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Temperatures and Roofs

close-up of a frost-covered roof

How Do They Affect Each Other?

Roofs and temperature are connected in more ways than one. While the outside temperature will obviously have some effect on the integrity and longevity of your roof, your roof will also have an effect on the temperature inside your home. Here’s what every homeowner in the Midwest needs to know about the relationship between temperature and roofs.

How Temps Affect Your Roof

The Midwest has a lot of range in temperature and this can take a real toll on your roof. Extreme heat and extreme cold are both present throughout the year. Here is the damage caused by each.

Extreme heat: Too much sun and excessive heat can cause bumps, cracks, and warping in your roof. Heat dries out shingles and can cause materials to expand. When they shrink back to their regular size (usually at night), the constant shift can cause even more damage. If temps get above 80 degrees, which is typical during a Midwest summer, you can expect some damage to be done to your roof.

Extreme cold: Cold weather causes shingles to shrink, allowing moistures from rain or melted snow to get underneath. This causes water damage to the wood underneath the shingles. Extreme cold can also lead to ice dams and heavy snow can lead to roof damage or even collapse if it’s allowed to remain on the roof. When temps dip below 40 degrees, problems are more likely to occur.

How Your Roof Affects Temps in Your Home

Heat can either be absorbed by your roof or reflected off, and this can have a significant impact on how well your home regulates the temperature inside. The goal is to have your roof absorb more heat from the sun in the winter and reflect it off in the summer. Here are the factors that determine how much heat is passed into your home:

Roof color: The wood under dark roofs is usually 10 to 15 degrees hotter than that under lighter-colored roofs. Darker colors not only absorb more sunlight, but they also trap it in the roof and allow it to seep into your attic. Lighter colors reflect more sun and hold much less heat that their darker counterparts. In colder areas, it’s usually better to have darker roofs and vice versa in warmer climates. In the Midwest, where heat and cold are pretty much equal, each have their value.

Roof material: What your roof is made from matters. It’s estimated that asphalt roofs reflect about 30% of sunlight while metal roofs can reflect as much as 70 or 80% of sunlight. Every type of material has a different rate of heat and light absorption. To find the best option for you, it’s always best to talk with an expert like those at Hometown Roofing.

Attic and roof construction: A properly constructed roof and adequate attic ventilation are the ultimate keys to keeping your home comfortable no matter what the weather is outside. Quality roofing companies like Hometown Roofing will ensure your new roof stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter and that your attic is ventilated in a way to encourage airflow. If your roof is not properly regulating temperatures, it could be time for a new one. Contact the pros at Hometown Roofing for a free quote.

Are Pests Damaging Your Home’s Roof?

home with white siding

Dealing With Pests

There are plenty of dangers to your roof from damaging winds, ice, hail, falling debris, and plain old-fashioned wear and tear. However, many homeowners don’t realize that pests can also be very damaging to the integrity of your home. Here are the most destructive types of pests when it comes to your roof and how you can tell if you have a pest problem.

Common Pests That Can Damage Your Roof

Termites  Do you usually think of termites in terms of ruining your walls and structure of your home? While this is certainly true, termites can also cause costly damage to your roof. Termites like to hang out by wood, especially if it’s rotting due to water damage. When they do their work, they can weaken your roof’s structure and loosen shingles, all of which can add up to the need for expensive repairs or even a full replacement.

Bees  Bees can certainly be a pest when you’re hanging out in the back yard, but did you know they can also damage your home? Carpenter bees can tunnel through the structure of your home and their hives can lead to mold and other damage. Bees also attract other pests who eat their larvae, so getting rid of them ASAP is a smart choice for your home.

Birds  Birds can nest in your roof, leading to water damage if those nests fall and get stuck in your gutters. Their droppings are also acidic and can damage your shingles. Not only can birds damage the structure of your roof, they can also get noisy and spread disease. If you see nests in your roof, it’s time to call a pest control company and a roofing contractor to check for damage.

Rodents  Squirrels, rats, and mice are climbers who love chewing through the substances that hold your roof together. Their goal? To get into your home by any means necessary. If you have a lot of rodents in your area, you need to check for them regularly and quickly get damage repaired so they can’t enter your home.

How to Tell if You Have Pests

Now that you know how damaging pests can be, how do you know if you have a pest problem in your home? The best way to find out is to look for these common signs:

Droppings  Small pieces of feces and urine stains are clear signs you have rodents. Insects also leave droppings, but they can be more difficult to spot as they can easily be mistaken for dirt. Familiarize yourself with the appearance of droppings and do visual inspections regularly.

Structural Damage  If you see scratches or holes in your attic, you’re likely looking at an infestation. Gnaw marks are another common sign of a termite problem. If you spot gnaw marks on walls or furniture in the attic, call in the professionals right away.

Nests  Pests can be tricky with where they build their nests and what they build them out of. Make sure you’re looking on roofing beams and underneath floorboards for nests that can be made of anything from twigs, and leaves, to scraps of paper and other materials.

Damage to Plants  If you have damaged shrubs or plants, it’s likely something is eating them. And if they’re eating your plants, they may also be eating at the structure of your home.

Knowing the common types of pests that can damage your home and how to spot them is a proactive way of keeping your home’s structure in the best possible shape. Think you have a pest problem? Contact the pros at Hometown Roofing so we can conduct an inspection.

Why is the Siding on Your Home Important?

home with beige siding

Choosing Your Home’s Siding

We all know how important roofs are to protect and insulate our homes. However, many disregard the importance of their siding and neglect to keep up on the maintenance and/or replace it when the time comes. Siding is actually just as important to your home as the roof is. If you don’t choose the right type of siding, maintain it properly, and replace it when needed, you could be compromising your home’s safety, comfort, and appearance.

Siding is Vital to a Pleasant Appearance

It should go without saying that your siding plays a big role in how your home looks. One of the first impressions visitors to your home will have is based on the siding. If it’s cracked, peeling, faded, or otherwise in poor condition, your home will give the impression of being neglected. This is especially important if you plan on putting your home on the market. Without attractive siding, those who may be interested in your home will likely opt for other choices that look better maintained. In addition to being attractive to others, your home also needs to make you feel good about coming home. The style, design, color, and cleanliness of your siding has a big effect on how you feel when you look at your home every day so it’s well worth it to invest some effort and money in this area.

Siding Impacts Insulation

Do you think insulation is limited to your roof and the fiberglass or blow insulation in your walls? The quality of your siding has just as big of an impact on your insulation as any other factor. Quality siding that is properly installed and maintained blocks wind and protects your home when the temperature rapidly changes. If your siding is old, damaged, cracked, or is leaking, it can interfere with temperature regulation and lead to increased utility bills as well as decreased comfort for your family.

Siding Keeps Your Home Safe

Want to protect your home when the high winds and storms hit? High-quality siding is your best bet. Good siding holds up against whatever the elements throw at it and protects the interior of your home and your family. It can also protect your home from other dangers, such as mold, insects, rodents, and fires or other types of damage. Not only does this keep your family safe, but it can also save you from costly repairs.

Siding Affects the Value of Your Home

Did you know that replacing your siding is one of the best things you can do to improve the value of your home? Estimates claim that you will get between an 80 and 90 percent return on your investment when you replace your siding with a high-quality, aesthetically pleasing choice. If you do plan to put your house on the market soon, make sure you talk to your contractor about the best options for resale.

Choosing the Best Siding for Your Home

There are many choices when it comes to siding. The right choice depends on your preference, budget, geographic area, and plans for the future of your home. To make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice, work with a local professional like Hometown Roofing. Call for your free consultation today!

Is Your Home Prepared for Winter?

icicles over a home's window

This Checklist Will Help You Get Ready for the Cold

It doesn’t seem possible that winter is right around the corner. But before we know it, the snow will be falling, the heat will have to be turned on, and the heavy coats will be hauled out of the basement. Before that happens, make sure you and your home are prepared for the falling temps. If you don’t properly prepare, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of high bills and inconvenience during the coming months. This checklist will help you determine if you’re all ready for the winter months or if you have some tasks to complete before the first freeze.

Get Your Heating System Checked

When you haven’t turned on your heater for months, you have no idea if it’s working properly. Some systems need cleaning every year while others just need a quick once-over to make sure there are no leaks or other issues. It’s a good idea to have a pro come out before you switch the system on to make sure everything is in working order.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

The heating system in the home is one of the main causes of carbon monoxide leaks and structure fires. To keep your family safe, check all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the home to make sure they are functioning correctly and don’t need new batteries.

Take Care of Your Pipes

Frozen pipes are a major source of home damage in the winter months. To prevent it, make sure you insulate your pipes that are near windows and doors in unheated areas of the home. Also, make sure you disconnect your garden hose from the outside faucet and never let the temp in your home dip below 55 degrees even when you’re out of town.

Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams are very damaging to your roof. They are mainly caused by improper insulation and venting in your attack that allows ice to build up in your gutters. It’s a good idea to have a professional like those at Hometown Roofing come to take a look at your roof and attic to make sure you are doing everything possible to prevent ice dams this winter. While they’re on your roof, the pro can also ensure your roof doesn’t have any damage that could lead to trouble over the coming months.

Determine if You Have Sufficient Insulation

Adequate insulation is one of your home’s best friends when it comes to cold winter weather. If you don’t have enough insulation, your heater will work overtime, and your family could experience drafts and other unpleasant situations. Check your insulation in your walls, attics, and crawlspaces, and add more if you find it to be lacking.

Reverse Those Ceiling Fans

Your ceiling fans did a good job of circulating air and keeping you cool during the summer months. But did you know they also serve a purpose in the winter as well? When you switch the fan blades to run clockwise, you push heated air down where you and your family can enjoy it. This is especially important in rooms with high ceilings where the heat hovers above the living space.

Clear Gutters

The fall months have likely wreaked havoc on your gutters by filling them with leaves, sticks, and other debris. If you don’t clean them out, rain and melted snow won’t drain properly, leading to ice dams and possible damage to your roof and foundation. If you don’t feel comfortable on a ladder or if you have gutters that are difficult to access, hire a pro to clean out your gutters before winter hits.

The change of season is the perfect time to give your home a good once-over and ensure it’s ready for the weather that’s coming up. By completing the above tasks, you can make sure your family is safe and comfortable this winter. Need help with a roof inspection or repairs? Give our pros at Hometown Roofing a call!

What First-Time Homeowners Need to Know About Their Roofs

couple sitting inside their new home

Taking Care of Your Roof

Are you a first-time homeowner? Congratulations! Buying a first home is one of the most exciting times in your life. If you’ve been previously living in an apartment, renting a home, or living with roommates, owning a home offers you some unique rewards and challenges. In the past, you’ve probably been used to someone else taking care of home repairs, but that task is now yours. One of the most important parts of your new home you need to keep an eye on is your roof. Here are some tips that will help you keep this crucial part of your house in top shape.

Pay attention to it

This might seem like a silly piece of advice, but it can be easy to ignore your roof as it’s not front and center in your line of sight every day. Make a point to examine it on a regular basis – especially after heavy storms. Getting on the roof isn’t necessary (and could be dangerous), so just get a nice ladder that’s tall enough so you can lean it against the home, climb it, and eyeball your roof’s condition. Keep an eye out for missing or damaged shingles, damage to skylights or chimneys, or any other noticeable wear and tear. Also take a look regularly around your home’s interior. If you see water stains on the ceiling, bubbling paint, or moss and algae anywhere on or in your home, it could be a sign of trouble.

Schedule annual inspections

As a new homeowner, it’s very easy for you to miss signs of roof damage. Some signs will be nearly invisible and only apparent to an experienced roof inspector. That’s why it’s important to get annual roof inspections to prevent costly repairs or replacements. A professional estimator can identify small problems before they become large ones and save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.

Find a reputable contractor to work with

Your roof inspector should either work for or be associated with a reputable, reliable contractor. Do your best to form a relationship with this contractor so you have someone trustworthy to go to when you need repairs. A good contractor will give you peace of mind that any work done will be done well, at a fair price, and that the professional will stand behind any work they do.

Understand your roof won’t last forever

No matter how well you take care of your roof, it won’t last forever. Depending on how old the roof was when you bought the house, you could be looking at a new roof in anywhere from one to ten years. The average roof lasts around 20 years, so unless your roof was brand new when you moved in, you’ll likely need to replace it at some point. This is where that strong relationship with a contractor comes in. They can let you know when your roof has reached the end of its life and the options available for a new one.

Keep up on routine maintenance

There are some regular tasks that will keep your roof looking and performing well. First, keep any loose debris, including branches and leaves, off your roof. You should also keep an eye on your shingles to see if any moss or algae has formed. If it has, a professional roof cleaning is likely in order. Maintaining your gutter system is also key to your roof health. If you don’t keep it free of debris, you’ll get clogs that can pool and cause leaks. Cracked or clogged gutters can also lead to foundation damage if water is allowed to gather on the ground instead of being shuttled away from your foundation via downspouts.

It’s exciting to be a first-time homeowner, but it can also be very daunting. Knowing what to look for when it comes to your roof and working with a reputable contractor like the team at Hometown can help give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your new home without all the stress.

The Biggest Hazards for Your Roof By Season

four trees in four different seasons

Summer is winding down and we can already feel the promise of fall in the air. We all know that each season brings its own pluses and minuses, especially in Nebraska where we distinctly experience all of the four seasons. They also each pose a unique hazard to your home’s roof. Knowing how your roof could be negatively impacted by each season’s hazards will help you be better prepared and identify issues before they become crises.


The heat is great for swimming, sunbathing, and lounging on your favorite outdoor patio with a cold drink. It’s not so great for your roof, though. Humidity breeds fungus and algae on your shingles and these nasty substances can weaken the structure of your roof. Poor ventilation is usually a culprit in algae growth, so make sure your roof is well-ventilated going into the warmer seasons. Along with humidity, the sun’s UV rays can also cause your shingles to crack and warp. When this happens, air and water can get into the house and do further damage. To make sure your roof is sound, schedule regular roof inspections.


Spring is the season when the world gets reborn. But along with the new flowers and baby animals, there’s also plenty of moisture from rain and melting snow. If any damage has been done to your roof during the harsh winter months, you need to get it fixed quickly before the heavy rains start. Keep an eye out for leaks in your home, pools of water collecting on your roof, or damaged shingles. If the winter has been an especially harsh one, now might be the right time to get an inspection.


It’s called ‘fall’ for a reason! This is the season for falling leaves, branches, and other debris that can easily damage your roof or get caught in your gutters and clog them. Clogs can cause ice dams and can also reduce proper drainage, damaging not only your roof but also potentially the structure of your home. Get your gutters cleaned toward the end of fall and make sure you get an inspection if strong fall storms with high winds have torn off any shingles or caused other damage.


The harsh Nebraska winters are usually the worst season for your roof. Ice, snow, and freezing temperatures are all hazards. The aforementioned ice dams are a particularly damaging possibility. They form when snow melts after falling on your roof, collects in the gutter, and freezes again. These blocks of ice can damage shingles and your gutters and the blockage can cause water to leak into your home. Proper insulation will help with this issue, as will making sure your gutters were cleaned out at the end of fall. No season is safe for your roof no matter where you live. But if you know what to watch out for, get regular roof inspections, and call a professional like those at Hometown Roofing as soon as you see a red flag, you can prevent a problem from becoming an emergency.

Strange-Looking Roofs from Around the World

California Academy of the Sciences roof

Goofy Gables

Here in the U.S., we’re used to certain types of roofs. Flat, gabled, mansard… though some of them have rather strange-sounding names, most of them have pretty normal shapes and appearances. This isn’t the case for roofs around the world, though. It’s always fun to see how others live, and looking at these strange roofs from around the world just may inspire you to travel and broaden your horizons.

roof of the Torajan people

Torajan Roof

The Torajan people of Indonesia have built traditional ancestral homes for their nobles called Tongkonan. The homes have very distinctive boat-shaped roofs that are built on piles. If you’re one of the commoners in this area, though, you’ll live in a much plainer home without the fancy roof.

California Academy of the Sciences Roof

California Academy of the Sciences

You don’t have to leave the country to see a strange roof! The California Academy of Sciences is located in San Francisco and its distinctive roof is covered not only with grass, but also artificial hills. This structure boasts over a million plants and provides a safe haven for local animals, all which enjoy the sunlight that streams in from this unique roof.

Casa Batllo Gaudi Roof

Casa Batllo Gaudi Roof

Architect Antoni Gaudi is known for his dreamlike structures and the Casa Batllo is one of the most famous. Located in Barcelona, this structure was originally built by one of Gaudi’s teachers and improved upon by Gaudi himself. Shaped like the spine of an enormous animal, the roof is painted in bright blues, greens, and pinks and features an allegory of Saint George killing the dragon.

Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant Roof

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant

We’re used to seeing roofers on homes in our area, but in Door County, Wisconsin, locals find it normal to see goats grazing on the roof of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. The roof is made out of sod and there are webcams installed so curious potential customers can always check in and see how the goats are doing.

Brazilian Leaf Roof

Brazilian Leaf Roof

If you’re lucky enough to visit Rio de Janeiro in sunny Brazil, make sure you stop by the Brazilian Leaf Roof. This open-air abode encourages connection with nature and features open spaces and a big tropical flowering roof. This is the perfect place to attend a party or just chill out and enjoy the trade winds blowing in from the sea.

Unique roofs can be great publicity and many serve a purpose beyond their appearance. For homeowners in the Midwest, however, it’s usually best to stick with the types of roofs we know can withstand the seasons and keep your family safe and comfortable. Ready for a new roof? Give the experts at Hometown Roofing a call for a free estimate

Preparing for Your New Roof Installation in 5 Steps

a gray asphalt shingle roof

How to Prepare

You’ve decided to get a new roof on your home! Congratulations! Getting a new roof means you’ve invested in the safety and comfort of your family and in the integrity of your home. Before having your roof installed, there are some preparations you can make to ensure the process will go smoothly and that you and your family will be minimally inconvenienced. Here are five steps that will help you get properly prepared and make sure your new project is a success.

Step 1: Make Sure Your Roofing Company Has Clear Access

To make the job easier on your roofing contractors and to ensure your outdoor belongings stay safe and clean, it’s important to clear your sidewalks, driveways, and other areas surrounding your home before the roofers arrive. You’ll need to move vehicles out of your driveway, remove children’s toys, patio furniture, grills and other outdoor items. If you have room in the garage, this is the perfect place for them. For those items that can’t be moved, cover them with a sheet of plastic or tarp and make sure they remain in place until the job’s done.

Step 2: Remove Any Valuables from Your Attic

Roofing is a messy job no matter how experienced, professional, and careful your contractors are. Your attic is likely to experience some of the fallout of the project in the form of dust and debris. If you have anything valuable in your attic like irreplaceable heirlooms or expensive pieces of artwork, you should move them elsewhere during the project. For other items that you don’t want to get dirty (or that are too heavy to easily move), cover them with a cloth or tarp while work is being done.

Step 3: Make a Plan for Your Kids and Pets

If you have young children or pets who are disturbed by loud noises, it’s a good idea to make plans for them to stay elsewhere, at least during the tear-off portion of the project. In addition to loud noises, there could be falling debris that could pose a danger to young kids and animals. If you can’t find a place for them to stay during the roofing project, it’s probably best to keep them inside as much as possible.

Step 4: Alert Your Neighbors

The noise and mess of getting a new roof installed isn’t just disturbing to your family — it’s likely to disrupt your neighbors as well. As a courtesy, let them know you’re planning to have a new roof put on and tell them the dates of the project. This will allow them to plan ahead if they want to make plans for their kids or pets or make alternative plans if they had parties or other gatherings on the calendar for the days during construction.

Step 5: Do Some Prep Work

Vibrations and shifts in your home are common during the roof tear-off and installation process. This can easily cause artwork, mirrors, or framed pictures to fall off walls and get damaged. To make sure your belongings stay safe, remove them from the wall and place on the floor until the project is complete. Consider doing the same with light fixtures or glass sconces that are attached to the wall, especially on the upper floor.

In addition to removing or protecting outdoor belongings, you should also mow your grass the day before or the day of the project. With short grass, it’s easier to see bolts, pieces of shingles, or nails and make it less likely you, your family, or your roofing contractors will step on something and hurt themselves. You also need to remove your satellite dish if you have one and cover any flowerbeds or garden areas.

Having a new roof installed shows pride in your home and will increase safety and enjoyment as well as resale value. If you take the proper steps to prepare, your job will go smoothly and your family will be able to enjoy your upgraded home in no time. If you have any questions about how to prepare for your new roof, please reach out to our experts at Hometown Roofing.

How Long Do Different Types of Roofs Last?

various types of roofing

A Variety of Options

Most people know that there are a variety of different roof types for both residential homes and commercial buildings. Some of them are much more popular than others in certain areas of the country due to their unique properties and some last longer than others. Knowing which types of roofs are available, how long each lasts, and which are good choices for the Midwest, will help you pick the type that’s best for you.

Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common and popular in the Midwest and in many other parts of the country. Not only are they relatively inexpensive, but they also last about 20 to 25 years. There are a number of different style and color options for those who want a unique roof. Though asphalt shingle roofs can’t compare with some other choices when it comes to longevity and durability, they are still good options for budget-conscious homeowners. 

Clay or Concrete Tile Roofs

Clay and concrete tile roofs are popular because of their appearance and their ability to stand up to high winds — something that’s a must in the Midwest. These types of roofs can also last upwards of 50 years if they are cared for properly. If you want to put in a little extra money and can stay off your roof (stepping on the tiles can damage them), this might be a good option for your home.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs are popular in many commercial structures in the Midwest. They’re made of several layers of tar and asphalt and help support flat surfaces. Though they can get sticky under direct sunlight and water can pool on them, they usually last around 20 to 25 years if snow is removed from them after large storms.

Metal Roof

Metal roofs look unique and are affordable, but they can be a nuisance in the Midwest where wind, hail, and heavy rains are common. However, if you can deal with the noise, you’ll benefit from a roof that can last up to 60 years and can be customized to match the style of your home.

Wood Shake Roof

Wood shake roofs can last from 20 to 40 years and have a beauitiful appearance. They even age well, starting out with a typical wood look, then aging into a silvery grey. The density, thickness, and natural insulation of wood are also pluses. However, wood shake roofs can be damaged in the high winds that are common in the Midwest and they are quite a bit pricier than their asphalt shingle counterparts. Insurance companies may also be reluctant to insure a home that has a wood shake roof.

Stone Roof

Stone-coated roofs, which are made up of steel shingles that are coated with stone, aren’t common in the Midwest due to their high price. They’re incredibly durable, though, and many come with a warranty for as long as the house they are put on lasts. If you plan to stay in your home for many years and really want to invest in a unique and long-lasting roof, you might want to consider one of these.

Green Roof

Have you ever seen a roof that’s covered with plants? They aren’t very common in the Midwest and, when you do see them, they are likely on commercial buildings rather than on homes. A green roof includes a system of insulation, waterproofing, soil, etc. that takes a lot of work and effort to maintain. If you really want to take your environmental efforts to the next level, you might have fun researching these —  but they aren’t usually a good option for the Midwest where seasonality is a big factor.

Considering what your next roofing project will look like? Knowing the different options and the pros and cons of each will help you narrow down your choices and choose the best roof for your home or office. Want more information on choosing the best roof? Contact the experts at Hometown. We’d love to talk to you about your choices!

Most Destructive Tornadoes in U.S. History

lightning and a tornado

Looking at Disaster

Every midwestern homeowner knows that there is nothing as destructive to their roofs (and the rest of their homes) as tornadoes. Fortunately, Omaha-area homeowners have experienced very few damaging tornadoes, but the rest of the state and the U.S. as a whole isn’t so fortunate. Here are the most destructive and deadliest tornadoes that have ever hit the U.S. 

Nebraska’s Deadliest Day: March 23, 1913

There were actually seven tornadoes that hit Omaha and the surrounding area on March 23, 1913, killing more than 100 people. The tornado that hit Omaha itself killed 101, starting in Sarpy County and making its way through Ralston and cutting a quarter-mile-wide path across Omaha. 600 homes were destroyed and 1,100 others were damaged by this single tornado. The second deadliest in this storm crossed the Platte River and destroyed half the town of Yutan, killing 17 people in the process. Four churches and 40 homes were destroyed or damaged. Coming in third on this date was the tornado that began four miles south of Douglas and traveled to the town of Berlin (now called Otoe). It killed 12 and resulted in $250,000 in damage. The tornado continued its path into Iowa, killing another five.

Largest Death Toll in the U.S.: March 18, 1925

The tornado that devastated Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925 killed 695 people and injured another 2,000. This deadliest tornado in American history affected three states, carried sheets of iron as far as 50 miles away, and destroyed several entire towns.

The South Gets Hit: April 5-6, 1936

The Midwest is not the only place where tornadoes cause devastation. Tupelo, Mississippi and Gainesville, Georgia experienced this with an outbreak of more than 12 tornadoes that lasted for two days in 1936. The F5 tornado that hit Tupelo killed 216 people, destroyed the Willis Heights neighborhood, and swept away entire mansions (and families). 48 city blocks were leveled and upwards of 900 homes were completely annihiliated. Gainesville got hit the next day by two tornadoes, killing 203 people and destroying the Cooper Pants Factory. 70 workers were killed in the factory, the highest single-building death toll by a tornado in American history.

Oklahoma’s Deadliest Tornado: April 9, 1947

Oklahoma is the heart of tornado alley, so it’s no surprise that the state had one of the most devastating tornadoes in history. The Woodward tornado was almost two miles wide and traveled at over 50 miles per hour for more than 100 blocks. The entire town of Woodward was leveled and more than 1,000 homes and businesses were decimated.

Joplin’s Third Strike: May 22, 2011

Joplin, Missouri is an unlucky town. The disastrous tornado that struck in 2011 was the third to hit the city since 1971. The most recent disaster featured a one-mile wide tornado that killed 158 and injured another 1,000. There was $3 billion worth of damages and it was reported that more than half of those killed died inside their homes. 

Rural South Disaster: April 24, 1908

Though 143 deaths were attributed to the tornado that struck the Amite, Louisiana and Purvis, Mississippi areas in 1908, it’s thought that the toll could have been much higher. The tornado struck mostly in rural areas and many deaths may not have been properly recorded. The tornado was later rated as an F4 and thought to have injured hundreds of others.

Michigan’s Deadliest Twister: June 8, 1953

The F5 that hit Michigan in the ’50s traveled at speeds of 35 miles per hour and was the worst to ever strike the state. 116 people were killed by this tornado, all but three on a four-mile stretch of Coldwater Road.

Though the Omaha area has not had a major tornado since 1975, we all know they can strike at any time. Stay safe during the storm season and remember to call Hometown Roofing if a storm damages your home.