The Gulf South region has already seen a lot of wet weather this summer, and with several months left in hurricane season, it’s likely to see a lot more —not to mention plenty of rainy weather all year round.

Not every storm is as dangerous as a hurricane but even a regular rainstorm can cause damage to a roof that’s old, weakened by a wet climate. If you’re dealing with leaks or are worried about your roof’s ability to hold up against a Gulf Coast summer’s frequent downpour, here’s some information to consider about the benefits of a weather-ready FORTIFIED roof, and the additional protection it can offer against wet weather as compared to a standard roof. We hope it helps you understand your options! 

Underlayment: Traditional Vs. FORTIFIED

Traditional: 

On a traditional roof in the southeast, a roofer will normally install asphalt-saturated felt, or a synthetic underlayment as the secondary water barrier in between the shingles and roof deck. These materials are there to repel small amounts of water that may penetrate the shingles. Unfortunately, these types of underlayments deteriorate quickly after getting wet…and if wind speeds get high enough to tear multiple shingles off?  Forget about it! Your roof deck and more importantly, the interior of your home, is now at risk during and after strong storms. 

FORTIFIED:

The FORTIFIED standard, which is the one used by all MyStrongHome contracting partners, requires that a roof be sealed 100% with materials and practices that have been tested by IBHS. Listed below are the methods you can use to seal your roof deck per the FORTIFIED Standards:

  1. A self-adhered membrane (100% leak proof barrier) applied over the entire roof deck.

  2. A 4-in.-wide self-adhered membrane tape applied over all joints in the roof deck, covered by a roofing felt or synthetic underlayment approved as a substitute for the required roofing felt

  3. Two (2) layers of approved felt installed as required in this standard, when the roof cover (refers to the exposed layer of the roof) is asphalt shingles or metal.

  4. A closed-cell foam applied to all joints in the roof deck from the attic.

     

 

Our contractor in Louisiana generally prefers to use Method 1 with a product from GAF called “StormGuard,” which is a heavier duty film like material that offers a 100% watertight seal do to its “Peel and Stick” nature.

It’s What’s Underneath

Look at these two pictures side by side. 

 

One is FORTIFIED. The other is a standard roof. Once a FORTIFIED roof is fully installed, it’s hard to see anything special in the construction. However, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your roof has been built to keep water from leaking into your home is certainly a difference you can feel! (The FORTIFIED roof is the one on the right.)