FORTIFIED Roofing Explained

Last Updated on 12/17/2023 by Matteo Lombardo


FORTIFIED roofing is a roofing system designed to strengthen homes and commercial buildings against specific types of severe weather, such as high winds, hurricanes, hail, and severe thunderstorms.

In areas prone to such weather, FORTIFIED roofing can be a game-changer in protecting homes and buildings.

Key Takeaways

SectionKey Points
FORTIFIED Roofing ExplainedFORTIFIED roofing enhances roof strength against severe weather, focusing on resistance to conditions like hurricanes and high winds.
What is a FORTIFIED Roofing System?A series of upgrades including enhanced roof deck attachment, wind-resistant shingles, and sealed roof deck for increased durability.
Cost to UpgradeEstimated between $1,000 and $3,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home, offering long-term benefits like durability and potential insurance discounts.
FORTIFIED Roof LifespanTypically lasts 20 to 30 years or more, with longevity influenced by material quality, installation standards, and maintenance.
Benefits and DisadvantagesOffers enhanced durability and insurance benefits but comes with a higher initial cost and limited aesthetic options.
FORTIFIED Roof vs Regular RoofProvides superior weather resistance and long-term savings compared to regular roofs, though at a higher initial cost.
ConclusionA FORTIFIED roof is a valuable investment for enhanced protection and potential financial savings, especially in areas prone to severe weather.

What is a FORTIFIED Roofing System?

A FORTIFIED roofing system is a combination of several improvements and building methods. Together, these upgrades make a roof stronger.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) created these systems. They aim to make roofs tougher against harsh weather.

Key Features:

  • Enhanced Roof Deck Attachment: This refers to attaching the roof deck, which is the main support of the roof, firmly to the rafters or trusses. It’s done using stronger nails and better methods than usual roofing.
  • Wind-Resistant Shingles: Special shingles can withstand higher wind speeds. They are usually heavier and more durable than typical shingles.
  • Improved Roof Edge and Eave Reinforcement: This part of the roof is often the first to fail in strong winds. FORTIFIED roofing strengthens these areas to prevent wind from getting under the roof.
  • Sealed Roof Deck: This involves using a water-resistant barrier on the roof deck. If shingles are blown away, this barrier can protect the home from water intrusion.

what is a FORTIFIED Roof

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Certification Levels:

FORTIFIED roofing has three levels of certification:

  1. Bronze: This level focuses on the roof covering and attachment. It’s the most basic and least expensive level of FORTIFIED roofing.
  2. Silver: Includes everything in Bronze and bracing for gable ends and other reinforcements.
  3. Gold: The highest level. It ensures the entire house is secured against strong winds, from the roof to the foundation.

Every level of FORTIFIED roofing gives more protection. The Gold level gives the most complete defense against harsh weather. Homeowners can pick the level that suits their needs and budget best.

Cost to Upgrade

Upgrading to a FORTIFIED roof is crucial for many homeowners, especially in areas prone to extreme weather. Understanding the cost involved is essential.

For a typical 2,000-square-foot home, upgrading to a FORTIFIED roof costs between $1,000 and $3,000.

Key Points:

  • Affordable Upgrade: This cost range is quite reasonable compared to replacing a roof. It’s an affordable extra for the extra protection it provides.
  • Reinforcement Focus: The FORTIFIED Roof program strengthens the roof and its parts. It uses tougher materials and better ways to fix the house’s roof.
  • Insurance Incentives: Many insurance companies recognize the value of a FORTIFIED roof. Homeowners may receive discounts or reduced premiums, making the upgrade more attractive.
  • Long-Term Savings: The initial cost is something to consider, but you could save a lot if bad weather exists. A FORTIFIED roof usually doesn’t need as many repairs after harsh conditions, which means you save money over time.

Is a Fortified Roof Upgrade Worth It?

Considering the affordable cost of upgrading and the long-term benefits, a FORTIFIED roof upgrade can be a smart choice. Here are the reasons:

  1. Enhanced Durability: A FORTIFIED roof is built to handle tough weather. This means it’s less likely to get damaged.
  2. Cost-Effective Protection: The initial investment can significantly save homeowners repair costs after storms.
  3. Insurance Perks: The possibility of lower insurance premiums can offset the upgrade cost over time.
  4. Increased Home Value: Homes with FORTIFIED roofs may have higher resale values, as buyers appreciate the added security.

For homeowners in storm-prone areas, the cost of upgrading is often justified by the peace of mind and financial protection it offers.

FORTIFIED Roof Lifespan

A key feature of a FORTIFIED roofing system is how long it lasts. Knowing about a FORTIFIED roof’s lifespan is important for homeowners considering upgrading.

Usually, these roofs last longer than regular ones because they use better materials and building methods.

Lifespan Factors:

  • Quality of Materials: FORTIFIED roofs use higher-grade materials that are more durable and resistant to wear and tear.
  • Installation Standards: These roofs follow strict guidelines, ensuring higher craftsmanship and longevity.
  • Weather Resistance: The way FORTIFIED roofs are made and the materials used make them stronger against tough weather. This kind of weather can often make a regular roof’s life shorter.

Average Lifespan:

The life of any roof can change depending on the weather and how well it’s cared for. But a FORTIFIED roof usually lasts longer. On average, these roofs can last:

  • 20 to 30 years or more, depending on the FORTIFIED certification and maintenance level.

Maintenance is Key:

Regular maintenance plays a vital role in maximizing the lifespan of a FORTIFIED roof. Homeowners should:

  • Inspect Regularly: Checking your roof, especially after bad weather, can find small problems. Fixing these early stops them from turning into big issues.
  • Clean the Roof: Keeping the roof free of debris, such as leaves and branches, helps prevent damage.
  • Address Repairs Promptly: If damage does occur, fixing it quickly is essential to maintaining the roof’s integrity.

A FORTIFIED roof’s longer life and better protection make it a good choice for many homeowners.

It not only makes homes safer but also saves money over time. This is because you don’t have to replace the roof as often.

Benefits and Disadvantages of FORTIFIED Roofing

When considering a FORTIFIED roof, weighing both the benefits and disadvantages is important. This will help you decide based on your specific needs and circumstances.

DurabilityHighly resistant to severe weather.
CostLong-term savings on repairs and insurance.Higher upfront investment.
InsurancePotential discounts and reduced premiums.Not all insurance companies offer discounts.
Home ValueCan increase the resale value of the home.
AestheticStyle options may be limited.
Geographical RelevanceIdeal for areas prone to extreme weather.Less beneficial in areas with minimal severe weather threats.

Benefits of FORTIFIED Roofing:

  1. Enhanced Durability: More resistant to extreme weather means less damage during storms.
  2. Potential Insurance Savings: Many insurers offer discounts for homes with FORTIFIED roofs.
  3. Increased Home Value: A FORTIFIED roof can be an attractive feature for potential homebuyers.
  4. Longer Lifespan: Generally lasts longer than standard roofing systems.
  5. Peace of Mind: Knowing your home is better protected against severe weather.

Disadvantages of FORTIFIED Roofing:

  1. Higher Initial Cost: The upfront cost is generally higher than a standard roof.
  2. Limited Availability: Not all contractors are trained or certified to install FORTIFIED roofs.
  3. Aesthetic Limitations: Some homeowners may find the appearance of FORTIFIED roofs less appealing or limited in style options.
  4. Geographical Relevance: The benefits might not justify the cost in areas with a low risk of extreme weather.

FORTIFIED Roof vs Regular Roof

When deciding between a FORTIFIED roof and a regular roof, knowing how they differ helps you choose the best one for your home.

Here’s a comparison of the two, focusing on why you might opt for a FORTIFIED roof.

Construction and Materials:

  • FORTIFIED Roof: Uses stronger, more durable materials and follows strict construction guidelines. This includes reinforced roof decking, high-grade shingles, and enhanced eave and edge reinforcements.
  • Regular Roof: Made using typical materials and methods, which might not be strong enough for really harsh weather.

Resistance to Weather:

  • FORTIFIED Roof: Specifically designed to resist severe weather like hurricanes and high winds. The robust construction significantly reduces the risk of damage.
  • Regular Roof: Standard roofs are less resistant to extreme weather, leading to a higher risk of damage during storms.

Cost and Long-Term Savings:

  • FORTIFIED Roof: More expensive initially but can lead to savings on repairs and insurance premiums over time.
  • Regular Roof: Less expensive upfront but may incur higher costs in repairs and replacements, especially in storm-prone areas.

Insurance Benefits:

  • FORTIFIED Roof: Often results in insurance discounts or lower premiums due to its durability and reduced risk.
  • Regular Roof: Doesn’t offer the same insurance benefits, leading to higher insurance costs.

Aesthetics and Style Options:

  • FORTIFIED Roof: May have limited style or aesthetic options due to the focus on functionality and resilience.
  • Regular Roof: Offers a wide range of styles and appearances, providing more flexibility in terms of design.

FORTIFIED roof is especially good for homes in places with lots of severe weather. Its stronger build and the chance for savings over time make it a wise choice for many homeowners. Even though it costs more initially, the extra safety and peace of mind are very valuable.

FORTIFIED Roofing Conclusion

FORTIFIED roofing is a strong choice for homeowners who want extra safety against bad weather. Even though it costs more at first than a regular roof, the benefits are worth it. These include a tougher roof, possible savings on insurance, and higher home value.

For homes in places with lots of storms, a FORTIFIED roof can bring peace of mind and save money. Choosing a FORTIFIED roof is a wise, forward-thinking move.

It protects your home and keeps you safe. Remember, for big changes like this, it’s always good to talk to experts and think about what your home needs.

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