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What to look for in a new roof

Published: September 9, 2016 10:00 AM

(StatePoint) Between strong winds, heavy rains, and threats like fire and natural disaster, simply having a roof over one's head is not always enough.

When choosing a strong roof designed to protect your home and its occupants, here are some things to consider:

Fire Prevention

Real wood shake roofs can be extremely combustible and serve as kindling for wildfires. If you live in an area with even a remote possibility of wildfires, consider investing in a roof that resists flame spread. While no roof will resist a "ground up" fire that engulfs the entire home, polymer roofing tiles that are installed with proper underlayments can help protect a home from wind-driven embers that can ignite the roof.

Impact Resistance

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Whether you live in an area prone to direct or indirect threats of tornadoes or hurricanes, or you simply live in a region that experiences strong storms, take note: flying debris associated with severe weather can become dangerous in high winds. Damage from airborne tree branches and flying loose items can be devastating to a roof not equipped for impact. Having a synthetic roof that has achieved the highest ratings on impact resistance tests can help protect your property.

"Even if your roof has stood up to strong weather conditions in the past, it's important to make sure it's still in shape before the next round of bad weather hits," says Mark Hansen, vice president of sales and marketing for DaVinci Roofscapes, which makes high-performing polymer roofing products that have achieved the highest grades possible on multiple industry tests.

Examine the roof yourself or have a professional roofer assess for damage you may not be able to see from the ground. They can make repairs or recommend a new roof replacement.


No matter where you live, it's important that roof tiles can handle wear and tear. Ideally, roof tiles should resist curling, fading, cracking, mold, algae, fungus and insects. Roofing products that come with a strong warranty can offer you peace of mind.

Other Considerations

Protecting your home and family should be your number one consideration. Luckily, durable synthetic roofing options abound that offer the authentic look of real wood or slate beauty, as well as environmental sustainability. For the benefits of an eco-friendly roof, it's a good idea to seek out products that are completely recyclable and meet standards set by organizations like the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.

For a complete free guide on upgrading roofing to protect a home long-term, visit ThisOldHouse.netline.com.

For an important, lasting home project, evaluate your roof and consider making an upgrade that will protect your house from everyday wear and tear, as well as the worst case scenario.

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