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Hurricane Damage 101

How Does a Hurricane Damage Your Roof?


There’s never a fun time to discuss the impacts of hurricane damage. For many, major storms can take everything. For others, tropical storms and hurricanes can cause severe hurricane roof damage. Most homeowners are good about protecting their windows and doors when a hurricane comes, but what about their roofs?


Hurricanes bring a combination of weather elements right to your doorstep, even if you don’t live directly on the coast. That’s why everyone in range should consider the impacts of hurricane damage and take steps to reduce the storm's impact. Here is what you need to know:


How Hurricanes Affect Your Roof

While hurricane season is typically June 1st through November 30th in the United States, major storms can occur nearly anytime. Hurricanes are deadly because they combine various weather elements into one massive storm. Each element of a hurricane has the potential to cause different kinds of damage to your roof, and when several of them are combined, the results can be disastrous.


High Winds

One of the defining factors of a hurricane involves wind speed. For example, a category one (Cat 1) hurricane involves wind speeds of 74-95 miles per hour. A Cat 3, considered a major storm, involves wind speeds of 111-129 mph, and a Cat 5 produces wind speeds of 157 mph or higher. Anything weaker than 74 mph is considered a tropical storm, which can still cause some damage to your property.


Strong winds can easily rip shingles off your roof, along with gutters and other roofing elements. You also must consider indirect damage to your roof from flying tree limbs and other debris, and the impact of these objects can puncture your roof or damage its underlying structure.


Heavy Rains

Heavy rains throw water at your roof, causing excessive wear and tear. All of that water can loosen shingles and decrease the average life of a roof rather quickly. When a roof's lifespan is shortened, you must shell out the cash to replace it much sooner than expected.


The bigger problem with heavy rains is when there is already hurricane damage. If the storm leads to broken windows or holes in the roof, all of the falling water will get inside your home.


Hail Damage

Hail is not a common element of hurricane damage, but it does exist during these large storms. Hail is formed when small water droplets are pushed upward by wind forces into the coldest areas of the clouds. The water freezes into pure ice and can combine with other frozen raindrops until it’s too heavy to stay in the air.


Hail can puncture holes in the roof, damage shingles, and destroy the lifespan of a roof. Roof damage caused by hail isn’t always apparent immediately. Sometimes hail merely weakens your roof, allowing it to be damaged more easily in the future.


Lightning Strikes

The risk of lightning hitting your roof directly is next to zero,but it could happen during a hurricane. A lightning strike on your roof is likely to puncture a hole, and this hole could even go far enough into your house to damage the first or second floor.


The bigger risk with lightning strikes is that they’ll hit a nearby tree and drop branches onto your roof. In other cases, lightning could cause a fire nearby.



When a hurricane hits land, there is still a chance of tornadoes rapidly appearing. Tornadoes exacerbate the dangers of high winds, heavy rains, and more. If a tornado doesn’t go directly into your house, it could easily spew projectiles at your roof, causing a great deal of damage.


Reduce the Risk of Hurrican Damage to Your Roof

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect way to avoid hurricane damage when a storm hits. The most important thing is to pay attention to the weather reports and take appropriate action. Many times, a strong hurricane requires evacuation to a safer location. While repairing roof damage or replacing property is a pain, it’s far better than sustaining personal injuries or worse.


A roof in good condition is less likely to take severe hurricane damage. That’s why it’s important to have a Lafayette roof repair and inspection company look at your roof at least once a year. Proper roof maintenance and repair can do wonders to ensure your roof is ready to take on the big storm.


Another way to prevent severe hurricane damage is to build your roof with higher-quality materials. Your roofing contractor can help you find more durable shingles and roofing materials that absorb more impact from hail and falling debris. An upgraded roof may cost a little more upfront, but it sure beats the headache of dealing with roof repairs and property replacement.


If your house does experience hurricane damage, it’s important to have it fixed as soon as possible. Even minor damage can turn into significant problems when left unchecked. Your Lafayette roofing professional can help you determine whether your roof can be repaired or will need to be replaced.


If you’re looking to have your roof inspected and repaired before the next hurricane season gets underway, call Hibbard Roofing & Construction. We can help get your roof in the right shape to survive the storm and handle any damage that comes afterward. Our Lafayette roofing and general contractors team knows how to navigate insurance claims and deal with emergency roof repair needs.


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