Will My Shingle Roof Hold Up Against the Monsoon?
Arizona gets slammed by monsoons every year, and they wreak a lot more h vavoc than just soaking the state in rain and blasting it with wind. Monsoons can leave a path of damage in their wake, including downed trees, smashed windows, and torn up roofs. Just about all types of roofs are prone to damage from monsoons, but shingle roofing is some of the most vulnerable. The high winds can tear the shingles right off the house, leaving it exposed to water damage that can quickly spread through the roof and other areas of the house.
If you’re lucky, you can call a roofing contractor for some quick roof repair and minimize the damage. If the damage is extensive, you may need to invest in a new roof installation. With the help of a roofer, you can make your shingle roofing more storm-resistant so you can avoid re-roofing after the next monsoon season. Here’s what your roof will need:
The angle of your roof will influence what kind of power the wind can have when it hits it. Wind will glide right over an aerodynamic roof without causing much damage, if any. But if the roof has a steep pitch, the wind will hit it like a wall, and it will have leverage to grab onto roof materials and tear them off. You can minimize the risk of damage to your roof if it is a moderate pitch.
AZ Roofing contractors recommend a hip roof that has a pitch of not more than 6/12 and not less than 4/12. If your roof does not already have this design and pitch, you will need to invest in a new roof installation or to consider the changes the next time you need re-roofing. It will require changing the supports for your roof and the roof decking.
Hurricane straps help strengthen the load-bearing components of the wood so they can withstand damage from falling branches and small trees that might get knocked over during a monsoon. Hurricane straps need to be added to load-bearing walls and braces. If they are added to non-load-bearing walls, they will add no protection.
Hurricane straps should also be wrapped over the top of the roof trusses or rafters. It is best to hire a professional roofer to do this work to ensure that it is done properly to give your home maximum protection.
The Right Vents
Attic vents create opportunities for damage during a monsoon. Winds can tear those right off the roof, exposing a hole that allows water to pour into your attic. Instead, your house should have baffled ridge vents that prevent airflow and rain from entering.
In addition, your home should have soffit vents that have perforations concentrated near the outer edges. Soffit made of plywood and fiber cement can also better resist the high winds. By using the right materials, you can ensure that your home gets the right ventilation but does not have any weaknesses that can be exploited during a storm.
Most fascia is four inches. But the fascia should be six inches so that it extends slightly below the soffit. The fascia is the board that edges your roof and creates a slight overhang. When it extends slightly below the soffit, it provides more protection against the winds of a monsoon.
When the fascia hangs a bit below the soffit, it also protects the vents in the soffit from driving rain. It keeps out some of the rain that could spread water damage through your attic and the underside of your roof.
Sheathing is the decking that provides the base for the other roofing materials, including the underlayment and the shingles. Sheathing that has at least 19/32-inch thick will make the roof stronger and protect it against the high monsoon winds. The sheathing should be spaced ¼-inch apart to allow for expansion and contraction with temperature changes, and it should be taped with an asphalt/rubber tape. The sheathing tape should be at least four inches wide for maximum protection.
Again, these are steps that should be taken when you are undergoing re-roofing. Otherwise, you would have to hire a roofer to rip off the shingles, replace the sheathing, and then replace the other materials – which is akin to a new roof installation anyway.
Flashing is one of the first things to be damaged on a roof. To make your shingle roofing more resistant to damage from monsoons, you need strong flashing wherever there is a change in the surface level of the roof or the materials used, such as where vents intersect the roof or where shingle meets a ridge vent. Roof edges should also have a flashing starter strip to create the drip edge, rather than an upside down shingle, which is often used.
Not all shingle roofing is created the same. When you are re-roofing, you need to select shingles that are designed to better resist winds and impact. Your roofer should be able to assist you in that selection and give you detailed information about how the shingles are rated and what they can withstand. Specifically, the shingles should have a wind resistance of ASTM D 3161 or UL 2390 and impact resistance of UL 2218.
You can also upgrade to more durable materials, such as metal roofing. Talk to your roofing contractor about what’s best for your home and your budget.
Always work with a qualified roofing contractor to determine how to make your roof strong to protect your Arizona home and keep your roof repair costs low. The professionals at Arizona Roof Rescue can perform roof repair after a monsoon or do a new roof installation if your roof is aging out or has become severely damaged from a storm. Call us to learn more about how to make your shingle roofing stronger or to explore other roofing options that might offer more protection for your home.
Alan Monzon – Arizona Roof Rescue
6069 N. 57th Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85301
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