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How to Choose the Best Roof for a Texas Home

DECRA Texas Flag
September 18, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

By Trevor Underwood, DECRA. 

Texas homes face a number of challenges unique to their location, but DECRA metal roofs are uniquely poised as a top choice for Texas homeowners.  

Texas homes need to be built tough. The Lone Star state is known for its adverse weather conditions, with hundreds of tornadoes touching down each summer and spring. Additionally, hurricanes make landfall once every three years on Texas turf. That is not even accounting for the blasts of wind, hail and rain that can hit a Texas home and seriously damage it or the intense wildfire season Texas experiences. 

Since a roof serves as the first line of defense against these conditions, one must carefully consider the options when choosing a roofing material, as much of this damage can be avoided, or at least minimized, if a few precautions are taken to protect the property. 

Take metal roofing, for example. Rapidly growing in demand as the second most popular type of roofing amongst homeowners, metal roofs are known for their durability, longevity and are considered one of the best roofing materials for Texas homes. 

But durability and longevity aren't the only selling points for metal roofing. Stone-coated metal roofing products, like DECRA, can achieve the same aesthetics as traditional roofing materials. This can be a huge selling point for Texas homeowners who aren’t willing to sacrifice on strength or style. For other reasons to give homeowners consider metal, continue reading below about the benefits it provides. 

Highest Class 4 impact rating 

Each year, hail causes about 1.6 billion dollars worth of damage to residential roofs in the United States, with hail storms most concentrated in the southern great plain states. The saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” holds true for hail, as this past May a stone estimated at more than a half-foot wide landed in San Antonio. Emerging evidence suggests some of the stones may break new state records. 

Since roofs are susceptible to hail damage, especially in Texas, it’s important to find a roof that can withstand impact. Homeowners are looking for roofing materials that have received a rating from Underwriters Laboratories. The UL 2218 is considered the industry-standard for impact resistance rating. Roofing materials are rated Class 1 through Class 4 based on their resistance to the impact of steel balls dropped from varying heights. The Class 4 rating, the highest rating possible for hail resistance, stimulates the damaging impact of a two-inch hailstone from 20 feet or higher on a roof. In order to achieve the Class 4 rating, the roofing material cannot exhibit any signs of fracture. 

Metal roofing, in general, is considered one of the most impact-resistant options available, and DECRA products have the highest possible UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Resistant rating. To further ensure that the hail-resistant qualities of our products are present in each and every panel we manufacture, DECRA goes above and beyond the requirements, and voluntarily conducts additional testing through an independent third-party lab for: 

  • Material thickness: Impact resistance and shear strength. 

  • Aluminum-Zinc alloy thickness: Strength, bending and anti-corrosion. 

  • Coating quality: Quality for exterior exposure and weather durability. 

  • Coating thickness: Adequate protective thickness for weather durability and thermal performance. 

  • Hardness: Class 4 Hail Impact resistance. 

  • Humidity resistance: Tests for water damage resistance to detect deficiencies in coatings. 

  • Salt spray resistance: Resist metal corrosion in the harshest environment. 

DECRA products are also warrantied for hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter

Traditional roofing materials like asphalt, tile and wood do not offer this level of protection from hail. In fact, just walking on a clay tile roof for maintenance can lead to fractured tiles, so you can imagine the damage that hailstones at high-velocity winds can cause. Wood shingles and shakes fare better, but as wood ages it becomes more brittle and can split, making the roof more susceptible to hail damage. Similar to wood, asphalt shingles initially fare well against hail, but shingles wear out quickly and become increasingly susceptible to damage from small hailstones. 

Impact resistance is just one of the many reasons why DECRA Metal Roofing is the ideal roofing material for homeowners in states like Texas where hail storms are common. 

Warrantied for 120 MPH winds 

Texas occupies about seven percent of the total water and land area of the U.S. This means it’s vulnerable to wind and rain from both tornadoes and hurricanes that sweep through. 

This is why there are two factors that Texas homeowners need to consider when choosing a roofing material: wind uplift and wind-driven rain. 

Wind uplift 

Whenever the wind blows over a roof’s surface, the air pressure directly above the roof decreases. This is called “negative” pressure. At the same time, the wind causes air infiltration below the roof materials through openings and cracks that create a “positive” pressure. The combination of negative pressure above and positive pressure below the roofing surface results in a “push-pull” force working together to separate the roofing materials from the roof deck. Roof perimeter overhangs and windward corners, eaves, rakes and ridges are the most vulnerable roof areas to the damaging effects of wind uplift. 

Traditional roofing materials like asphalt, tile and wood have significant shortcomings when it comes to wind. Wood shakes, for example, tend to split and loosen around the fasteners making them extremely prone to wind uplift. Easily fractured clay tiles are also highly prone to wind uplift, with few backed by any warranty at all. With repeated wet-dry cycles, asphalt shingles are prone to cupping, splitting, warping, delaminating and loosening around the fasteners, which can increase the risk for wind uplift. 

DECRA uses a unique interlocking system to secure its panels in place with corrosion-resistant screws to prevent uplift. This resistance gives DECRA one of the highest wind uplift ratings on the market. Plus, DECRA’s products have been rigorously tested to comply with high-velocity hurricane zone requirements, including Miami-Dade, Florida, which is known for severe winds. 

DECRA’s roofing products are also backed by a warranty for winds up to 120 miles per hour and are tested at twice that velocity. For a state that averages 132 tornadoes per year, this is something to be mindful of. 

Wind-driven rain 

Traditional roofing materials that are prone to wind uplift also leave the roof deck vulnerable to wind-driven rain, or rain that is driven into a home by the wind. The rain comes in via an opening because it’s being propelled by the wind. This force adds stress to the underlying structure of the roof without contributing strength, causing asphalt shingles and shakes to cup, crack and curl.

With DECRA, the roofing panels are securely fastened in place to ensure that wind-driven rain can’t penetrate the underlying deck. DECRA has even performed extensive wind-driven rain testing at speeds up to 110 miles per hour to protect its roofing profiles against water penetration under the most extreme wind conditions. 

Texas homeowners can take comfort in knowing their roof is better equipped to handle wind and rain from tornadoes, hurricanes and more. 

Class A fire rated material 

Texas is considered one of the most dangerous states for wildfires. Because of this, homeowners should look for a roofing material with a Class A fire rating. 

The UL 790 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Roof Coverings rates roofing material performance when exposed to fire sources originating from outside the building. To meet UL standards, roof coverings must provide a degree of protection against flame penetration to the underlying deck and the attic space without producing flying embers, or slipping from their installed position. Roofing materials are then classified with one of three  fire ratings based on UL test performance: 

  • Class A: Such materials have proven themselves effective against the most severe fire testing. They provide the best protection against flame penetration as stand-alone roofing products with excellent resistance to surface flame spread without the need for chemical treatments or extra underlying roofing materials. 

  • Class B: Such materials are effective against moderate fire exposure. Wood shakes and shingles must be impregnated with fire-retardant chemicals to meet Class B requirements and Class A can only be earned with extra materials required for "by assembly" fire ratings. 

  • Class C: Such materials are effective against light fire exposure only. This includes reconstituted wood products such as plywood and particleboard. 

DECRA Metal Roofing products carry the highest Class A Fire rating. 

Additional benefits of metal roofing 

Beyond the benefits listed above, metal roofing provides additional long-term value for Texas homeowners. These include: 

  • Longevity: Metal roofs have a lifespan that is two to three times longer than traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles, clay tiles or wood shakes. Texas homeowners won’t have to worry about a roof repair or replacement because they have a newly installed roof that lasts significantly longer than other materials on the market. 

  • Energy efficiency: Metal roofs can reduce cooling costs by up to 25%. They reflect heat from the sun unlike asphalt shingles that absorb the energy and transmit heat into the home. Poor solar reflectivity coupled with low emissivity make asphalt one of the worst choices for energy-efficient roofing. With metal, Texas homeowners can look forward to additional savings over the lifetime of the home by reducing energy costs. 

  • Insurance discounts: DECRA roofs can qualify for insurance discounts in many states. For example, in Texas a metal roof can even lower a homeowner's insurance by up to 35%. Make sure to tell your homeowners to check a local insurance carrier for available discounts. 

And since DECRA has the ability to replicate the look of traditional roofing materials, it can enhance any home’s design. Using a state-of-the-art acrylic resin coating applied on top of the aluminum-zinc alloy hot-dip steel coils, the acrylic resin coatings provide the ideal surface for adhering the stone granules to the base sheets to create various colors, textures and designs popular to Texas. 

Protect a Texas home with a DECRA Metal Roof 

DECRA bridges the gap between durability and architectural beauty to add strength and style to any home. To learn more about how a DECRA roof can protect a Texas home from elements contact us today.

Learn more about DECRA in their directory or visit www.DECRA.com.

Original article source: DECRA 

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