Wichita Storms: How to Keep Your Roof Safe in Tornado Alley

by Mar 18, 2023

“Tornado Alley” is a common phrase used to describe an area where cold dry air, warm dry air, and warm moist air collide. This combination is suitable for thunderstorms and serious tornadic activity. The area of the country where this typically occurs is the area of the Great Plains, including eastern Kansas and Oklahoma, and nearby states. 

Wichita is no stranger to this weather activity and it is wise to learn how to be proactive and protect your roof for the upcoming storm season. Tornados come in all shapes and sizes, but the one common element is the damage that can occur from the forceful winds. A tornado can vary between 250 feet to 2 miles in diameter. Here is a breakdown of the speeds and potential damages, as classified using the Enhanced F Scale:

  • F0/F1 – 110 mph wind gusts and causes minor damages such as broken tree limbs.
  • F2/F3 – 165 mph wind gusts and strong enough to flip cars, tear off roofs and uproot trees.
  • F4/F5 – 262 mph wind gusts and able to level homes, and hurl cars, and debris with deadly force.

Here are two check-offs before tornado season arrives: 

Roof Inspection

professional roof inspection Rhoden Roofing LLC

Before the storms even approach, it is wise to have an inspection of your roofing system. Are there areas of weakness that should be repaired or replaced? Be sure to secure these areas so the roof will have the strength it needs to try and withstand the forces of nature. 

Inquire to a trusted roofing professional about wind-rated shingles. A wind rating is the force of wind it would take to blow the shingle off your roof. When it comes to reroofing your home, make sure this is a topic of discussion with your roofing contractor. 

Know Your Policy

Before the storm ravages your home, make sure you understand any steps you will need to take with your insurance company. Speak with your insurance agent and know what your policy covers. Unfortunately, damages to a home can occur when living in the Wichita area, and it is wise to know you will be covered. 

Each type of roofing system does have its advantages as a solid strong material against damaging winds and hail. This is a breakdown of what each offers.


Asphalt roof damage

  • Good fire resistance (usually Class A)
  • UL 2218 Class 3 and 4 impact resistance is available
  • Wind warranties up to 130 mph, if installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s high wind requirements


  • Many have Class A or B rating
  • Can last up to 40 years
  • Using clips or cleats instead of exposed fasteners will help with expansion and contraction


  • Can last three times longer than asphalt shingles
  • Can be installed using four nails per slate for strength
  • Recommended to use high-quality durable underlayment for additional support


  • Two screws per tile give the highest wind uplift resistance
  • High-quality, water-resistant underlayment is recommended
  • Wind clips or storm anchors in high-wind areas also recommended

Rhoden Roofing in Wichita is the leading expert when it comes to securing and protecting your roof. We are experienced, insured, and knowledgeable to handle any situation that nature can throw at us. Be prepared before the storm season arrives, and know that we are right here with you to build back the integrity of your home if damage occurs. 

Keep our number close and call us for all of your roofing needs! 

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