Tornado Damage

Most tornado damage is done by high winds, up to 300 MPH, and flying debris. To prepare your home for tornado season, it is always a good idea to trim back tree branches away from the roof, or large windows, as fallen limbs and broken tree branches can do a substantial amount of damage to your roof, windows and exterior. In a tornado, there are 5 factors that determine storm damage:

  1. Wind Speed
  2. Wind Direction
  3. Wind Duration
  4. Flying Debris
  5. Strength of the Structure

Since the roof of any structure is highly susceptible to tornado damage, here are a few smart tips to limit the amount of damage a tornado will do to your roof, by shingle type:

  • Shake: Reinforce with extra nails
  • Slate: Seal with cement or mortar
  • Tile: A steel strap placed over the tiles and tied into the roof (tile roofs can also be reinforced with mortar and cement)
  • Asphalt: Get a full damage inspection after the storm, but nothing can be done in advance to strengthen an asphalt roof

Tornado winds are measured on the F-Scale (Fujita Scale) which rates the degree of intensity of the wind, and likelihood of damage. So, if you hear a report of an F-3 tornado heading your way, you can be assured that it will cause serious damage to the structures in its path, whereas an F-0 tornado is much less likely to cause serious damage.

Scale MPH Expected Damage
F-0 40-72 Light
F-1 73-112 Moderate
F-2 113-157 Considerable
F-3 158-206 Severe
F-4 207-260 Devastating
F-5 261-318 Incredible Damage

When assessing damage after a tornado, you'll want to look for signs of damage on your roof, windows and exterior. It is common for tree branches and flying debris to do serious damage. OMissing shingles are common, along with split seams. Also check for bent, missing or damaged rain gutters. Look for broken, chipped or cracked windows and damage on the exterior of your home. As with any storm, it is always smart to have a full storm damage inspection performed by a reputable contractor who has experience working with insurance claims.

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The National Storm Damage Center provides everything you need to prepare for and recover from severe storm damage.