Best Roofing Material for Tornadoes in 2021

Tornadoes on the Rise in 2019 Well Beyond Tornado Alley

With the 2021 tornado season coming up, homeowners should consider metal roofs to protect their homes.

Historically, the states in Tornado Alley were limited to Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and Kansas, but recently, severe storms have spread beyond these states. Most disturbing is the rapid increase of tornadoes touching down between April and May in 2020, causing severe damage and destruction.

If you are in a region where tornado activity is frequent, now is the time to upgrade to a DECRA metal roof. Here’s why.

Severe Thunderstorms, Plus the Ingredients for Deadly Tornadoes

Severe thunderstorms are a launching pad for tornadoes, not to mention the destructive hail and damaging winds that accompany these storms.

The three key ingredients for tornadoes are:

  1. Moisture in the atmosphere.
  2. Instability in the atmosphere in the form of warm, moist air near the ground and cooler, dry air higher aloft.
  3. Wind shear, which is the change in wind speed and direction with height, is the crucial ingredient required to get a storm spinning. Without that spin, the storm doesn't go beyond the thunderstorm stage.

Without wind shear, severe thunderstorms can generate straight-line winds up to 100 mph with hail impact and damage paths extending for hundreds of miles, according to reports from the National Severe Storms Laboratory. In fact, these storms account for half of all severe damage reports in the lower 48 states.

DECRA Metal Roofs vs. Traditional Roofing Materials in Tornado Regions

Traditional roofing materials have shortcomings when it comes to wind uplift resistance and shear strength.

Wind Warranty Rating: DECRA Metal Roofing products carry a warranty rating for winds up to 120 mph and are lab tested at twice that velocity. Additionally, DECRA roofs use a unique interlocking system that helps the profiles remain firmly in place.

Asphalt shingles are prone to cupping, splitting, warping, delaminating, loosening around the fasteners, and fish mouth curling over the years, which can increase the risk for wind uplift. Clay tiles and wood shakes can be vulnerable to wind uplift, so most aren't covered by wind warranties at all. DECRA metal roofs are resistant to cracking and splitting that can make roofs more vulnerable to damage from wind, hail, and rain.

Impact Resistance: The same, severe thunderstorms that generate tornadoes can also assault the roof with intense hail barrages. DECRA has the highest possible UL2218 Class 4 impact rating and is warrantied for hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter. Clay tile roofs are so vulnerable to impact fracturing and that they aren't rated for impact at all.

Weight and Shear Strength: Shear strength is the capacity of the roof to withstand the parallel “side forces” and the stresses of high winds in tornado regions, and even the vibrations and structural stresses of tremors in earthquake zones. In earthquake and hurricane zones, DECRA roofs add shear strength to reinforce the roof deck. Traditional roofing materials add more weight and stress to the underlying structure of the roof without contributing additional shear strength. At just 1.4 to 1.6 pounds per square foot, DECRA metal roofs are one of the lightest roofing materials available, averaging just 3,700-4,500 pounds as compared to clay tile at 18,000 to 45,000 pounds and architectural shingles at 7,500-12,000 pounds.

DECRA Provides Durability With Beauty

From Hawaii to Canada, DECRA roofs have endured everything from hurricanes and typhoons to earthquakes and blizzards since 1957.

Our advanced acrylic bonded stone-coating achieves the same vivid color and texture of traditional roofing materials without the shortcomings in durability. Backed by the strength of steel, DECRA metal roofs last two to three times longer than traditional roofing materials like asphalt, tile, and wood.

If you're looking for protection against tornadoes, and almost anything else Mother Nature can dish out, you’re looking for a DECRA roof. For more information, contact us today.

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