Very few people vividly remember the devastation wrought by Hurricane Hazel in 1954, which was touted as one of the most destructive in US history. According to WFBM News writer Ethan Smith, the Category 4 hurricane devastated much of both North and South Carolina, with Brunswick County, NC receiving the worst of the damage. Nearly all of its buildings along the coast were damaged or destroyed due to 140 mph winds.
Luckily, the Carolinas don’t experience Category 4s and 5s that often. What they do go through more often are the lesser Category 1s, 2s, and 3s; these cause all sorts of structural damage like cracked windows or blown-off roof shingles. North and South may have the protection of the Appalachian Mountains but they’re still relatively close to the Atlantic Ocean. It is therefore important for houses and commercial buildings in both the North and South to be well-protected from the weather; this can be achieved by working with contractors from companies like CMS Roofing, which offers roofing in Charlotte, NC, among other places in South Carolina.
These contractors typically employ not only durable roofing materials but also roofing techniques that are designed to resist high-gale winds. For example: a slate roof from any Columbia or Charleston roofing company may be able to withstand storm damage, but it is only more effective when it has a roof pitch between 4/12 to 6/12 inches. Doing otherwise will result in a flat or semi-flat roof that’s less efficient at draining rainwater and helpless against hurricane winds.
Another important trait of a durable roof is an equally-durable underlayment; the thin layer of tar paper or synthetic material designed to prevent water-infiltration. Though the importance of this layer is quite obvious when facing bad weather, there is also the fact that the underlayment is very difficult to replace. Roofs that have a pitch of 4/12 may need two layers of felt as an underlayment for optimum results. With the right combination of material and professional workmanship, this layer can reliably withstand even Category 5 hurricanes like Katrina (2005). This means homeowners can survive another Hurricane Hazel should it ever hit.
Remember: protecting your home from the worst weather always starts with proper roofing. Be sure to hire roofers from reliable companies like CMS Roofing to ensure you make it through the next Hazel in the best condition possible.
(Info from October 15 marks 59th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel, WFMB News, October 16, 2013)