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Why you need a FORTIFIED Roof when you next replace your shingles

Strengthen Your Home's Defenses from Severe Weather

Each year more and more Americans across the country are experiencing severe weather – from tornados to hurricanes and everything in between – which can substantially damage their home, or worse, destroy it. The result is that insurance companies are starting to pull out of some areas of the country, making it much harder for homeowners to secure affordable home insurance rates. For example, homeowners living in coastal areas have seen their insurance coverage skyrocket simply due to their location’s vulnerability to hurricanes and tropical storms. In some of these high-risk areas, homeowners are losing their coverage altogether.

Now, there’s a new and innovative program called ‘FORTIFIED Home’ which helps homeowners either build a more durable home or re-roof their existing home such that it better withstands the impact of severe weather. A component of FORTIFIED Home is ‘FORTIFIED Roof’ which aims to set a new standard in roof strength and durability. Keep reading as we explore the FORTIFIED Roof program from all angles.

What Is a FORTIFIED Roof?

A FORTIFIED roof is one that meets the rigorous standards set forth by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). This program, simply known as FORTIFIED, establishes guidelines for constructing roofs that are exceptionally resilient to severe weather events, such as hurricanes, high winds and hailstorms.

To earn the FORTIFIED designation, a roof must be built or upgraded according to specific engineering and construction techniques outlined by the IBHS. These techniques include using high-quality materials, reinforcing roof-to-wall connections and implementing enhanced installation methods. Additionally, FORTIFIED roofs must undergo thorough inspections by third-party professionals to ensure compliance with the program's standards.

The primary goal of a FORTIFIED roof is to minimize damage and increase the structural integrity of homes during extreme weather events. By investing in a FORTIFIED roof, homeowners can potentially reduce the risk of costly repairs and insurance claims following a storm. Additionally, when you have a FORTIFIED roof, you’ll have better access to homeowner’s insurance carriers and more affordable premiums.

The FORTIFIED Roof:  Key Components

Ensuring your home is ready for severe weather means making sure your roof can withstand whatever nature throws its way. The FORTIFIED Roof system breaks down into five key parts, each aimed at making your roof stronger and more resistant to storms. Here's what you need to know about each component:

Stronger Edges

A roof's edges are especially vulnerable in strong winds and can result in shingle loss and roof detachment. A FORTIFIED Roof has reinforced edges by using tougher materials and better installation techniques, like using sturdy drip edges and starter strips, which reduces the chance of damage to the roof around its perimeter.

Sealed Roof Deck

To keep water out, it's important to seal up any gaps or seams in your roof decking. A FORTIFIED Roof has a properly sealed roof deck to prevent roof leaks and water damage, especially during heavy rain and storms.

Better Attachment

Properly securing your roofing materials with the right hardware is key to withstanding high winds. A FORTIFIED Roof ensures that roofing materials are strongly secured and anchored to the structure below -- this lowers the chance of shingle loss or roof detachment during severe weather, enhancing the overall resilience of your roof.

Impact-Resistant Shingles

Hail and debris can cause serious damage to your roof. A FORTIFIED roof utilizes impact-resistant shingles to minimize possible damage during severe weather and provide better protection for your home.

Wind and Rain-Resistant Roof Vents

Roof vents are important for keeping your attic properly ventilated. However, rain can sneak in through these vents during severe weather, causing water damage. As a result, a FORTIFIED roof will use wind and rain-resistant vents to keep water out while still allowing air to flow, protecting your roof and attic.

By addressing these five components, you can strengthen your roof against the worst of the weather, reducing the chances of damage and keeping your home safe and secure.

What Are the Benefits of a FORTIFIED Roof?


More Insurance Carriers & Better Premiums

Selecting a FORTIFIED roof brings a significant advantage: it expands access to more insurance carriers, particularly in a time when insurance options are diminishing in coastal regions. This is crucial as insurers are increasingly limiting coverage in areas prone to natural disasters. Additionally, insurance carriers may offer significant discounts for having a FORTIFIED Roof.


Simply a Stronger Roof System

Supported by leading roofing engineers and verified by third-party inspectors, FORTIFIED sets the standard for roofing quality and goes beyond required building codes. Homeowners with a FORTIFIED Roof can rely on their roof to withstand even the harshest weather conditions, especially if you live in an area prone to tornadoes or hurricanes. With insurers placing greater emphasis on resilient infrastructure, opting for a FORTIFIED roof can be a wise decision, providing comprehensive coverage and peace of mind for homeowners in vulnerable areas.

Although FORTIFIED is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program, it is important to note that construction standards are continually evolving toward a higher degree of excellence. The FORTIFIED designation or similar programs stand a strong chance of becoming standard for future construction projects.

For more information about the FORTIFIED Home and FORTIFIED Roof programs, please visit

Find a FORTIFIED-Certified Contractor Near You

With severe weather striking the country with increasing frequency, homeowners are turning to durable, long-lasting construction methods and materials to help mitigate their risk. A FORTIFIED Roof offers the utmost protection against severe weather and can help homeowners achieve more favorable insurance coverage and premiums.

For those who live in the Charleston, SC metro area, Sea Island Residential has recently received their FORTIFIED Roofer certification – one of the first to receive this designation in their local area. For more information on how Sea Island can help you replace your aged roof with one that is FORTIFIED, be sure to visit Also, Solid Ground Home Inspections will be soon be a FORTIFIED Evaluator who can inspect the new FORTIFIED Roofs.

Author Bio

Brian Jeffries is a freelance writer who loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on construction projects and materials. He lives in Winter Park, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Brian’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.


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