Need a new roof after Ida? Here’s what to know before you sign the contract | Home/Garden

If your home is one of an estimated 80,000 in the state whose roofs were torn apart by Hurricane Ida, Claudette Reichel has some advice on choosing a new one. The best roofing option here, she says, is to use architectural shingles that are rated to withstand winds up to 250 mph — the speed at which Ida burst in on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm.

Reichel is the director of the LaHouse Resource Center at LSU in Baton Rouge, a project developed after Hurricane Katrina to study and educate the public about best building practices in southeastern Louisiana.

Shingles that can withstand winds up to 250 mph receive an H rating from ASTM International. Other designations include Class D (90 mph), F (110 mph), and G (120 mph).

091821 Anatomy of a house roof

But here’s a note to consumers: Buying windproof shingles is just the first step. Ensuring proper installation is critical to ensuring the roof system will hold up during destructive winds.

“The manufacturers will have specific installation instructions, maybe even two sets: one for high winds and one for regular,” Reichel said.

High wind instructions require the use of a special starter strip. “Typical practice is to turn one clapboard upside down and lay another over it, then start the clapboards. You need that special starter strip,” she said.

Be sure to specify the use of that strip in the written contract with your roofer, along with other manufacturers’ requirements for achieving maximum wind resistance.


Ismael Gonzalez, right, and Giovanni Mendez with Lafayette Roofing install a new roof at veteran Murray Johnson’s home in Lafayette, LA, Friday, September 10, 2021. The Acadiana Veterans Alliance partnered with Lafayette Roofing to install a new roof on his home.

To get the most out of your roof, Reichel also had a number of other suggestions. When she redone the roof a few years ago, she determined that the roofer uses six nails per clapboard, in specific locations, instead of the typical three or four nails. This can also be laid down in a contract.

This also applies to the way in which the nails are driven in.

Nails should not be overdriven. “That means pushing them too far into the shingle, essentially tearing them apart. Sometimes when roofers have multiple workers using a hydraulic nail gun, they (the guns) are harder to control — they fluctuate by how many people can do it at the same time. to use.

Reichel recommends specifying that they are nailed by hand so that the worker has more control over nail penetration.


A crew works on the roof of Ethel Schoeffner Elementary School in the wake of Hurricane Ida in Destrehan on Friday, September 10, 2021. (Photo by Brett Duke, | The Times Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate) ORG XMIT: BAT2109101428050031

“You want them flush, not indented in the grind.”

For even greater protection, the LSU AgCenter suggests combining the ASTM-rated shingles with a higher-performance, No. 30 synthetic underlayment that is much more tear-resistant than regular felt. For the highest level of water protection, invest in a self-adhesive roof membrane underlayment.

“Today, most manufacturers tend to have plain (asphalt) shingles, or the ones that meet F and H,” she said.

Marty Scoggins, CEO of Suburban Roofing in Harahan, agreed. “Most of what we’re covering now is the higher wind rating architectural shingles,” he said. “That’s what people want.”

Because roofers tend to use certain brands, Reichel advised, consumers should look up the products online to verify that what their roofer is using has been wind-tested.

One thing to be aware of: Luxury architectural shingles are not necessarily wind resistant. “The composition of architectural shingles is thicker, for a better look,” Reichel said. “The extended warranty — perhaps a 40-year roof — is an indicator of quality, but not wind resistance. It means longevity, outside a hurricane, for normal elements of sun and weather.”

However, the wind resistant shingles are architectural shingles and have a longer warranty.

(An average asphalt shingle roof can last 20 years.)

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Rev. Joseph Caraway and Rev. Garrett McIntyre of Breaux Bridge.

Metal roofs are also an excellent choice to withstand high winds, and with the availability of metal that resembles shingles, they can look good on any type of home. The downside is that they are several times more expensive than more typical roofs.

After both Ida and the COVID-19 pandemic, and with roofers so busy that some don’t even answer their phones, cost and availability are a question mark. Even before Ida, the US Department of Labor reported that combined prices for windows, doors, roofing and other construction products rose 13% in the first six months of this year. Before 2020, overall prices would typically increase by about 1% per year.

Locally, Scoggins said materials are tight, adding that his costs have risen about 20% since the storm. Doing business in hard-hit areas like Luling, Destrehan and metro New Orleans: “We don’t even fool with repairs.”

Even with higher costs, it can be a matter of paying now or paying even more later.

“If you don’t go for windproof shingles, you may have to pay that deductible again because the storms are increasing,” Reichel said.

“Think about saving your house. If you lose a lot of shingles, you get water, the roof can collapse and you get major water damage in the house. A windproof roof is the most important investment in a home.”

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More suggestions

Here are some other suggestions from the LSU AgCenter to help your new roof weather a storm.

COVER: After removing the old shingles and subfloor, roofers should inspect the deck, the layer of boards on which the shingles and other roofing components are installed. Make sure it is at least 7/16-inch thick. If you’re replacing the entire deck (also called sheathing), consider upgrading to 5/8-inch plywood for a stronger roof. Roof terrace is usually sparingly nailed or stapled to the rafters. Add ring nails so that the decking is secured every 6 inches and, if possible, install hurricane hardware connecting rafters and rafters to side walls for added stability.

SEAL: Finish roofing seams with 4-inch-wide roofing tape as a secondary defense against water damage. Add a secondary moisture barrier to prevent water leakage at the patio seams if the roofing material is ever lost or damaged. Do not use adhesive tape for windows.

FLASHING: Properly install new, durable flashing at all penetrations, roof and wall intersections and valleys. Proper installation methods layer materials shingle fashion to prevent water seepage under flashings.

CONFIRM: Attach gable ends to roof elements to prevent collapse due to very strong winds.

ATTACHMENT: For a ventilated attic, use only a TAS 100(A) tested ridge or roof vent. Fasten sturdy panels and vents securely to the frame under eaves. Perforated fiber cement interior walls are a sturdy, one-step, low-maintenance option.


Giovanni Mendez, left, and Ismael Gonzalez with Lafayette Roofing install a new roof at veteran Murray Johnson’s home in Lafayette, LA, on Friday, September 10, 2021. The Acadiana Veterans Alliance partnered with Lafayette Roofing to install a new roof on his home.

For roof repairs

“Unless the rest of the roof is new, try making a case (with your insurance company) to do the whole thing,” Reichel advised. “If you lost shingles with this storm, the roof could be vulnerable to losing more next time.”

If you are not replacing the entire roof, ask the contractor to perform a thorough inspection for loose or damaged shingles. “If the other shingles are tight and the nails aren’t over tightened (which would weaken them), it’s reasonable to just replace the loosened nails,” she said.

While workmen are on site, there’s another fairly easy way to prevent future damage: adding an extra dot of roofing cement to the first layer of shingles, which are the most fragile. Each gravel should have three 1-inch dots of cement, one in the center and one on each side, a few inches from the edge of the gravel.

First blue roof after Hurricane Ida

Roofers at a New Orleans East home on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, install the first of an estimated 70,000 blue tarps on Louisiana roofs damaged by Hurricane Ida. FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers are overseeing the blue roof project.


The US Army Corps of Engineers Blue Roofs program provides free tarps until permanent repairs can be made. The tarps are more durable than standard tarps and should last at least a month. Registration for the program lasts until September 30. Go to or call (888) 766-3258.

$10,000 batteries are needed to run electricity in the event of a power outage

Temporary tarps flapped Sunday on rooftops in Southeast Louisiana, makeshift spots for the holes left by Hurricane Ida two weeks ago.

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