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Roofing’s Role in the FORTIFIED Home™

Please Note: This blog post was published in the past, and though it has since been updated, may not reflect products currently offered in your region. For current product availability in your area, please visit our Residential Roofing products page and our Where to Buy page for details.

To help safeguard and strengthen homes from extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, high winds, hail, and severe thunderstorms, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has created the FORTIFIED Home™ program. The IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ construction standards and methods go beyond emergency and disaster preparedness to improve the resiliency and reliability of the whole structure in severe conditions.

Beginning with the roof, the FORTIFIED Home™ program has three levels of designation available—Bronze, Silver and Gold. These levels are incremental, each improving on the home’s fortification against severe weather conditions. Depending on a homeowners’ budgets and needs, they can work with contractors to choose a desired level of protection.

  • The FORTIFIED Home™ Bronze level begins, and specifically addresses, the roof system to reduce wind and water entering the attic through the roof covering and vents.
  • The Silver level adds to the roof system improvements and openings in the home including windows, doors and attached structures.
  • With the previous levels satisfied, the Gold level ties the house together as one system by connecting the roof to the walls to the floors to the foundation.

The FORTIFIED Home™ program begins with the roof because is often seen as the first line of defense against precipitation and wind-driven rain. Substantial damage can result from water entering a home’s attic with high winds and hail. The FORTIFIED Home™ High Wind program for instance, “helps homeowners strengthen their home against severe thunderstorms, straight-line wind events, and high winds at the edges of a weak tornado.” To meet FORTIFIED Home™ roof construction standards, IBHS recommends roofing materials that meet the following standards:

  • Design wind speed – 110mph
  • Shingle Testing Standard - ASTMA D3161 (Class F) or ASTM D7158 Class G or H
  • UL2218 Impact Resistance Class 4

Malarkey offers several polymer modified asphalt roofing shingle lines classified with Class 4 UL2218 impact resistance and ASTM high wind speed standards. This list includes:

Class 4 impact resistance testing on asphalt shingles involves a 2” diameter steel ball dropped from 20 feet onto the shingle to simulate the impact of hail. This is done twice in the same spot. (For dramatic effect, and admittedly a little fun, we recently tested the impact resistance of our shingles by hitting them with using soda cans at 100mph).

For homeowners looking to fortify their home and roof, Malarkey is partnered with IBHS to offer trainings for Certified Residential Contractors to earn a Fortified Wise™ certification. This course covers the critical aspects of the FORTIFIED program building principles, construction practices, and verification requirements. Connect with a Malarkey Certified Residential Contractor here.