Springtime in Middle Tennessee is a beautiful season. The flowers are blooming, and the weather is warming up.

However, it’s also a time of year that can bring some of the most dangerous weather conditions—tornadoes.

March, April, and May are the peak months for tornadoes in the United States, and Middle Tennessee is no exception. These storms can strike at any time, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

As a homeowner, it is vital to take every necessary precaution to protect your property and loved ones during a tornado.

The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home during a severe storm, making it necessary to ensure it is in good condition and ready to withstand a tornado’s damaging winds and debris.

In this article, we’ll look at the dangers of tornadoes, the risks to your property, and the steps you can take to prepare your roof for this tornado season.

We’ll provide you with practical tips and guidelines that will help you safeguard your home and loved ones in a tornado.


Tornadoes in Tennessee

Tornadoes have been a recurring phenomenon in Tennessee, with 1388 occurring since 1950. In that time, Tennessee has seen an average of 19 tornadoes yearly.

It’s worth noting that since 1995, Tennessee has experienced 31 tornadoes each year, with each region seeing an increase yearly.

The Middle Tennessee Region has seen the most tornadoes in the state, with 710 occurrences recorded. Since 1995, Middle Tennessee has accounted for 17 of the 31 average yearly tornadoes.

It’s a sobering reminder that tornadoes are a real threat in this region.

When a tornado hits, it can uproot trees, tear apart buildings, and send debris flying through the air.

The aftermath of a tornado can be devastating, leaving homes and businesses in ruins and leaving communities to pick up the pieces.


Tornado Dangers to Your Property

When it comes to tornadoes, it is crucial to prioritize your safety above all else.

However, it is also essential to consider the potential damage a tornado can cause to your property, particularly your roof.

Tornadoes are incredibly destructive and can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses in their path.

Below, we will outline common damages relevant to tornadoes.


Tear-offs are among the most severe damages caused by a tornado. They occur when a tornado completely removes the roof of a structure.

It can be especially devastating because it leaves the interior of the building exposed to the elements, causing major structural issues and leaving the building uninhabitable.

Tear-offs occur when the high winds generated by the tornado are strong enough to lift the roof off the structure. The winds can then carry the roof away from the building, exposing it to the storm’s full force.

The process can be sudden and violent and is often coupled with other damages, such as broken windows, collapsed walls, and uprooted trees.


Uplifts can occur during a tornado when the intense wind pressure created by the storm lifts a building’s roof.

As extreme winds flow over a roof, it generates areas of low and high pressure on the upper and lower surfaces of the roof.

Uplifts pose significant structural risks to buildings. The force of the uplifts can cause partial or complete roofing system failure, damage to fasteners and adhesives, water intrusion, and more.

Shingle Damages

High winds can cause shingles to lift, crack, or break off, exposing your roof to the elements.

Debris, such as tree branches, hail, or other objects carried by the tornado, can also damage shingles.

In some cases, the shingles can even be blown off the roof entirely.

It’s important to note that even if the shingles appear undamaged after a tornado, hidden damage may not be immediately visible.


Dents are a common result of a tornado, as high winds can cause debris to fly around and collide with your roof. These dents might seem cosmetic initially, but they can lead to more severe problems if left unaddressed.

For example, dents can create a place for water to pool, potentially leading to leaks and water damage inside your home.


Leaks are another common issue that can result from tornado damage. The storm’s damage can create holes that allow water to seep through, leading to water damage and mold.


Punctures are severe types of damage that can occur to your roof during a tornado. They can be caused by flying debris, such as branches or other large objects, which can pierce through your roof and walls.

Below, we’ll outline a few specific steps you can take to best prepare your roof for tornadoes.


How to Prepare Your Roof for Tornado Season


Professional Roof Inspection

Regular inspections are necessary to ensure the safety and longevity of your roof.

A professional roofer can identify weak spots and recommend repairs or replacements to keep your roof in optimal condition.

They can also advise you on maintaining your roof throughout the year in your area.

It’s recommended to have your roof inspected twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Fall inspections help identify damage caused by summer heat and storms, while Spring inspections determine whether winter weather caused damage.

During an inspection, a roofer will check for signs of wear and tear, such as cracked or missing shingles, damaged flashing, and leaks. They will also assess the overall condition of your roof, including its age, materials, and design.

By identifying and fixing issues early on, you can prevent more extensive and expensive damage down the road.

A professional inspection will help ensure your roof is in good condition and ready for severe weather during peak tornado season.

Clear Your Property of Debris

Clearing your property of debris is an essential step in preparing your roof for tornado season.

Debris, such as branches, leaves, and other objects, can accumulate on your roof and cause damage during a storm.

Start by inspecting your yard and removing any potential hazards. Clearing your property includes:

  • Trimming trees and bushes.
  • Removing dead branches.
  • Securing any outdoor furniture or equipment that could become airborne during high winds.

 Clear Gutters and Downspouts

Clearing your gutters and downspouts should be a routine part of maintaining your roof throughout the year, but it’s especially relevant during tornado season.

Gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation and prevent water from seeping into your basement.

If they are clogged with debris, water can back up, and the gutters can overflow, causing extensive damage to your roof, walls, and foundation.

It’s recommended to clear your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, but it’s a good idea to check them more often during tornado season.

Before a storm hits, inspect your gutters and downspouts. Remove any accumulated debris, such as leaves, twigs, and other objects.

Ensure the gutters are firmly attached to your home and not sagging or pulling away from the roofline.

Consider Roofing Materials

Roofing materials should be wind-resistant, long-lasting, and durable to withstand the high winds and debris that tornadoes can bring.

Different roofing materials have varying levels of resistance to wind and hail damage.

Metal roofs, for example, are known for their durability and can withstand high-speed winds.

Asphalt shingle roofs can also be effective with durable, high-quality materials.

An experienced roofing company can recommend suitable materials based on factors such as your location, budget, and home style.

Reinforce Your Roof

While the risks associated with tornados cannot be eliminated, reinforcing your roof can make your home more resilient to strong winds and powerful storms.

Have a professional roofing contractor install straps and clips to reduce your risk of uplifts.

These reinforcement tools work together to retrofit and anchor the roof-to-wall connection.

Straps are installed perpendicular to the trusses and nailed into the wall plates, helping to keep the trusses from separating from the walls during high winds.

Clips are then installed between the trusses and the top plate of the wall, providing an extra layer of protection against uplifts.

With professional installation, you can rest assured these devices are properly attached.

Contact Austermiller Roofing

As tornado season approaches, it is vital to ensure that your roofing system is prepared to withstand the potential damage caused by strong winds and heavy rains.

A professional roof inspection can give you the confidence that your roof is up to the task.

At Austermiller Roofing, we understand the importance of maintaining a safe and secure roofing system for your home or business.

That’s why we offer comprehensive roof inspection services to help identify any potential issues before they become significant problems.

Our skilled and experienced inspectors thoroughly examine your roof, checking for any signs of damage that could compromise the integrity of your roofing system.

We provide you with a detailed report outlining your roof’s condition, including photographs, descriptions of identified issues, and recommendations for necessary repairs or maintenance.

We believe in maintaining open and transparent communication throughout the inspection process, ensuring that you understand the condition of your roof and the recommended actions to address any issues.

With over 30 years of experience providing roofing services, we have the expertise and attention to detail to provide you with accurate, reliable, and comprehensive roof inspections.

Contact us now to request a free estimate and take the first step towards bracing your home from the potential damage of the upcoming tornado season.