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The roof is perhaps the most important element of the entire home. It’s what keeps the rain out and keeps the entire rest of the home safe from moisture, UV radiation, snow, hail, ice and more.

That’s why a storm proof roof is so important. High wind events can do a lot of damage to a rooftop—particularly shingled roofs. And that means the underlayment beneath should be sound against storms because that is the line of defense that homeowners rely on to keep the roof deck and the rest of the home safe. It’s not just moisture damage to the deck and rafters that you need to worry about. If a roof becomes compromised during a storm, water can infiltrate the entire house, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Below, you’ll see how to storm proof a roof, and the advantages of doing so.

How to Storm Proof a Roof

Most of the time when a roofing system fails, it is because of high winds. Hurricanes leave a lot of roof damage in their wake, but even if you don’t live in a hurricane prone area, thunderstorms can also do just as much damage at times. Often, too, the more a roof has aged, the more susceptible it is to wind damage. Brand new shingles may withstand higher gusts than aging, brittle shingles that could lift at wind speeds as low as 30 miles per hour.

So what goes into storm proofing a roof? It’s not the roofing material, but rather the underlayment. Shingles, no matter how well installed or how new they are, can lift if the winds are high enough. Metal roofing, tiles and other types of roofing materials can lift, too, though these materials tend to be somewhat more wind resistant than shingles. There is also the chance for seepage around fasteners—and that means the underlayment beneath needs to be able to keep up with whatever nature can throw at it.

In general, the best way to storm proof a roof deck is to choose a product like Epilay’s Plystik Plus. Peel and stick underlayment is the best choice, and for two reasons:

  • This type of underlayment is self-sealing, which means that there are no loose edges for the wind to catch, and water won’t seep through gaps.
  • Peel and stick also seals around fasteners, which prevents water from seeping in around nails, screws or staples.

With that, this type of underlayment is moisture resistant, which means it directs water away from the easily damaged roof deck below.

How Storm Proof Underlayment Benefits Your Roof

There are a couple of key advantages to storm proofing a roof. Number one, it’s vital protection against the elements. The wood beneath the underlayment is generally plywood or engineered wood, which can take moisture damage easily if it isn’t properly protected. Hail, snow and ice can damage it, too. Underlayment will help protect the roof deck from the elements, and prevent moisture from seeping into the home through the roof.

The other advantage to storm proofing comes with the underlayment that you choose. An underlayment like our Plystik Plus will not only safeguard your roof against the elements, but it is also rated to be water repellant, non-absorbent and UV-resistant for up to 180 days. What this means is that the underlayment can be left exposed for that length of time if need be. During storms, that level of protection is incredibly important because with many homes damaged throughout a particular region, roofing contractors may not be able to get to everyone quickly to install a new roof.

Not everyone chooses to storm proof their roof because the extra expense of a durable, self-sealing, water resistant underlayment does drive costs up. But you may actually find that despite the higher installation costs, a good underlayment will save you money by preventing catastrophic damage during storm season!