It doesn’t take a hurricane or tornado to cause major damage to your home. In fact, storm winds as low as 50 mph can damage your roof and allow water to enter your home. To protect against this type of damage, FORTIFIED addresses known weaknesses in common building practices to better protect your home—and everything inside.
Why is FORTIFIED Better Than Code?
Building codes establish the minimum construction standards required to ensure the safety of those inside a home. Any reputable contractor will build your home or install your roof according to your local code. However, not all jurisdictions require the same level of protection—and some areas don’t even establish a minimum standard. More importantly, even in areas where the most up-to-date codes are adopted and enforced, your home can be stronger. By choosing FORTIFIED, you are choosing protection that goes beyond even the strongest code.*
To protect against severe weather risks common in your area, FORTIFIED includes specific requirements beyond what is required by your local building code—and each requirement is based on decades of scientific research by IBHS.
*A small number of hurricane-prone coastal jurisdictions now have codes similar to the requirements of FORTIFIED. However, they do not offer third-party verification of key components, which is required by FORTIFIED.
How do I know if I need a new roof?
Depending on the product and the local environmental conditions, shingle roofs can last an average of 15–30 years.
- Common signs your roof may need to be repaired or replaced include: shingles that are missing, cupped, or curled; shingles with blisters and exposed asphalt; large areas of missing granules; deteriorated flashings; and/or evidence of interior leaking and/or water-stained ceilings.
Metal and tile roofs typically last longer than asphalt shingle roofs.
- Common signs your metal roofs should be repaired or replaced include: when panels and/or flashings show signs of deterioration, and/or evidence of interior leaking and/or water-stained ceilings.
- Common signs tile roofs should be repaired or replaced include: damaged roof tiles, flashings show signs of deterioration, and/or evidence of interior leaking and/or water-stained ceilings.
Hire an experienced roofing professional to do a complete roof inspection. This will help you and your roofing contractor determine if repair or replacement is the best way to maintain a watertight condition.
Who is IBHS?
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported solely by property insurers and reinsurers. IBHS’s building safety research leads to real-world solutions for home and business owners, helping to create more resilient communities. Learn more at ibhs.org.
What research supports the FORTIFIED requirements?
To understand how homes are damaged by severe weather, IBHS conducts extensive field and lab research to test methods for reducing storm damage. These results are incorporated into the requirements of the FORTIFIED standards. Learn more.
Doesn’t my state have strong building codes?
Maybe. Each state sets its own building code requirements. The code your home is built to depends on your area and the code that is required the year your home is built. But even today, not all states have adopted modern building codes, and your particular area may not require a code at all. Learn more at https://ibhs.org/public-policy/building-codes-by-state.
More importantly, homes built or re-roofed to the FORTIFIED standards will have more protection from severe weather than homes built to virtually any building code in America.
Is FORTIFIED the same everywhere in the country?
FORTIFIED requirements vary based on your location and are designed to protect against severe weather common in your area. A FORTIFIED professional can explain which standard is appropriate for your home.