In 2013, a thunderstorm with high winds took a large section of shingles off the roof of the home I owned at the time, leaving the roof deck exposed to heavy rainfall that followed. For over a half hour I stood by helplessly watching rainwater enter the house, soaking the attic insulation and seeping down through every light fixture. Fortunately, the shingles and a couple pieces of siding were all that were impacted by the winds. (The public forest behind the home was not so lucky, thousands of trees were uprooted.) Cleaning up and making repairs to the roof, along with dealing with the insurance company took weeks, but eventually the house was made whole again.
An issue to consider
My experience with roof damage during a storm is not unique; every year, thousands of people experience the damage that can occur when winds tear off sections of their shingles. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), roof-related damage is responsible for an estimated 70-90% of the total insured residential catastrophic losses.
Recently, I was asked to consult on a new home in my area. The homeowner wants to build above code and asked if I would help the builder and designer with ideas and products that would best fit the homeowner’s budget and goals. One of the conversations we had was about durability. (In the back of my mind was my experience with wind damage.) The house is being constructed on the northeast corner of Minnesota’s fourth largest lake, 67,000-acre Lake Winnibigoshish. The home faces southwest and an 11-mile expanse of open water. As you can imagine, the wind can blow quite hard at times.
It so happened that I had been…
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