Southern Roofing Solutions is Offering $250 Cash For Every Referred Roofing Project
September 7, 2023

Preparing Your Roof for Huntsville's Weather Conditions

Have you ever felt you'll run out of gas before reaching your destination, even though you know you can? Getting your roof ready for the weather in Huntsville is a lot like that feeling in your stomach. Living in Huntsville, Alabama, means seeing various weather conditions yearly.

The elements might damage your roof, especially if it isn't ready for the extremes of temperature that can occur over the year. While you may be comfortable with your roof's performance in typical conditions, you'll want to take precautions before Huntsville's unpredictable climate causes damage.

Do you know what needs to be done in preparing your roof for Huntsville's weather? This article explains what you need to do to protect your roof from the weather in Huntsville.

What to Expect in Huntsville's Weather Conditions

In Huntsville, Alabama, the weather can change in the blink of an eye. Extremes of heat and humidity are common in the summer, while cold and wet conditions dominate the winter.

Storms frequently roll across Huntsville, bringing hail, lightning, heavy rain, and strong winds. These storms can bring hazards such as frequent lightning, flooding, intense to destructive winds, and even a tornado.

Moderate temperatures with periodic heat waves that might continue for several days are typical during the spring and summer. During this season, there is a higher chance of flooding in low-lying areas due to frequent rain showers.

Even though Huntsville has a subtropical climate with moderate winters, the city can receive snow during rare winter storms. Huntsville receives an average of 1-2 inches of snow annually, although this snowfall is usually relatively light and infrequent.

infographic illustration on preparing your roof for Huntsville's weather

How can knowing this help you when you plan to build a house, rebuild your roof, or strengthen it to withstand the weather in Huntsville?

How to Prepare Your Roof for Huntsville's Weather Conditions

Repairing your roof in an emergency can be very expensive, and depending on how bad the damage is and where it is, it may also be challenging and inconvenient for you and your family. It's best to be ready for roof damage from severe storms to reduce the likelihood of needing emergency roof repair.

Preventative maintenance is essential for a healthy roof. Your roof can last longer and stay in better shape by being prepared for the weather in Huntsville. Whether you own a home or a business, knowing the proper procedures for protecting your roof from the elements is crucial.

1. Hail damage

Hail can vary in size anywhere from the size of a pea (1/4 inch) to the size of a softball, depending on the weather. The size of the hail is an essential part of the damage it does.

The other factor is the rate at which the hail is moving. Hail can travel anywhere from 9 to 25 miles per hour, depending on size.  Hailstones of quarter size travel at speeds of 25 to 40 mph, while those four inches in diameter can exceed 100 mph.

How to Prepare for Hailstorms

Hail is not something you can ignore. In the state, hailstorms are expected, so it's essential to be ready for them.

We've compiled a list of critical items to consider when preparing for hailstorms.

  • Verify Your Insurance Coverage

Find out precisely what is and isn't covered by your homeowner's insurance in the event of wind and hail damage by reviewing your policy. In most cases, it is covered, though your deductible may be different if hail rather than another catastrophe caused the damage. Your policy may not cover cosmetic damage from hail or high winds.

  • Keep Up With Roof Maintenance

Hailstones gain momentum as they fall, and your roof is typically the first thing they'll smash on when they pass overhead. Hail can dent shingles, and strong winds can blow them loose or off the roof.

That lets water seep into the rafters and, ultimately, the attic. Over time, the aggregate surface of shingles can become loosened and washed away. 

Asphalt shinglesHail rating
3-Tab AsphaltClass 1 or class 2 hail rating
Architectural (Dimensional)Class 3 hail rating
Premium (Designer)Class 4 hail rating

Make sure to replace any shingles that are broken or missing regularly. More protective impact-resistant shingles may be worth looking at when it comes time to restore your roof.

  • Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

Keep debris or leaves from building up in your gutters and downspouts. Water from excessive rainfall, including hail, can overflow gutters and pool around a building's foundation. The basement or crawl space walls will eventually succumb to hydrostatic pressure.

The lightweight metal used in gutters and downspouts is also vulnerable to damage from hail. Take into account replacing vulnerable components with stronger ones.

  • Use Hail Guards

Hail guards, often made of metal mesh, shield rooftop equipment, including air conditioners, heat pumps, vents, and even skylights from flying debris. Hail significantly threatens the coils in air conditioner condensers and heat pump compressors.

2. Summer Heat

Extreme summer weather conditions, both in temperature and humidity, can cause serious damage to your roof. During the summer, keep an eye out for these potential problems:

  • Thermal Shock
  • Sun Damage
  • Drying
  • Moisture Retention
  • Popped Seams and Loose Screws
  • Ventilation Damage

Preparing your roof for the summer sun

Having your roof inspected annually is your best defense against the summer sun. These inspections are essential because they allow your roofer to catch problems early and fix them before they can cause major, expensive damage.

Making your roof resistant to summer heat damage involves a combination of preventive measures and design choices. Here are some effective ways to achieve that goal:

  1. Cool Roofing Materials: Opt for reflective and heat-absorbing roofing materials. Light-colored roofs, such as light gray or white, reflect sunlight and absorb less heat, helping to keep your home cooler.
  2. Reflective Roof Coatings: Apply reflective roof coatings to your existing roof. These coatings can significantly reduce solar heat absorption, minimizing temperature buildup.
  3. Proper Roof Ventilation: Ensure your roof has proper ventilation, including ridge vents, soffit vents, and attic fans. This helps prevent heat buildup in your attic, which can radiate into your living spaces.
  4. Radiant Barrier Installation: Install radiant barriers beneath the roof deck to reflect heat away from your home's interior. This barrier can be particularly effective in reducing radiant heat transfer.
  5. Insulation: Adequate insulation in your attic can help maintain a stable indoor temperature, reducing the strain on your air conditioning system and preventing heat transfer.
  6. Green Roofing: Consider a green or living roof where vegetation is grown on the roof's surface. This natural insulation can reduce heat absorption and improve energy efficiency.
  7. Solar-Reflective Shingles: Opt for shingles designed to reflect sunlight, reducing heat absorption. These shingles often have reflective granules that help keep the roof cooler.
  8. Regular Roof Maintenance: Keep your roof clean and well-maintained. Debris, dirt, and algae can trap heat and cause damage over time.
  9. Shade Structures: Strategically place shade structures like trees, pergolas, or awnings to block direct sunlight from hitting your roof.

3. Wind damage

Storms often come with high-speed winds that can cause significant damage to your roofing. Here's what you should know:

  • Shingle lifting: High winds can lift the edges of shingles, creating a path for water to infiltrate your roof. If left unattended, it can lead to leaks or rot.
  • Missing shingles: Strong winds can tear off shingles completely, leaving your roof's underlayment exposed and vulnerable to further damage.
  • Chimney and flashing damage: Winds can also damage other roof components like the chimney or flashing, both of which are critical to your roof's waterproofing system
  • Granule loss: Heavy wind with debris can knock off the granules from your shingles. These granules are critical as they protect the shingle's asphalt layer from UV rays and water damage.

How to Prepare Your Roof for Strong Winds

The ability of a roof to withstand strong winds is dependent on the building's size, shape, and design. Strong winds can cause more damage to buildings with a larger surface area, such as those with many corners and edges or a wide span.

Keep in mind that a roof's slope can affect its wind resistance while making building plans. Since the wind has less area to force against, a roof with a steep pitch will be more secure in strong winds than one with a gentle slope.

Ensure your roof is securely fastened and the installation is done correctly. This includes ensuring that the shingles, flashing, and metal roof seams are securely fastened.

New roofs vary in how well they resist wind depending on the materials used. In comparison to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles can withstand strong winds for the most part, and certain varieties of shingles even have extra features that boost their wind-resistance rating. 

Asphalt shinglesWind rating
3-Tab Asphalt60 to 70 mph
Architectural (Dimensional)110 to 130 mph
Premium (Designer)up to 110 to 130 mph or higher

4. Water damage

When it comes to the long-term health of a roof, water damage can be one of the most destructive and expensive types of damage it can sustain. Extreme moisture, such as from melting snow or hail, can weaken or even destroy a roof in good condition if it soaks the shingles or other roofing components below the surface.

Further damage can be caused by water freezing and expanding between the shingles, metal roofing, or flashing layers. Leaks, mold, and mildew are all signs of water damage, and if your roof has any weak spots, they will only become worse over time.

Your roof may collapse or sag if water damage causes rot in the roof structure or deck. Water damage should be repaired as soon as possible after discovery to avoid costly and inconvenient consequences.

Preventing water damage

Making sure your roof is in good shape is the best defense against Huntsville's climate. If you want to protect your roof from water damage, you should inspect it often for missing shingles and damaged flashing and fix any of these issues as soon as possible.

Water can be kept away from your home's foundation by installing seamless gutters and extending them away from the building. Look for telltale signs of water pooling since this could indicate an issue that needs fixing before it gets out of hand.

You can prevent water from pooling around your house and seeping into the foundation by clearing up the gutters and downspouts twice a year. To make sure your roof is in good shape and ready for any weather, you may have a professional examine it once a year.

Types of Roofing Materials That Can Stand Up to Huntsville's Weather Conditions

As previously mentioned, Huntsville's climate is a major factor to consider when selecting a roofing material for your home. If you want your roof to last through storms and other severe weather, you could choose one of the following durable materials:

  • Asphalt shingles: The most common roofing material for homes is asphalt shingles because of their low cost, a wide variety of colors and styles, and long lifespan. Furthermore, as was previously shown, they have a high wind resistance rating, making them excellent for withstanding heavy winds and storms.
  • Metal Roofing: If you're looking for a more long-lasting option than asphalt shingles, metal roofing is a terrific alternative because it is fireproof, strong, reusable, and resistant to wind and rain. On the downside, they are more expensive than alternatives.
  • Tile roofing: The classic beauty of tile roofs has made them popular for a very long time. They are so durable that they can resist winds of up to 130 miles per hour! Be aware that tile roofing is heavier than other options and that your roof frame may need reinforcement if it cannot support the added weight.

Common Roofing Problems in Huntsville: How to Address Them

Bad weather isn't predictable, and the rate of roof damage only goes down with maintenance. Therefore, roofs must be kept sturdy to shield people and their homes from severe weather damage.

Depending on what kind of weather event has affected your home, there can be different types of damage. Some weather-related damage is more noticeable, but the overall damage that is ultimately done to your roof ranges in severity.To reduce the damage and keep up with maintenance, here are some common roof problems and how to address them. You can also keep your roof storm-ready by scheduling routine expert roof inspections and maintenance with Southern Roofing Solutions in Huntsville and the surrounding areas.

Southern Roofing Solutions

Southern Roofing Solutions specializes in providing 
roofing services to residential and commercial properties 
in the Huntsville area. Our services include Roof Installation, 
Roof Repair, Roof Maintenance, and Roof Replacement.
accredited business logo- BBB rated on a transparent background
© Copyright 2024 Southern Roofing Solutions. All Rights Reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram