Make sure your new roof is wind resistant

Johnny Morgan, Reichel, Claudette Hanks  |  9/6/2012 11:05:19 PM

News Release Distributed 09/06/12

Damage from Hurricane Isaac may have you out shopping for a new roof. LSU AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel says you should make your investment last with roofing that will both protect your home and withstand storms.

Reichel explains the following steps that will help in your purchase of a hurricane-hardy roof:

– Out with the old. Remove the existing roofing and felt underlayment down to the decking. This is necessary to provide a smooth foundation for a new wind-resistant roof. Replace any damaged or soft roof decking or framing materials.

– Secure the decking. Re-nail the roof decking to rafters, preferably with 8d ring shank nails with full round head. The ideal nail spacing depends on the roof design and wind risk as specified in the building code. She says testing has found good performance with 6-inch spacing of ring shank nails. Staples are not recommended because testing has shown that they are not very effective at holding down roof sheathing.

– Seal it watertight. Upgrade the roofing underlayment to seal the roof deck. Typical roofing felts don’t seal the decking or provide good protection when shingles are lost or damaged. A sealed roof can be achieved by installing a “peel and stick” roof membrane over the entire roof. Another option is to tape the seams with a 4 to 6-inch-wide polymer modified bitumen tape approved for roof applications, and apply a reinforced, tear-resistant synthetic roof underlayment according to manufacturer instructions.

– Buy wind-tested roofing. Buy and install high-wind and impact-rated shingles. Look for or specify ASTM D7158 Class G or H, or ASTM D3161 Class F for high wind resistance, and UL 2218 Class 4 for impact resistance. These are now readily available since Hurricane Katrina.

– Know installation requirements. It’s equally important to make sure that manufacturer instructions for high-wind installation are followed exactly. Standard installation methods will not provide the rated performance. This generally involves the installation of a dedicated starter strip – instead of the typical practice of turning a shingle upside down – and installing six nails per tab in specific locations.

Find more information on high performance, hazard-resistant housing at and see it first-hand by visiting the LaHouse Resource Center on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. Also, find more storm recovery publications at or your parish LSU AgCenter office.

Johnny Morgan

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