Hurricane-Proof Roofs: Materials, Types, and Designs

Certain materials can withstand the high winds and torrential rains of a hurricane. Read on to learn about the best roof options for hurricanes and how to protect your home.

Roofing Materials: Choosing the Right Building Material

Metal Roofs

Let’s begin with the best option: metal roofs. Metal roofs have proven to withstand winds of up to 140 mph, making them ideal for protecting your home from Category 4 hurricanes. Metal roofing is particularly popular in hurricane-prone areas.

When considering metal roofing design guidelines, several factors must be taken into account, including your roof deck, roof slope, and roof form. Metal roofs are structural panel roof systems that perform best when installed professionally by individuals familiar with panel layout and proper attachment methods. Incorrect installation is the primary cause of metal roof failure. When upgrading your roof, choose a roofing contractor knowledgeable about metal roof design.

Consider areas where metal roofs may be susceptible to damage, such as during hailstorms.

Ceramic Tile Roofs

Another popular roofing material in Florida is ceramic tile. While not as resistant to hurricane winds as metal roofing, ceramic tiles can still withstand wind speeds of 100+ mph.

Ceramic tile roofing differs from metal roofing; it utilizes individual tiles attached with clips, wire, and concrete. Pre-drilled screws for tiles are visible on the steepest roof pitches or at gable ends to prevent tiles from blowing off in hurricane-prone areas. Professional installation and quality underlayment are essential for maximizing the lifespan of ceramic or clay tile roofs, which can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance and repairs.

Distinguish between slate, clay, and ceramic tile roofs; weight is the most significant difference. Ceramic tiles, lighter than clay tiles, can be an excellent choice for Florida homeowners seeking a specific look without the need for a sturdier structure to support heavier clay tiles.

Wood Shake Roofs

Wood shakes are a popular choice for roofs in Florida, depending on your location. Surprisingly resistant to wind speeds of up to 200 mph, they are not at the top of our list due to their high cost and complex design requirements. Installing, repairing, and replacing wooden shakes is labor-intensive.

Wood degradation, the risk of fire, and potential insect infestation are concerns with wood shake roofs. New wood shake roofs often include sealants to mitigate some of these issues.

Asphalt Shingles

Most homeowners and roofers are familiar with common asphalt-shingle roofs. These roofs are cost-effective and can withstand wind speeds of over 100 mph.

FEMA recommends using nails instead of staples for installing asphalt shingles in hurricane-prone areas. This ensures a more secure attachment, increasing the likelihood of survival during the hurricane season and accompanying storms.

This post was written by Ted Williams! Ted is the owner of A Old Time Roofing which is the premier roofing company that offers Commercial Roofing in St Petersburg! Ted is a Master Elite Weather Stopper GAF Roofing Contractor, a double award winner of Best Steep-Slope Contractor from GAF and achiever of Master Elite Consumer Protection Excellence from GAF. He has been serving the Pinellas County area since 1978. Old Time Roofing has a tradition of quality workmanship, servicing residential and commercial properties.