How Does Wind Damage Roofs
Although your roof is designed to cope with all sorts of weather, windstorms can be surprisingly destructive. Most roofs can handle winds up to 90 mph, and in areas prone to hurricanes, theyre designed for even higher winds. But in reality, it doesnt take hurricane winds to damage your roof. According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, severe thunderstorms can generate winds exceeding 100 mph, about twice the 50-60 mph threshold for damaging winds. In fact, thunderstorms account for half of all severe damage in the lower 48 states.
The layout of your roof affects the likelihood of wind damage, by changing wind loading the amount of force the wind applies to your roof. For example, houses with gables are more vulnerable than those with hip roofs. Certain areas of the roof, like the corners and eaves, are at greater risk of damage. The materials and installation also affect the resilience of your roof. Thinner or poor-quality shingles and substandard construction practices can make it more your rough more vulnerable to shedding shingles in a storm.
Although the wind itself can damage your roof, often whats carried by the wind is a greater threat. Storms can bring heavy hail, pelt your roof with debris, or even bring down large tree limbs on top of your house.
Two Roofs Are Not Better Than One
Q: I have an old tract house with composition roof shingles. I need to re-roof but the roof has two layers of shingles on it already. Do I have to have them taken off? Also, which rate or weight of composition shingles is best to use?
Irene, Riverside, Calif.
A:Tom Silva replies: Yes, you need to strip the shingles. I don’t like to shingle over any old shingles, but one layer is acceptable. Two is not. A single layer looks better, lasts longer, and won’t put any unnecessary extra weight on the roof.
As to which shingles to use, the longer the warranty, the heavier the shingle and the greater the cost. You want to look for the best warranty you can afford.
Faulty Installation And Human Error
The study by Dixon et al. also found that unsealed shingles can occur from poor installation. 70% of roofs studied showed errors including debris in the sealant strip, under-driven nails, and release tape that was accidentally stuck to the sealant strip from packaging mistakes. These roofs all had a distinct pattern in their damage, meaning they didnt result from wind .
Roofing contractors need to handle sealants properly to ensure an optimal seal when installing shingles. Contamination to a shingles sealant strip can also happen in industrial areas where exhaust or chemical residues are abundant. This can affect a roof even more than weather conditions .
If youre trying to verify your roofing warranty, it is important to know whether the weather, contractors, or manufacturing are the culprit behind your roofing damage. Dont let lack of knowledge keep you from having a reliable, economical, and overall good roof!
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What Wind Damage Looks Like
It can take years before wind damage can lead to a full roof replacement. Problems usually begin as wind lifts poorly nailed shingles off the roof. One strong gust is usually not enough to blow off the shingle completely, but continuous lifting can crack and break the shingle over time. The sealant between the shingle layers are also broken, exposing the vulnerable underlayment and resulting in leaks.
Potential Signs Of Hail Damage:
- Other collateral hail damage around the house dents on cars or other items on your house or in your yard.
- A distinct pattern of small round-shaped divots on the edges of the shingles.
- Indentations in the shingle where granules are missing.
- A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout a small amount is normal, especially on new shingles.
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What Are The Steps To Take After Wind Damage
To recap, here are a few things you, as a homeowner, should do in the event of wind damage to your roof or property.
Check out our storm damage page for more information regarding insurance claims, inspections, and how to spot damage. We will work with you to ensure you get your repairs or replacement done quickly and efficiently. Remember always to stay safe, and call a professional right away.
Visible Debris On The Roof
Even a small amount of visible debris, such as a few branches, could have caused damage when it hit the roof. You may try to remove the debris to see what the shingles look like underneath. Just be safe when you do so. Avoid walking on the roof, if you can. A roofing contractor can quickly remove the debris during an inspection and check the shingles underneath for you.
If you are worried about wind damage on your roof after a storm, reach out to Patriot Roofing. Well send a roofer out to thoroughly check your property for all the above and more hidden issues. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form right away.
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Where To Look For Hail Damage
Your gutters are always your best friend when it comes to identifying any roof damage caused by hail for two reasons. First, hail can ding your actual gutter and drainage pipe. If you have dents and damage here, the likelihood that damage has occurred on your roof is very high. Second, hail damage tends to remove granules from your shingles. These tiny particles accumulate in your gutter and down spurts. Gutters will that are overflowing and clogged due to granule loss are definitely a strong indication your roof has hail damage. Your gutter is the easiest place for an untrained eye to see and quickly assess signs of roof damage, and the best place to start when you suspect damage after a storm.
The next place to check out is the exterior of your home, such as your deck and siding. These are both examples of areas that are easier and safer for homeowners to assess themselves, and if they are damaged, your roof will definitely have damage too. Any hail damage on your siding or deck means its time to call Berlet Roofing to safely and accurately inspect your roof.
What Size Hail Will Damage A Metal Roof
Maximum hailstone sizes impacting the roofs ranged from 0.75 to 1.75 in diameter. Surface spatter marks were visible where hailstones had removed some of the surface patina of the metal or surface grime and oxidation from the painted surfaces.
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Can You Prevent Roof Wind Damage
If you stay in a region prone to strong winds, you will continually worry about wind damage to your roof. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for wind damage to your roof. You cannot halt the wind however, you can reduce the damage to your roof. Here are tips that will protect your roof against damage by wind.
Clear Signs Of Roof Wind Damage
Wind is usually seen as a harmless or even benevolent force of nature. It helps pollinate flowers, makes wind chimes sing, and offers you a cool breeze on a hot day. However, when it gets fast enough, it can do more harm than good.
Even before it reaches tornado or hurricane speeds, wind can do a number to your roof. Its important to watch out for these 6 signs of roof wind damage so you can get your roof repaired before it starts to leak or gets damaged further.
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Wha To Do With Old Roof Sheathing
Q: We plan to replace the roofing on our 100-year-old house with architectural asphalt shingles that can stand up to the occasional hurricane we get around here. While we’re at it, should we also take off the roof’s original board sheathing, which is still sound, and replace it with plywood? Ed and Peggy Simmer, Suffolk, VA
A: Tom Silva replies: There’s no need to remove the board sheathing. It actually adds strength to the roof and makes it easier for roofers to do their job. Just have them nail any loose boards tight to the rafters. Then they can cover the entire roof with ½-inch plywood sheathing.
Make sure the new plywood sheets are placed so that their short edges land over a rafter and there’s about a 1/8-inch gap around each sheet to allow them to expand. In hurricane country, plywood should be nailed every 6 inches into each underlying rafter using galvanized, ring-shank, 8d common nails, such as the HurriQuake nail made by Bostitch. Anything less and your roof could blow off in a storm. The underlayment and shingles have to be applied with similar care, following the requirements laid out in the local building code.
Pay Attention To Home Insurance Policy Changes
Some states require full house replacement for siding or roofing if some product is damaged and the product is no longer made by the manufacturer. However, some companies will hide a change in the 20-plus page document they send each year which states that is no longer valid unless you add a low-cost rider to your coverage. Most people would pay the small extra charge to cover this, but they dont even know that it has changed. When you receive that booklet, call your agent and ask if anything is changing that you should know about . Otherwise, you may be in a situation where you have to find the closest match available for only the siding or roofing that is damaged. This could mean a checker-board look to your house as your insurance company only covers individual shingles or siding panels.
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Insurance Adjusters Sometimes Make Mistakes
Everyone is human and makes mistakes, even insurance adjusters. Most of the time, an insurance adjuster will spot storm damage, but sometimes they make a mistake and deny your claim.
If they deny your claim, theres no reason to panic. There are ways to double and triple-check your roof for storm damage.
The best way to get a second opinion is to ask for a second insurance adjuster to come out and inspect your roof. If they approve your claim, great, but sometimes the second adjuster will still insist that the roof is not viable for a claim.
If you still think you have storm damage after the second adjuster says no, you can have an engineer come out to your home, inspect the roof, and then offer proof to your insurance company that that roof needs to be replaced because of storm damage.
How To Detect Wind Damage To Your Roof
After the storm, look for shingles on the ground, and inspect your roof for missing shingles and other signs of wear. High winds can damage your shingles without tearing them off entirely. If a shingle comes unsealed and starts flapping in the wind, you may see horizontal creases on it, indicating is has been unsealed and damaged by flexing.
You should also look for other signs of aging, such as warping. If it looks like the corners of your roof are starting to curl up, or theres a gap where the roof is separating from the fascia or soffit, your roof is damaged, and at risk of further damage from storms, freezing and other severe weather.
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How To Tell If You Have Wind Damage To Your Roof
The effect that wind damage has on your roof depends on roof types and material used, as well as the range and power of the winds.
Thats why its important to immediately inspect your roof after a storm or wind event .
You can start by checking for missing or curled, cracked, torn, or otherwise damaged shingles on your rooftop and around your home or other property, since shingles or other roofing materials may have blown off during the wind events.
Sometimes, you may be able to address the wind damage problem yourself, particularly if you are handy and experienced with DIY repairs and the damage is relatively localized .
However, if you suspect the damage is significant, do not try to get up on your roof yourself call a professional roof inspector who has the proper experience and tools to climb up and check out your roof for wind damage safely.
If youre tech-savvy type and have a drone , you can use that drone to inspect your roof safely and get detailed images of potential damage.
You should also be sure to examine the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, fencing, and gutters, since they can also become damaged by strong winds.
Inspect the roof from inside the attic or wherever you can access it from the inside is also essential this may show you a different view of potential damage or spots where roof leaks may occur and a temporary roof leak repair may be required.
Holding Down The Roof In High Winds
Q: My daughter lives in hurricane country in a 15-year-old stucco house. Can she install hurricane clips to prevent her roof from blowing off?
Don, McKeesport, Pa.
A:Tom Silva replies: Those galvanized metal straps and clips that strengthen the connection between walls and rafters really do help to hold a house together in high winds. But it will be next to impossible to reach those spots from the attic. The only way to retrofit hurricane clips in most houses is by cutting out a section of the siding and the wall sheathing at every spot where a rafter rests on a wall or taking off the roof sheathing at the eaves.
Here’s an easier option: Go up into the attic and run a bead of construction adhesive alongside each rafter where it meets the plywood roof deck. That simple measure will roughly triple a roof’s resistance of being torn off by wind.
How To Spot Roof Damage After Strong Winds
Even when a storm produces no rain or hail, your roof can still sustain damage. Strong winds can create stress points on a roof that, over time, can weaken and become compromised. While roofs are designed to resist typical wind loads, they can be incrementally damaged over the years by high winds and debris carried by the wind. Replacing missing shingles and fixing the initial roof damage quickly is important to prevent subsequent water damage and high fuel costs that will inevitably result from a roof system that is not working as it should.
How Wind Damages Your Roof
The effect of wind moving over a roof is not uniform. Areas like the corners and perimeter of the roof can be susceptible to higher wind pressures, while the center of the roof might have lower stresses. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association , most wind damage to a roof starts on the edge. Anywhere the roofing material is even a little bit loose, the wind can get below it and push it up, thus giving the wind more to grab onto next time and creating a chain peeling effect. This type of wind damage can start very small, but continue to grow over time through repeated exposure to wind.
Once a whole corner of insulation is exposed, rain can get in and start to cause leaks and water damage. Homeowners can avoid this type of wind damage by making sure materials on the edge and corners of their roof are strong enough and in good condition to withstand high winds.
Flying Debris and Tree Damage
Wind Damaged Shingles And Common Roofing Problems
Wind and hail can cause extensive damage to your roof and will expose your home to the elements. Just one missing shingle can be enough to put your home at risk! Below are some examples of what this may look like What Does Wind Damage Look Like? Wind damage can range from a variety of damages. These forms of damage include, but are not limited to: Peeled Up Roofing Materials Roof Material Lifting Flying Hazards Fallen Debris or Shingles Warped or Bent Fixtures Clogged Gutters All forms of wind damage should be taken seriously
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How To Check Your Roof For Storm Damage
Different styles of roofs require different inspection methods. No matter your style of roof, begin your inspection by examining its exterior. You can get an idea of your roofs condition with both feet on the ground by looking for obvious damage with the naked eye or a pair of binoculars. It is highly recommended that you do not get on your roof unless you are experienced in roof repair.
After a storm, check for any debris that was blown on top of your roof. Debris could have damaged your roof when it hit or could create additional damage if its not removed right away. If theres obvious damage, such as a hole formed by flying debris or a fallen tree, call a professional as soon as possible.
Homeowners Insurance Roof Damage
The lightning strike was so strong that the glass in their home shattered, and it caused damage in their neighborhood with devastating winds causing trees to fall down and cause damage to the roof the night before.
They contacted their homeowners insurance to see if it would be covered, and what they found was a little surprising.
The shingles were in pretty bad shape so the homeowner figured that there wouldnt have been too much damage from them anyway since most of the roof is in good condition.
But when they talked about covering this type of loss with their homeowners insurance, they were told that wind damage wasnt covered.
The homeowner said that the person helping them was surprised since it looked like a strong storm had come through and caused some of the shingles to get blown off their roof.
They wondered if there might be something in their policy about this because what happened didnt seem right at all.
As it turns out, there was nothing in the homeowners insurance policy about wind damage. There are multiple reasons for this, but one of them is because roof shingles do not count as part of a homes structure or its contents.
This means that they would only cover these if they were damaged by something like hail or fire since that falls under the homeowners insurance policy.
If you have a roof that is in good shape and has been properly maintained, then its possible that your damage from wind will be covered by your homeowners insurance.
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