When high winds come up, your roof is at risk -- perhaps just a few shingles might be lost in a run-of-the-mill wind storm, but your entire roof could collapse in very heavy winds.
That's because most single-home roofs are constructed in layers: rafters, trusses, underlayment, protective barrier and shingles. When really intense storm-force winds blow through, they can essentially peel back these layers and expose your home's interior to water and further wind damage.
Even if winds open up small holes, the risk of damage is still there. Plus, the holes can open up the home to becoming pressurized, making it more susceptible to structural damage.
What is a Sandwich Roof Structure?
Instead of constructing roofs in these layers, roofing material manufacturers and researchers are looking at how to create complete panels that won't peel back in the same way. These panels expand a bit in high winds and aren't as likely to open up holes or have parts blow off.
The idea of roofing panels is not new, but the materials that they are made from and the ease of using them has been advanced to the point where they are reasonable to consider for residential use.
Panels can be made from a variety of high-tech materials, including fiberglass-reinforced polymers, foamed plastics or other types of plastics. Some researchers are also exploring the use of soy-based composites that don't use petroleum in their manufacture.
Benefits of Sandwich Roofs
Beyond their ability to stay adhered to your home in high winds, panel roofs may provide other benefits for your family. These include:
- Easy to install. Because it comes in just a few pieces, a sandwich panel can be transported to the site and then quickly lifted up and installed on the roof.
- Lightweight. Transportation and handling of the panels is easier than with traditional roofing materials.
- Fire resistant. New materials are tested to be extremely fire resistant and let little air in, so house fires don't get the air they need to burn.
- Insulated. The panels' construction makes it easier for them to hold in heated or cooled air, minimizing the amount of energy costs you pay.
Sandwich roof structures are still the subject of a lot of research, but your local roofer is starting to become aware of the benefits of and best practices for constructing a panel roof. Talk to a roofing contractor about the options you have for your next residential roof replacement.