No matter where you live, strong storms are likely to be an issue. When this happens, you need to make sure that your home is sufficiently protected. Wind damage can easily degrade or destroy your roof, and it happens all the time. If there happens to be some hail involved, the situation becomes even worse. In this article, we will focus on the telltale signs of wind damage and what you can do about this problem.
Detecting Wind Damage
Thankfully, wind damage tends to be fairly obvious. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your yard and look for shingles. When wind damage occurs, the shingles are almost always the first part of your home to be affected. If you find any loose shingles on the ground, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional.
Whether you find any shingles or not, your next task should be to climb onto the roof and inspect the damage. Depending on the design of your home, this step could be dangerous. Therefore, you should make sure to observe all relevant precautions. If you don’t think you can do the job safely, get down from the ladder, and call a professional. What’s worse: spending a little money or falling off the roof?
If you can inspect the roof yourself, pay particular attention to the edges of the roof. This includes the shingles near the edge, and also those at the top. As mentioned earlier; when a strong storm begins ripping pieces from your roof, the edges will be the first to go. This happens because the wind produces a suction effect around these edges.
It might be tempting to ignore the problem if you only have one or two shingles missing. This kind of thinking is not correct because of the way that shingles work. Each one overlaps the other and helps to reinforce the other. Therefore, when one of them is removed, it weakens the shingle below. Over the course of several storms, this creates a chain reaction that can strip away large sections, exposing the roof (and your home) to water damage.
After doing the external survey, you need to check inside the home as well. Check the ceilings in every room, looking for wetness, dripping, or discoloration. Bear in mind that some leaks can be very small, making them harder to spot. However, the discoloration will tell the tale in these cases.
It is worth noting that interior damage is far more expensive and problematic than exterior damage. Research from various sources suggests that repair costs are dramatically increased once the water breaches the interior of the home.
The most exact estimate we could find comes from this study. When rainwater gets into the interior of your home, the cost of the damage is multiplied by a factor of 2-10 (depending on the severity of the weather). This is why it is so essential to repair the damage before the roof is fully compromised.
A Word About Fascia And Soffit
It is hard to talk about roof damage without talking about two other parts of your home. Fascia and soffit are fancy words for the side-boards and eaves of your roof. Fascia are the long pieces that are attached directly under the roof and along the edges. Soffit are the small overhangs that connect your walls to the bottom of the roof. Whenever you have experienced roof damage, you need to inspect the connecting structures as well.
The Four Levels Of Wind Damage
Wind damage comes in varying grades of severity, with wind speed being the main determining factor. The faster the wind, the more likely it is to destroy your roof.
Level One: 45-57 MPH
This could be described as “mild damage” level. Winds of about this speed are considered the minimum that is necessary to remove shingles. Even then, these winds will probably remove only those shingles which are loose. A well-made roof might very well survive these winds without damage.
Level Two: 58-73 MPH
This is a heavier damage level, at which shingles are likely to be ripped from your roof. Whereas the previous level was a threat to loose shingles, this one can rip them away regardless. These storms also tend to damage trees, especially smaller ones. At this level, you are getting close to hurricane territory, so some extra concern is warranted.
Level Three: 74-89 MPH
Now we’re getting into hurricane territory. A storm is not considered to be a hurricane until it reaches a sustained speed of 74 MPH, which is why the line has been drawn at this point. These winds are incredibly destructive, with the potential to overturn cars and small homes. Winds of this speed will definitely take down trees, possibly even uprooting them. As for your roof, the shingles won’t stand a chance unless heavily reinforced.
Level Four: 90 MPH And Above
These winds are seen only in the most intense of storms and are extremely damaging to roof shingles. If things are this bad, you need to get out of town in a hurry. Stop reading this article and start packing. Worry about repairing your shingles when the storm is over!
Here is a short list of precautions that can help to reduce these problems:
- Use of extra beams and metal braces to reinforce the roof timbers
- Use thick metal flashing along the edges of the roof
- Remove any skylights, as they are a weak point
- Use good-quality shingles
- Only hire roofing companies with a good reputation
When high winds rise, damage to your roof is nearly inevitable. If you’re lucky, you can get away with little to no damage. Thankfully, most homeowner’s insurance plans will cover the effects of wind damage, so the problem isn’t as large as it may seem. Storms are just one of those unpleasant facts of life, and they have to be dealt with in a competent and efficient manner. If you have found this article be enlightening and educational, then we hope you will fill out the contact form below and learn more.