What are the New Fortified Roofing Guidelines for Withstanding Natural Disasters?

What are the New Fortified Roofing Guidelines for Withstanding Natural Disasters?

What are the new fortified roofing guidelines for roofs to withstand natural disasters? How do you fortify your roof to withstand the worst of storms? It doesn’t take much of a storm to affect your roof. It’s much better to learn if your roof can meet the new standards well before you ever need it to.

There are new roofing guidelines presented by FEMA and go over any hazards that may impact or damage roofs causing significant risk to those living in the home. FEMA divided the standards into wind hazards, flood hazards, and fire hazards.

Natural Hazards and Roofing Standards

There are various natural hazards and the new roofing standards to withstand these natural hazards target three specific and common hazards. It all starts with the roofing installation.

Roofing Installation

The new roofing codes address requirements for roof coverings most often used on high and low-sloped roofs. For high-sloped roofs this is usually roofs made of asphalt shingles, clay, concrete tile, wood shakes, and shingles. For low-sloped roofs this is single-ply, thermoplastic single-ply, sprayed polyurethane foam and liquid applied coating roofs. There are requirement codes for the roofs underlayment, flashing, structure performance and materials.

Flood Hazard Event

You already know about the adaptive roof technology, which can help your roof reduce wet weather flow by 80% by diverting the water to a combined sewer system. But what do you do if your area is being affected by a flood? Will your roof be able to withstand the constant downpour or rush of water in a flood hazard event?

FEMA has one specific flood-related design consideration standard listed, and that is to document your home’s elevation. FEMA mentions green building practices that encourage reducing the building of homes outside the code-minimum elevations. But, sometimes moving to a higher elevation is something you can’t or don’t want to do. When that’s the case, the best thing you can do for your roof to be able to withstand the water is by using water-resistant framing and roofing materials that are adaptive and use technology-driven reduction of water.

Wind Hazard Event

If your home or business is involved in a wind hazard event, you want your roof to be able to withstand not only the major breaches to your roof but also the minor ones. It is the minor breaches to your roof that can result in significant water and economic loss to your home or business. Your roofs sheathing is a good place to start because they help withstand high suction forces. You also want your building and roof to have a roof to wall connection capable of resisting wind forces. FEMA has listed through their ASTM D 7158 three classes of shingles recommended.

The three classes of shingles apply to Category 1 and Category II building which means the non-critical or non-essential facilities like homes. These homes and buildings are less than 60 feet tall with wind range from 90 – 150 mph.

  1. Class D shingles need to pass basic wind speeds up to and including 90 mph.
  2. Class G shingles need to pass basic wind speeds up to and including 120 mph.
  3. Class H shingles need to pass basic wind speeds up to 150 mph.

Basically, if you live in what FEMA calls a high-wind area, you will need to follow the new guidelines for meeting roofing material that meets the wind speed by class.

Wildfire Hazard

For your wildfire hazards, you need a building to lessen the potential of becoming more vulnerable if it’s in or around a wildfire. Roofs can be designed and built, so they help prevent the spread of fire. The roofs may not be able to stop the spread of fire, but they can help prevent it from being more rapid. These codes are in areas where buildings and homes are subject to urban-wildland fires, so the urban-wildland codes detail what you can use as a material on your roof and how you install the roof. It’s the layout of the roof that sometimes influences the performance of the roof in a wildfire event.

The roof must be made of a material that is fire resistant and is covered in FEMA Section R902 with the roof’s insulation covered in Section R906. Most of the wildfire hazard protection lies in the requirements of the individual roof coverings like asphalt shingles, clay or concrete tiles, etc.

What are the New Fortified Roofing Guidelines for Withstanding Natural Disasters?

The roofing guideline standards shift and evolve depending on what section of the country you live in and the materials you use on your roof. You want to make sure you take the FEMA links above as a guideline for your roofing design considerations and best practices when building your roof.

In addition, any regulatory compliance is done at mostly the local level, so be cognizant that the property insurers and reinsurers, as well as your community, will want you to use safety research as your foundation in building a safe, compliant roof. If you need proof that a strong roof is needed for you and your family’s protection you need look no further than the natural disasters over the past fifteen years. In the past fifteen years we’ve been impacted by Katrina, Sandy, Ike, Irene, and more. It’s no longer an option to build a safe and compliant roof it is a critical need.

You should never accept anything less than the best when it comes to maintaining the safety of you and your family. When you need to find a roofing contractor who can give you what you need, check out Roofing Architects. Roofing Architects can help you find a contractor who cares as much about you and your family’s safety in case of natural disasters as you do.

The Twenty-Five “C’s” of Roofing

It’s hard to believe, but there are well over twenty-five roofing industry words that start with C. A more important fact is all twenty-five words are important roofing terms. But what do the words mean?

#1 – The Council of American Building Officials

A commonly used roofing “C” word is the acronym CABO which stands for The Council of American Building Officials. CABO merged with The International Code Council (ICC) not too long ago, and the ICC is now a nonprofit association that provides building safety solutions. These solutions are in product evaluation, accreditation, certification, codification, and training. Just as important, ICC develops the codes and standards that worldwide construction projects are held to in safety and sustainability.

#2 – Cant

Cant strip is a piece of wood that is shaped like a triangle, or it is beveled. It is designed to serve as a gradual transitional plane between the flat surface of a roof deck. It can also used in rigid insulation and on vertical surfaces. In other words Cant is a support roofing material and prevents gaps.

#3 – Cap Sheet

Cap sheet is a proprietary coated sheet with granules used as the top ply of roof membranes. Basically, cap sheet protects against UV, weathering and physical damage.

# 4 – Cellulose

Cellulose is a newer roofing component used in the manufacturing of organic roofing material. It is a complex carbohydrate that is composed of glucose units. It is more commonly known as the main constituent of the plant’s cell wall.

#5 – Chalking

Chalking is used to show the degradation or migration of paints, coatings, or any other material.

#6 – Cladding

Cladding is a material used on exterior wall enclosures. Cladding can make weathered buildings look vibrant again and save in electricity when thermal or insulation issues are used with it.

#7 – Cleat

A roofing cleat is used to secure two components together. It is a metal strip, plate, or metal angle piece.

#8 – Closed-Cut Valley

There are two kinds of closed valleys. There is cut valleys, which are less expensive to install and are the most common; and woven valleys. The closed-cut valley is an application method where shingles on an adjacent slope are cut parallel and trimmed back two inches from the valley centerline. The woven valley shingles run from both roof slopes onto the adjacent slope, alternating with each course.

#9 – Coating

Coating is used with various products, but its use in roofing is to be spread over the surface for protection or decorations. Coatings are generally liquids, semi-liquids, or mastics. They can be applied as a spray or with a roller and cured to an elastomeric consistency.

#10 – Cohesion

Cohesion is the mutual attraction by which the elements or particles of a body or substance are held together.

#11 – Cold Process Built-Up Roof

Cold process built-up roof occurs with a continual but semi-flexible roof membrane. The ply or felts are laminated together with alternate layers of liquid-applied roof cement or adhesive. Then it’s surfaced with a cold-applied coating.

#12 – Combing Ridge

The combing ridge is the finished slate at the ridge of the roof, where the slates on one side stick out beyond the apex of the ridge.

#13 – Composition

Composition roofing is sometimes called asphalt shingles. It is the most common roof used on houses. Composition roofing is one of the lowest in cost and easiest to install.

The roofing uses for composition roofs run from home roofs to apartment buildings and church roofs. Composition roofing is available in many colors, has a flat profile, is algae-resistant, and has cellulose or fiberglass mats coated with asphalt and granules.

#14 – Concealed-Nail Method

This is when you use your asphalt roll roofing application to drive all the nails into the roof and cover with an adhered overlapping course. That way, the nails are not exposed to the weather.

#15 – Conductor Head

The conductor’s head provides direct runoff water through this transition component place between a wall scupper and downspout.

#16 – Coping

Coping is the covering that sits on the top of the wall. It is always exposed to the weather and made with metal or stone. It helps shed water back onto the roof through its sloped design.

#17 – Copper

This is the same type of copper used in cookery, but in this case it provides a natural weathering that is used in metal roofing. Most of the time, it is used in 16 or 20 ounces per square foot in thickness.

#18 – Cornice

The cornice is one of the most decorative roofing pieces. It is a horizontal molding or projected roof overhang.

#19 – Cove

The cove is a sealant material installed where vertical and horizontal planes meet. It helps to get rid of the 90º angle.

#20 – Cricket

A cricket diverts water around chimneys, curbs, and other roof elements. It is raised as a roof substrate or structure.

#21 – Cross Ventilation

In roofing, cross ventilation occurs when the air moves through the roof cavities. This happens when the air moves between the air cavity vents. What’s unique about cross ventilation is the airflow must be uniform. Otherwise, the roof will have hot spots develop in its sheathing, which reduces its efficiency.

#22 – Cupola

A cupola is at the edge, ridge, or peak of the main roof area. It is a small roofed structure.

#23 – Curb

A curb is a raised member that helps support roof penetrations. This includes being used in skylights, mechanical equipment or hatches needed on the roof. It is above the roof’s surface but relatively low in height.

#24 – Cure

Curing a roof means you are processing roofing material to form permanent molecular linkages by exposure to the chemicals, heat, pressure, or weathering.

#25 – Cut-off

A cutoff is a permanent detail that seals and prevents water movement in an insulation system. It basically isolates sections of the roofing system to help disperse the weight of water in one area.

In the end, all of the roofing terms listed above mean you now know what makes up superior roofing products and services. You also know the above materials need to be backed by the finest expert roofing services. When you’re ready to find the roofing professionals near you, we have a secure, fast, and easy way to help you.

The Five Most Common Roofing Materials and Their LifeSpan

The Five Most Common Roofing Materials and Their Lifespan

Some of the most important considerations you have when replacing or building a roof is what material to use, how much will it cost, and the roof’s lifespan. Quality materials used in roofing usually lead to more expenses. But, a better way to look at your roofing project is quality materials lead to a roof’s long lifespan.

Almost every weather condition nature throws at roofs has an impact on the roof’s lifespan. The roof’s color, material, design, and location all play strong roles that can affect the roof’s durability. Even when you use maintenance-free roofing material, you may still need to perform maintenance, and even do small repairs on it from time to time. But there are roofing materials that have long lifespans and reasonable costs. The guide below gives you information on the five most commonly used roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing materials used on buildings and homes because of their low cost. Asphalt shingles usually offer a guaranteed life span, which also makes them very popular. Asphalt shingles are used by countless major corporate buildings and on residential homes throughout the United States and Canada. There are also three different types of asphalt shingles you can use on your roof.

  • Dimensional shingles – these are called laminated shingles most of the time
  • 3-tab shingles
  • Luxury shingles

The added characteristic wanted and needed the most with asphalt shingles is lamination. Laminated asphalt shingles are engineered to resist storm winds, rain, sleet, snow, sun, and natural degradation caused by being outside exposed to weather elements. The cost for asphalt shingles ranges from $65 square foot to over $300 square foot. On average, to install the roof you will pay around $2.25 per square foot.


Manufactured composite shingles can be reinforced with recycled materials or fiberglass, and will still look the same. The recycled process makes composite shingles eco-friendly, which is very popular. Composite shingles last about twenty years, but you should never use composite shingles as your roofing material if you live in a high wind impact area.

Composite shingle roofing is the most popular of all roofing materials, found on more than 80 percent of all homes. Composite shingle’s popularity comes from its relatively low cost and long lifespan. Remember, these are engineered shingles, so no matter what color or material you want your roof to look like it can be done. Their fifty-year long lifespan adds to the roofing materials’ popularity. Composite shingles’ average cost ranges from $5.75 to around $14.00 per square foot installed.


Sometimes it is puzzling as to why people want tile roof material due to its high-cost. Tile roofs are known for their beauty. They can last up to 100 years, so their durability and lifespan are without question one of the best roofing materials you can use. But it’s important to take note that tile roofs use mortar bed systems most of the time. By being set on mortar bed systems they tend to fall and gap.

The component that makes up tile roofing material is made of terracotta most of the time. The terracotta is very heavy and also fragile. But terracotta is popular because they retain their color for decades or sometimes a hundred years or more. Tile roofs are fire resistant and in the world of roofing, are considered at only a mid-level cost roofing product. Tile roofs can cost anywhere from $800 per square foot to install. They sometimes can go as high as $1000 per square foot. Because they require expert installation your installation costs will be between $100 – $150 per square foot.


When slate is used correctly as a roofing material there is not much that can compare to its beauty. Slate roofing material’s lifespan can be as high as seventy-five years. Slate is a more sophisticated roofing material than tile but similar in weight constraints. Slate needs sturdy and expertly installed fasteners and nails. Slate roofs are eco-friendly and come in any color you want. Unfortunately, slate roofing material is known for its expense. It will cost you five times over what an asphalt shingle does. What’s more, finding an expert slate roof installer can be challenging depending on where you live.

The average cost of an experienced slate roof installer charge is around $5.00 per square foot. The slate tile material has an average cost of about $5.00 – $6.00 per square foot depending on if you are using a popular or rare color and pattern. Slate roofs are a worthy investment because it adds value to your home and is one of the most beautiful roof styles.


Fiberglass is common and popular as a roofing material because it is versatile. Once your fiberglass roof is glazed, it’s also water and shatterproof. Fiberglass roofs remain strong and have a long lifespan. Fiberglass roofs are sold in sheets or panels. Uniquely, they are resistant to rust or mildew and should last about thirty years.

Fiberglass shingle costs average around $40 – $200 per square foot, and for installation, an additional $80 – $200 per square foot is needed. It’s important to note, fiberglass and asphalt shingles are very similar, but there are characteristic cost and durability differences. Fiberglass is more sturdy than asphalt shingles, and you can see the difference between the two through their cost.

Final Consideration Before Getting a New Roof

Your final consideration before getting a new roof should be in what kind of climate will it be in? You want your roof to fit in with the weather factors which surround you. Some other things to remember before you purchase a new roof needs to include:

  • Expert and experienced roof installation
  • The roof’s life span
  • The roof’s cost per square foot
  • Maintenance demands for the roofing material selected
  • Roof warranty

When you need answers for the above questions or more information about the roofing material you’ve selected, reach out to Roofing Architects. They have the experience, knowledge, and information you need to make your roofing selection one that brings you comfort and satisfaction for many years.