Winston Salem Roofing: Article About Wind, Hail Ratings
Affordability and style aren't the only issues to consider when selecting a new roof. Smart consumers should also give some attention to their new roof's ability to protect the home from severe weather events and natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and hail storms. A trusted Winston Salem roofing contractor will steer local homeowners in the right direction when it comes to products that will best protect the home, but it helps if consumers understand a little about roof wind and impact ratings.
Wind damage is a problem for homes across the country, but not all roofs can withstand high winds nor its resulting wind uplift effect. According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, 85 to 95 percent of all wind-related property losses are a result of roof damage. In all, wind damage costs about $9 billion a year in home property damage.
Roofs that are made to withstand high winds provide greater protection against these losses, and roofing materials undergo several tests to determine their wind resistance. Both United Laboratories, or UL, and the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM, test shingle roofs for their ability to handle wind force. Class A shingles are able to handle winds at 60 mph, while Class H roofs can withstand wind forces at 150 mph.
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Most architectural shingles fall somewhere in between at Class D's 90 mph rating, Class F's 110 mph or Class G's 120 mph.
ASTM and UL wind ratings don't tell the whole story though. A Class F shingle can withstand winds up to 110 mph with four or five nails, but it may hold up against 130 mile an hour winds when it is secured with six nails.
In regions where hail storms are common, having a roof with strong impact resistance is also important. Hail can wreak havoc on a roof, sometimes even punching entirely through the layers of roofing. To help homeowners understand their roof's ability to withstand this impact, UL and FM Approvals test roofing materials' resistance to 90-mph hail-size stones made of steel. Categories range from Class 1 to Class 4, with the higher classes offering the most protection. Class 3 and Class 4 roofs are considered strong enough to weather severe hailstorms.
Whether or not consumers expect their homes to experience tornadoes or hailstorms, understanding a roof's strength during heavy storms can offer some peace of mind. Homeowners interested in learning more about roof ratings should talk with their experienced roofing contractor.