Why Do People Put Tires on Their Roof?

If you reside in certain parts of the world, seeing spare tires resting atop a roof might strike you as peculiar. However, in some societies, this habit is quite ordinary and it serves a purpose.

You may initially dismiss it as a quirky tradition from rural areas where old tires are casually tossed onto roofs for amusement. But that’s not always the truth. These methods effectively stop the roof from producing a rumbling noise when the sun is at its peak. It’s certainly a safer approach than creating a hole in the roof. Additionally, they are said to protect the roof from being completely swept away during powerful wind events.

Why Do People Put Tires on Their Roof
Roof Rumbling

Why Do People Put Tires on Their Roof?

The practice of placing tires on a roof is linked to a phenomenon known as roof rumble, predominantly observed in mobile homes or trailers. Roof rumble arises when varying weather conditions interact with the metal roof of a less stable structure, causing an array of noises. To mitigate this, some individuals use tires to add weight to their roofs.

Venturing into rural locales or passing by a trailer park, you might frequently spot tires on roofs. If you’re curious about why this is done, rest assured there’s a valid explanation behind the practice.

How Do You Keep a Mobile Home Roof From Rumbling?

Preventing wind from penetrating the roof of a mobile home or trailer park can be quite an elaborate process. Thus, positioning a few spare tires on the roof emerges as a cost-effective, swift solution to curb roof rumble.

While other items such as rocks can be used, tires are considerably easier to hoist onto the roof and stack for optimal weight distribution. An additional advantage of using tires is their material – being made of rubber, they tend to generate less noise on the roof compared to other objects.

Why Are There Tires on Roofs in Arizona?

Roof rumble due to wind is one explanation for the sight of tires on roofs in Arizona. Yet, there’s another weather-related issue that impacts metal roofs.

Metal tends to expand in high temperatures, and Arizona frequently experiences sunny, hot days. When the sun reaches its peak intensity and beams down on a metal roof, it prompts the roof to expand.

Tires, particularly because they are black and attract sunlight, may not be the best solution to this problem. However, with strategic placement of sufficient tires, it can help prevent the roof from undergoing excessive movement that could eventually lead to buckling and structural damage.

Why Are There Tires on Roofs in New Mexico?

During specific seasons, New Mexico can be subject to high winds, making it prudent to weigh down your roof to avoid roof rumble. Tires are often utilized in New Mexico for this purpose, given the fact that many of the rocks in the area resemble boulders. These would be too challenging to lift onto the roof and potentially too heavy for the roof to support.

Do Tires Stop Lightning From Striking a Metal Roof?

Conceptually, it appears to be a sound strategy, given that a metal roof can effectively conduct an electrical hit, while rubber is non-conductive. However, the reality is that lightning strikes indiscriminately and doesn’t target anything specifically. More concerning is the fact that if lightning were to hit the tires, it could likely ignite a fire.

Can Putting Tires on a Metal Roof Stop Your Roof From Flying Away?

Despite common misconceptions, trailers and mobile homes undergo rigorous wind resistance testing before being introduced to the public. Although it may seem like your roof is about to be swept away when the wind intensifies, you’re likely to be quite safe. The issue arises when the wind reaches a velocity high enough to dislodge your roof – regardless of the amount of weight you’ve used to secure it, it’s likely to give way. More tires typically just equate to more potential projectiles that could be hurled around your neighborhood, for which you would be held accountable. For further insight on tires, feel free to explore our articles on how to remove tire marks from cars, why tires are made of rubber, and the reasons behind tire dry rot.

Read more about how to attach a lean to roof to an existing roof.

FAQ - Tires on a Roof

There’s no guarantee that it will since wind strength and direction vary, but it could potentially help reduce the noise.

While in theory rubber can act as an insulator against electricity, there’s no guarantee that placing tires on a metal roof will prevent lightning strikes.

It is highly unlikely that adding tires to a metal roof will prevent it from being blown away in high winds. Structural integrity and proper installation are key factors in preventing roof damage during severe weather. It is important to regularly inspect and maintain your roof to ensure its stability. Consult a professional contractor for advice on securing your roof against high winds. Additionally, following local building codes and regulations for wind resistance can help prevent damage during storms.

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