What Type of Roof is Most Wind-Resistant?

what type of roof is most wind resistant

When it comes to selecting the best roof for a home, wind resistance is one of the primary factors to consider. With the increasing frequency and intensity of storms and hurricanes, homeowners need a suitable roofing material that can withstand high winds while maintaining its durability and structural integrity. Understanding the different types of roofing materials and their wind-resistant capabilities plays a crucial role in making an informed choice.

Roofing materials come in a variety of forms, including asphalt shingles, metal, slate, and clay tiles. Each type of material has distinct advantages and disadvantages, which ultimately affect the wind resistance they offer.

This article aims to explore different types of roofing materials to determine which one is the most wind-resistant, taking into account factors such as the roof’s shape, the installation process, and the material’s overall performance under intense wind conditions.

Taking a closer look at roof shapes and designs, it becomes apparent that some structures offer better wind resistance than others. For instance, the hip roof’s aerodynamic shape makes it a popular choice for homes in high-wind zones. By having a full understanding of these factors, homeowners can make a well-informed decision in selecting the best roof material to withstand the strongest of storms.

Wind-Resistant Roofing Materials

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing materials are known for their wind resistance and durability. They can withstand strong winds and are less likely to lift during storms. Metal roofs, including copper and steel, are available in various styles and finishes, making them a versatile option for homeowners. Additionally, metal roofing is lightweight, easy to install, and requires minimal maintenance.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material due to their affordability and ease of installation. They offer moderate wind resistance, with some high-quality shingles designed to withstand winds of up to 130 mph. To improve their wind resistance, they are often installed using additional sealant and fasteners. Nonetheless, asphalt shingles may not be as durable as other options when exposed to severe weather conditions over an extended period.

Slate and Tile Roofing

Slate and tile roofing materials are both visually appealing and highly wind-resistant. Slate roofing, in particular, can withstand winds of up to 150 mph, making them an excellent choice for homes in areas with extreme weather. Tile roofing also offers wind resistance, with some types of clay and concrete tiles able to withstand winds of up to 125 mph. While these materials perform well against strong winds, they are heavier than other options, which may require additional structural support.

Rubber and Plastic Roofing

Rubber and plastic roofing options are gaining popularity due to their ease of installation and wind resistance. Rubber roofing materials, such as EPDM and TPO, can withstand strong winds and are less likely to crack or be damaged during storms. Furthermore, they offer excellent resistance to UV exposure, contributing to their durability. Plastic roofing options, including PVC and polycarbonate, provide similar benefits, with the added advantage of being lightweight, thus requiring less structural support.

Each of the mentioned materials presents its own benefits and drawbacks, making the choice of wind-resistant roofing dependent on various factors, including the homeowner’s budget, style preferences, and local weather conditions.

Roof Design for Wind Resistance

Hip Roofs

Hip roofs are known for their excellent wind resistance due to their geometric design. They have pitched or sloping sides that meet at a common ridge, forming a pyramid-like structure. This design allows wind to pass over the roof surface, reducing the overall pressure on the structure. Additionally, hip roofs generally incorporate strong sheathing and framing materials, which are essential to their stability and ability to withstand high wind forces.

Aerodynamic Roof Shapes

Aerodynamic roof shapes are designed to minimize air resistance and better withstand strong winds. Examples of such roof designs include curved and other streamlined forms, which reduce drag and evenly distribute wind pressure. By effectively allowing wind to flow over the structure, these roof shapes minimize the risk of damage during high-wind events. Sheathing and framing materials used in aerodynamic roof designs should also be selected carefully to ensure the roof’s overall integrity and stability.

Key Features for Wind Resistance

Overhangs and Edge Protection

Overhangs play a crucial role in increasing the wind resistance of a roof. They help in reducing uplift forces that can potentially cause roof damage. A properly designed overhang can effectively protect the roof edges from strong winds and hail. However, it is important to ensure that the overhang does not extend too far out, as it may create a lever force, increasing the vulnerability of the roof during high winds.

Fasteners and Attachments

The strength of a roof’s connection to the building’s main structure is critical for wind resistance. Fasteners and attachments play a key role in maintaining this connection. Various types of fasteners and attachments are available for securing the roof, such as nails, adhesives, and hurricane straps.

Nails, for instance, are commonly used for attaching the roof deck (made of plywood or OSB) to the building structure. Choosing the right type and size of nails for the specific application is essential. On the other hand, adhesives are used to bond roofing materials, providing an additional layer of protection against wind-induced uplift forces.

Hurricane straps or clips are metal connectors that secure the roof trusses or rafters to the building’s walls. The roof’s resistance to uplift forces during strong winds can be significantly improved by using hurricane straps.


Underlayment is an important part of a wind-resistant roof, as it serves as an extra layer of protection against the elements. This protective layer is installed between the roof deck and the roofing materials, such as shingles, tiles, or metal panels.

The primary function of the underlayment is to act as a barrier against water intrusion, but it also has a critical role in enhancing the roof’s wind resistance. High-quality underlayment products can help prevent damage to the roof deck from high winds and hail while providing additional protection from wind-driven rain. Some underlayment materials are also designed to improve the roof’s overall adhesion, reducing the chance of roofing materials being ripped off during strong winds.

Standards and Testing for Wind-Resistant Roofs

Wind resistance is an important factor when selecting a roofing material, especially in areas prone to heavy winds and hurricanes. Several organizations have established testing standards to assess the wind resistance of various roof coverings. This section will discuss the standards and testing guidelines set by Underwriters Laboratories, ASTM International, and FM Approvals.

Underwriters Laboratories Testing

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an organization that provides safety certifications for various products, including roof coverings. The UL 2218 standard evaluates the impact resistance of roofing materials. Roof coverings are classified into four classes, with Class 4 being the highest wind-resistance rating.

During the UL 2218 testing, roofing materials are subject to steel ball impacts simulating hailstones at various wind speeds. A Class 4 rating indicates that a roof covering has sustained minimal damage after being subjected to these impacts, making it one of the best roofing materials for withstanding heavy winds and hail.

ASTM International Standards

ASTM International is another organization responsible for developing and publishing standards for various materials, including roof coverings. Two prominent ASTM standards for wind resistance are:

  • ASTM D3161: This standard tests the wind resistance of asphalt shingles under controlled laboratory conditions. This test subjects shingles to up to 110 miles per hour (mph) wind speeds. A roof covering that can withstand these wind speeds is considered to have excellent wind resistance.
  • ASTM D7158: This standard evaluates the wind-resistance performance of asphalt shingles and other roof coverings against uplift forces. Roof coverings are tested at various wind speeds and assigned a classification — D, G, or H — based on their uplift resistance. The H classification represents the highest level of wind resistance.

FM Approvals

FM Approvals is an independent testing and certification organization specializing in property loss prevention. They assess various products, including roofing materials, for their performance and durability.

FM Approvals use their own standards to evaluate wind resistance, such as the FM 4470 and FM 4474 for single-ply roof systems and metal panels. These standards subject roof coverings to wind uplift simulations, cyclic pressure tests, and hail impact resistance tests ensuring that the roofing materials can withstand heavy winds and prevent property loss.

In conclusion, when choosing a wind-resistant roofing material, it is essential to consider the testing standards and classifications established by organizations such as UL, ASTM International, and FM Approvals. These certifications and classifications can assure that the roofing material will perform well in areas with frequent strong winds and extreme weather conditions.

Choosing the Right Roof for Your Environment

When selecting a roof for your home or building, it is essential to consider the environment in which it will be installed. With Florida roofs, we’re prone to high winds, hurricanes, and damaging storms that require specific roofing types to withstand these conditions.

One of the most crucial factors in a roof’s ability to resist wind damage is uplift resistance. This is its capacity to stay intact and secure during high winds and hurricane-force winds that can create a vacuum effect, lifting the roof off the structure. Roofing products made of lightweight yet durable materials, such as resin, can improve uplift resistance.

Impact-resistant roofing products are another essential consideration, as they can withstand projectile impacts during hailstorms or from wind-driven debris. Class 4 materials, including metal, concrete, and certain polymer-based shingles, are specifically engineered for this purpose. When choosing your roof, look for materials with a Class 4 impact rating to ensure optimal protection in high-wind and hail-prone environments.

Durability in the face of both hurricanes and hail damage is crucial, as a more robust roofing system will hold up better under severe weather conditions. Concrete, metal, and certain synthetic shingles are among the most durable roofing options. These materials also offer high levels of wind resistance, making them ideal choices in regions that frequently experience damaging winds.

In addition to selecting the right roofing materials for your specific environment, it’s essential to properly prepare your home or building for the onslaught of potential storms. Ensuring that your roof is installed and maintained according to industry best practices will help to improve its overall resistance to wind, hail, and other storm-related damage.


In conclusion, choosing the right roof for your environment involves considering various factors, including the potential for high winds, hurricanes, and hail damage. By selecting materials that provide uplift resistance, impact resistance, and durability, you can better protect your investment and keep your home or building safe in the face of extreme weather conditions.

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