Tornadoes and Your Roofing Insurance

Tornadoes and Your Roofing Insurance

By Marie King

Roofing insurance and tornadoes

Roofing Insurance and Tornadoes

Tornadoes provide abundant opportunities for roofing work. However, these storms can create roofing systems fraught with hazards that can lead to worker injuries. Repairing a roof damaged by a tornado requires the use of certain techniques that fix the problems while minimizing the impact of future tornadoes on the structure. If the right techniques aren’t used, this could be claimed as poor workmanship.

Both worker injuries and poor workmanship are covered in your contractors insurance by your workers compensation and general liability policies. Understanding what causes tornadoes, how these storms wreak destruction and how best to install and repair roofs damaged by tornadoes allows you to reduce the claims on your roofing insurance.

Causes of Tornadoes

According to Weather Wiz Kids, “Most tornadoes form from thunderstorms. You need warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cool, dry air from Canada. When these two air masses meet, they create instability in the atmosphere.”

These storms are measured on an Enhanced Fujita Scale. EF0 packs winds of 65-85 MPH. EF1 has winds 86-110 MPH. EF2 generates winds of 111-135 MPH. EF3 delivers winds of 136-165 MPH. EF4 create winds of 166-200 MPH. EF5 can whip up winds of over 200 MPH.

Tornado Alley

According to LiveScience, “The borders of Tornado Alley are not clearly defined.They vary, depending on the criteria used — frequency, intensity, or events per unit area. Generally, a Tornado Alley map starts in central Texas and goes north through Oklahoma, central Kansas and Nebraska and eastern South Dakota, sometimes dog-legging east through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana to western Ohio.”

Tornado Facts

  • 17 million people in 500,000 square miles live in the tornado-prone areas of the United States.
  • From the onset of a tornado until it strikes, there is 13 minutes warning time.
  • The most active time for tornadoes is during the months of April, May, June and July.
  • 1,179 tornadoes strike on the average each year.
  • Most tornadoes are likely to hit between four and nine P.M.
  • The average width of a tornado is equal to about half the size of a football field.
  • Most tornadoes travel just under a mile, but they can go as far as 50 miles.
  • The yearly cost of tornadoes adds up to 7.78 billion dollars.
  • Property damage totals up to 1.1 billion.
  • On the average yearly, 70 people die due to tornadoes and 1,500 are injured.

Roofing Tips for Tornadoes

  • When inspecting the roof, make sure areas are tight and attachments are secure. Look for shards of glass and tree limbs that could severely damage the roofing system. Check drains for windblown debris that can clog them and create future problems.
  • Use metal roofing, it can withstand flying debris and the extreme difference in air pressure between the inside of the structure and the outside atmosphere.
  • When installing roof sheathing, use 8D nails and space them 6 inches apart.
  • Attach the trusses/rafters to wall studs using steel straps. The strap must be nailed to both top plates.

Roofing Insurance

Remember your contractors insurance in the forms of your general liability and workers compensation provide coverage to deal with workmanship issues and worker accident. However, your best protection can be found in the safety measures that you utilize and the high quality of work that you do.