Tornadoes aren’t that common in Maryland, but they do happen from time to time. In fact, Maryland averages about 4 tornadoes a year. The worst tornado in Maryland recorded history was in 2002 in La Plata. Extremely powerful and fast moving, it devastated many buildings in La Plata, took 3 lives, and injured over 100 others.
Tornado Damage La Plata MD 2002
How do Tornadoes Impact Your Roof?
I think most of us would answer “High Winds”. Yes, wind damage is the most common cause of roof damage during a tornado. Even in low intensity storms, wind can rip off shingles or cause them to lift or crack which opens the roof to water damage. These should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage and more costly repairs.
During stronger tornadoes, the wind can actually get strong enough to lift the entire roof off a building. In both low and high intensity tornadoes, the winds can break tree branches which can then land on your roof causing broken shingles and dented gutters. High winds can pick up other debris and send it flying, landing on your roof, and causing damage.
Hail often accompanies tornadoes. Smaller circumference hail usually will not damage your roof but it if gets to be about an inch in diameter, most roofs will be damaged.
What Can You do to Prevent Tornado Damage?
Much of the damage from a tornado is not preventable but there are things to consider if you are building a new home or replacing a roof on an older home. You should consider choosing wind resistant shingles. Shingles have varying degrees of wind ratings with 60-70 mph being the lowest range. One of our most popular shingles is Owens Corning Duration shingles which are rated for 130 mph.
If you live in the state of Maryland, you should choose shingles with a rating of 130mph. These shingles are made with a stronger adhesive layer between the shingle and the granule as well as a stronger base.
Metal roofs can withstand hailstorms better than shingle roofs. They can still be dented by larger hailstones, but the damage will only be cosmetic. Cost is a consideration though as metal roofs are more expensive than shingle roofs.
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