Roofing Construction Case Study: Andover, Kansas Asphalt Shingles Undamaged 30 Yards from EF3 Tornado

by May 6, 2022

Roofing Specialist and Project Coordinator Dave Bennett with Rhoden Roofing was in Andover, Kansas this week helping with dry-ins, emergency repairs, and damage assessments after the EF3 tornado that passed through on 4/29/2022. Crews scrambled over the weekend to get homes with damage prepared for more rain on Monday, 2 days after the original storms, which included pulling 2x4s that had javelined through rooftops in the area from debris in the tornado.


In this particular neighborhood, homes are directly along the tornado path. Several of the homes faced complete destruction, and virtually all the homes that are still standing have sustained broken windows, landscaping damage, and of course, major roof damage. Major shingle blow-offs in the area show whole faces of many of the roofs, bare down to underlayment or even the wood decking itself.

One home in the neighborhood, however, stands out. It also happens to be one of the closest homes to the tornado path that wasn’t directly inside of the funnel itself when it passed through. This white two-story house and charcoal roof are undamaged, even though no tree protection or other buildings separate the home from the adjacent field and stormwater drainage where the tornado traveled.

Freeze frame with house and tornado callout Andover, Kansas
Quarter angle overhead 2 Andover, Kansas
Rhoden Roofing built the roof on this home for a roof replacement in November of 2020. A certain amount of luck is to account here as well, no doubt. Even the best residential roofs are no match for flying lumber and even flying vehicles that were tossed in the area with EF3 tornado wind speeds as high as 160 miles per hour. And certainly for the homes in the direct path, there is no stopping an EF3 tornado from entirely destroying the building.

However, virtually all of the homes in the neighborhood experienced wind damage and shingle loss; including the homes more than a block away from the tornado path. What factors of roof construction are at play that make such a dramatic difference in the outcome at this property?

View toward road Andover, Kansas
neighbors 3 and 4 brighter Andover, Kansas
Building code, which defines minimum construction standards, requires 4 nails per asphalt shingle in most applications. Rhoden Roofing chooses to install every one of our roofs with 6-nailed shingles.

Installing shingles with 6 nails increases the shingle manufacturer’s wind ratings from 110 MPH to 130 MPH. In the Kansas market, which is subject to high winds, wind storms (straight-line winds), and downbursts, using 50% more nails can make a major difference in the outcome on a roof after a storm. In this case, the adjacent tornado subjected these homes to an extreme real-world test, and the outcome is clear.

4 vs 6 nail wind ratings Andover, Kansas
How can we be sure that the shingles that blew off were 4-nailed and not 6-nailed? In this case, the evidence is easy, as the damaged and wind-blown shingles were laying all over the neighborhood. Sections of shingles that were pulled away from roof decking are left with holes where the shingles broke free. None of the roofing debris on the ground was from 6-nailed shingles.

In cases where 6-nailing is not required (steep slope roofs, and certain heavier products such as Class 4 impact-resistant rated shingles), it is uncommon to see. Rhoden Roofing stands by all our work with a lifetime workmanship warranty, so all of our construction is done to the highest possible standard, and each step is photo-documented for the homeowner, insurance company, and product manufacturer to know that everything was done right. This allows Rhoden Roofing to access  the highest level possible of product manufacturer’s warranty for the shingles themselves, often 50-year or lifetime warranties (dependent on the shingle manufacturer and product selected).


Quarter angle overhead Andover, Kansas
The first thing the customer said to us was “I’m sure glad you guys do 6 nails in every shingle.” He recalled the conversation clearly from 18 months ago when we discussed it ahead of putting on his roof.

A perfect roof is one you don’t have to think about every day. When it comes to protecting your home, it’s easy to take a well-built roof for granted. “No change” is rarely an exciting moment, but walking out after a major storm to find your roof exactly how it was can be a real thrill.

At Rhoden Roofing, we deliver peace of mind by protecting what matters most.

You can view the video version with Dave Bennett below

Latest Posts