6 Tips to Protect Your Texas Roof From Tornado Damage

I know how suddenly Texas storms can roll in leaving nothing but memories behind. With the notoriously severe weather which makes sure your home is well-protected it really starts with the roof.

Living under Texas's big skies - as beautiful as they are - brings its own challenges, especially in keeping your home safe. I've seen firsthand how solid preparation really helps, and it's not something to forget. So, let's jump in and learn how to keep your home standing strong even when nature unleashes its fiercest weather.

Let's talk about why it's a good idea to protect your Texas roof from potential tornado damage. I'll walk you through some useful tips and proactive steps you can take to strengthen your home against storms.

#1: Regular Roof Inspections

Regular roof inspections are really useful, especially in Texas, where tornadoes can pop up out of nowhere. Keeping up with these inspections will make sure your roof stays ready for when those big storms hit. Roof inspectors are complete - checking out every part of your roof's condition. They look for damaged or loose shingles and any weak places that could cause major trouble during a severe storm.

During an inspection the expert will usually climb onto the roof for a close-up look. They check for cracks, missing pieces or worn-out shingles. They also inspect the seals and flashing around vents and chimneys to make sure everything's snug and airtight and check that the drainage systems are clear and working right. Also they look for soft places or moisture which might hint at bigger problems under the hood.

A Roof Inspection-Jun-01-2024-04-36-54-5980-AM

In my opinion, setting up these inspections every now and again - best in both spring and fall - is a good idea. It lets you catch issues that might not be obvious right away. Being proactive cuts down on future repair costs, and keeping complete records of your roof's condition can be very helpful for insurance claims after a tornado. It gives solid proof of what your roof was like before any damage happened, which can make the claims process smoother.

These complete inspections can also catch early signs of mold that comes from water leaks and if not tackled could turn into serious mold problems, maybe even messing with your indoor air quality and health.

Now and then taking care of these inspections helps you stay ahead of any unpleasant surprises. I always recommend working with a trusted licensed roofing service that knows the ins and outs of Texas weather. Picking the right pros gives you peace of mind that your roof can handle whatever comes its way.

#2: Fix Loose Shingles

Dealing with loose shingles might not seem very urgent, but it's a good idea to take care of it sooner rather than later, especially in tornado-prone areas like Texas. Imagine a tornado taking a shot at your roof. The presence of loose or missing shingles practically begs it to rip everything apart. This exposes your home to the features but can also mess with its structural integrity.

I usually recommend checking your roof closely at least twice a year, especially after any big storms. Look for signs of wear or damage like cracks, heat damage, or curling shingles. Spotted some problems? It's probably time for some repairs.

Fixing Loose Shingles

Here's how I usually do it: if a shingle is loose, I carefully lift it to see how bad the damage is. If it's minor, I slap some roofing cement under each corner and press the shingle down really well, sometimes even placing a weight on top to make sure it sticks properly. If a shingle is completely gone, just slide a new one in place, secure it with nails, and seal the nails with roofing cement.

If climbing on your roof sounds too risky or if the damage looks pretty bad it's smart to call in a professional. They can sort out the problem safely and quickly and might even catch a few issues that you'd miss.

#3: Installing Hurricane Straps

When I think about keeping my Texas roof safe from the harsh realities of tornadoes, I usually think one of the best ways is to stick some hurricane straps on it. These metal straps really help by making the connection between the roof and the walls stronger, improving the building's chance of handling tough winds. Basically, these straps are all about lowering the chances of your roof flying off during the regular tornadoes we sadly get around here.

Putting in hurricane straps means you're attaching the roof truss or rafters right to the top of those wall plates with tough metal connectors. From what I've heard from the pros and from what I've seen myself, I'd definitely say that it's not the smartest plan to address this job on your own. Getting everything in the right place and making sure it's tightly secured is crucial. And I always recommend having a talk with a professional contractor who knows the local building codes well.

There's a whole bunch of hurricane straps out there, each one made for specific building needs and weather troubles. Whether it's the basic H2.5A hurricane tie or the tougher H10A for places more susceptible to severe weather, picking the right type can really make a significant difference. These straps are useful for prevention and also turn out to be a good economic move. A lot of insurance companies cut some slack on homeowners' insurance rates for these upgrades, which has definitely helped me out.

Roof Hurricane Straps

There are many benefits to improving your roof with these straps. They give your home significant help in resisting those forces that try to rip your roof off and help keep the whole structure more stable. During the last big storm, the houses in my neighborhood with straps were much better than those without, clearly showing their worth in real-world situations.

So, I think deciding to secure your roof with hurricane straps before tornado season kicks off is a really good choice to protect your property from crazy weather. I've personally seen how this added support keeps my home solid against strong winds, helping me dodge expensive damages while keeping my family safe. It's a choice you won't regret.

#4: Trim Nearby Trees

Managing the trees and landscaping around your home is pretty valuable, especially in places like Texas, where tornadoes are common. I've found that pruning my trees every now and again improves the look of my home and also plays a big part in protecting my roof from tornado damage. Branches left unchecked can turn into harmful projectiles during a storm - possibly damaging your roof and causing serious harm.

Here's my strategy: I make sure to inspect my trees at least twice a year. Once in the spring and again as winter approaches - this schedule helps me find which branches need to be removed, especially those that are dead weak or hanging too close to my roof. Trimming any branches that extend over your roof is a smart idea as they can rub against it and cause wear over time.

Trimming Tree Branches

I've learned that maintaining a distance of at least six and a half feet between your roof and the tree branches really reduces the risk of them breaking off and falling during harsh weather. It also keeps debris like leaves and twigs from piling up on your roof, which can lead to clogged gutters. Clogged gutters can create a bunch of issues, like water damage to both your roof and the exterior of your home.

Regular trimming also cuts down the likelihood of mold mildew and algae growth, which occur when organic material gets stuck on your roof. Less branches mean less chance for animals to get onto your roof, staying away from more damage and nuisances.

If you're not sure about how to properly prune your trees, checking in with a professional arborist is a great idea. They can show you the best practices for tree maintenance and even handle the pruning themselves to make sure it's done safely. Arborists are really helpful for assessing the health of your trees and giving advice on how to strengthen them against severe weather - like tornadoes.

It does need some effort, but it is definitely worth it when you think about the peace of mind it gives.

#5: Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts

Keeping your gutters and downspouts clean might seem easy but it's usually one of those tasks that ends up on the back burner. Living in Texas I've learned the hard way how useful this is especially with tornado season just around the corner.

Here's what I do: I schedule regular checks to stay ahead of the storm season - I make it a habit to clean everything out at least twice a year. I start by clearing out all the visible things like leaves, twigs, or the occasional bird nest. Next, I take my garden hose and flush the gutters to get rid of any remaining debris. This helps stop water from backing up into the attic and will make sure the gutters can handle rainwater even during heavy rains.

Make sure you have the right tools, like a sturdy ladder and a gutter scoop. I always wear safety glasses and gloves - safety is something I never compromise on.

A Man Cleaning Roof Gutters

Here's a little tip: if your house is surrounded by trees, installing gutter guards can really be a good idea. But keep in mind that they don't remove the need to clean your gutters. They just make it a bit easier.

I once had a neighbor who skipped cleaning their gutters because their trees were low and didn't seem to shed much. It was an eye-opener for us all about how this meaningful effort could have saved them a lot of stress and money.

#6: Tough Roofing Parts

When I first started checking out tornado-proof roofs in Texas, I quickly realized how important it is to use the strongest and toughest parts you can find. The heart of a tough roofing system is picking parts that can really handle the harsh forces of tornadoes and other wild weather.

Now, let's talk about metal roofs for a second. They're super strong and also fire-resistant - which is a smart perk. The cool thing about metal roofing is that it can handle winds of up to 140 miles per hour - a good idea in tornado zones. Asphalt shingles are more wallet-friendly, and if you install them right, they have useful resistance to getting ripped off during strong winds.

You also have special picks like stone-coated metal roofing and concrete tiles which I've grown to really like. They have even better protection against the fast-flying debris you usually see with tornadoes. Concrete tiles are extra tough and lasting over a century in some cases. They help keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter which cuts down on energy bills.

A Strong Roof

I've seen a few homes in North Texas with either stone-coated metal or high-quality asphalt shingles that managed to only get minor damage from last year's surprise tornado. This just shows how valuable it is to choose quality parts.

From what I've gone through, I think it's really a good idea to talk to a roofing professional who knows the local weather patterns. They can help you choose the right parts for your area in Texas when you think about your budget and how much protection you want. To give you an example, even though the upfront cost for primo options like DECRA Metal Roofing might be steep, their long-term benefits and guarantees against extreme weather make them a meaningful investment.

Protect The Roof Over Your Head

If you're a homeowner in Texas, you know it's a good idea to keep your home safe from tornadoes. Have you thought about what you'd do if the winds started swirling? Being prepared is important.

Maybe you're wondering: "Where do I even start?" or "When was the last time I checked my roof?" I've been there too and that's usually the time to call in the experts. These pros really know their things and can make sure both your investment and your safety are secure - literally keeping your roof intact.

Homes in Texas

At Colony Roofers we specialize in all types of roofing for both homes and businesses in Georgia, Florida, and, of course, Texas. Looking for a free roof inspection? Just reach out to us. It's a good idea to get professional advice about your roof's condition. We're here to give you great advice and dependable service that has you covered. Why not give us a call?