducted research and produced a set of guidelines for improving the survival chances of a roof in severe wind disasters.

Among the NAHB guidelines were suggestions concerning the nails on a roof. The minimum sized nail for maximum protection should be 8d, or eight pennies. They should be spaced at six inches on center, particularly at the gable ends.

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Finally, the roofer should not over-drive nails with a nail gun.

Roof ties and clips are very important in strengthening a roof against tornado-force winds. Without them, load resistance my drop by 25 percent or 30 percent. When connecting rafters/trusses to wall studs with steel straps, the strap needs to be nailed onto both plates and not just the top one. Some experts recommend using special hurricane clips that connect a roof more firmly to the walls than either staples or nails.

Rima Taher, a wind-resistance expert, recommends installing a moveable flap near the seam of the roof. During a tornado, the flap will open, stabilizing the air pressure. This sort of flap will also increase ventilation during the hot summer months.

Certain roofing materials offer more wind resistance than others in a tornado. These include heavy concrete or clay tiles, standing seam metal roofing and asphalt/composite shingles rated Class G or H, 120 and 150 mph, respectively.

The roof is a home's primary defense against water damage. Many of the techniques described above are not that expensive, especially when compared to the cost of a new roof. The best place to start making a roof more wind-resistant is to talk to a local roofing contractor who, more likely than not, will already know these and a few other tricks.

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