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How to Shield Your Roof from Falling Space Rocks

Updated: May 16, 2023

Meteorites are rare but not impossible. Here's what you need to know about them and how to protect your home from them.

Meteorites are fragments of rocks or metal that fall from space and reach the Earth's surface. They are usually harmless, but sometimes they can cause damage to buildings or even start fires. Recently, a possible meteorite struck a home in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, leaving a hole in the roof and denting the floor of a bedroom. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the incident raised some questions about how to protect your roof from meteorite strikes.

Source: CNN - Possible meteorite strikes New Jersey home, authorities say - By Jackie Wattles and Tina Burnside, CNN - Updated 1:54 PM EDT, Tue May 9, 2023

According to NASA, about 44 tons of meteoritic material falls on the Earth each day, but most of it is dust-sized particles that are too small to see. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of meteorite strikes, such as:

- Living near a meteor shower. Meteor showers are events when many meteoroids (the precursors of meteorites) enter the Earth's atmosphere at high speeds. Some of them may survive the fiery entry and land as meteorites. For example, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower, which occurs every year in early May, is caused by debris from Halley's Comet. The possible meteorite that hit the New Jersey home may have been part of this shower.

- Living near an impact crater. Impact craters are circular depressions on the Earth's surface caused by large meteorites or asteroids that collided with the planet in the past. Some of these craters may contain fragments of the original impactor or other meteorites that were attracted by its gravity. For example, the Barringer Crater in Arizona, which is about a mile wide and 570 feet deep, was formed by a 150-foot-wide iron meteorite about 50,000 years ago. The crater still contains many pieces of iron meteorite that can be found on its rim or nearby.

- Living near a known meteorite fall area. Some areas on Earth have a higher concentration of meteorite falls than others, due to their location, climate, or geology. For example, Antarctica is a prime spot for finding meteorites because its cold and dry conditions preserve them well and make them stand out against the white ice. Similarly, deserts and grasslands are also good places to look for meteorites because they have little vegetation or soil cover that can hide them.

So what can you do to protect your roof from meteorite strikes? Here are some tips:

1. Check your roof regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice any cracks, holes, or missing shingles, repair them as soon as possible. This will not only prevent water leaks and mold growth but also make your roof more resistant to impact from falling objects.

2. Install a metal roof or a roof with metal flashing. Metal roofs are more durable and fire-resistant than asphalt shingles or wood shakes. They can also deflect or absorb some of the energy from a meteorite strike, reducing the damage to your home. Metal flashing is a thin sheet of metal that covers the joints and edges of your roof, preventing water seepage and adding extra protection.

3. Consider adding insulation or padding to your attic or ceiling. This will help reduce the noise and vibration from a meteorite strike as well as provide some cushioning for any debris that may fall through your roof. You can use materials such as fiberglass, foam board, or spray foam to insulate your attic or ceiling.

4. Keep an eye on the sky and stay informed about any upcoming meteor showers or other celestial events. You can use websites like NASA's Watch the Skies or the American Meteor Society's Meteor Showers Calendar to find out when and where to watch for shooting stars. If you see a bright flash or hear a loud boom in the sky, it may be a sign of a nearby meteorite strike. Stay indoors and away from windows until you are sure it is safe to go outside.

Meteorite strikes are rare but not impossible. By following these tips, you can protect your roof and your home from any potential damage caused by falling space rocks. If you need any help with repairing or replacing your roof, contact us today for a free estimate. We are experts in roofing services and can handle any roof damage, whether it is caused by weather, animals, or even meteorites.

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