A stable roofing system provides the ideal protection against extreme weather conditions. It keeps you and your family safe from rain, hail, snow and the other elements. As such, you need regular roof inspections to stay on top of maintenance. During the inspection, your roofer can perform repairs to ensure your roof stays in good shape.
However, even with regular maintenance, there’s always the threat of high winds that can cause devastating roof damage. While a sturdy asphalt shingle roof can withstand the strongest winds, there comes a time when it succumbs and fails. Wind-driven roof damage can cause shingles to be lifted and blown off, which may eventually lead to leakages. For this reason, it’s best to protect your roof from wind damage as much as possible.
How Does the Wind Interact With Your Roof?
Wind does not move in a steady stream, but instead, it moves randomly: it swirls up, down, sideways, and in circular patterns at different speeds. This is a reaction to the temperature and pressure changes in the Earth’s atmosphere as well as the land’s terrain and topography. However, the interaction between your roof and wind resistance is more predictable.
The wind hits the side of the home and travels up and over the roof with varying degrees of uplift pressure. Keep in mind that uplift pressure is at its highest at the corners of the roofline. Additionally, the pressure is almost as high along the roof edges, making these areas particularly vulnerable to wind damage. Negative pressure, also known as suction pressure, is also created as it moves across the roof surface. This sucks up or even lifts shingles off your roof. Wind may also damage other parts of your home, including your soffits.
What Are the Signs of Wind-Driven Roof Damage?
There are several signs of wind-driven roof damage. After a strong windstorm, you may notice a massive roof puncture from a fallen tree branch or large swatches of exposed underlayment where shingles have been blown off. There may also be missing sections of flashing or hip and ridge shingles. Some signs of roof wind damage are immediately visible while others may be less conspicuous. As such, it’s important to thoroughly inspect your outdoors and indoors after a severe weather event.
First, check your exterior. Walk around your home’s perimeter and look for any signs of missing shingles. You can also use a pair of binoculars to inspect your roof damage from the ground. This may include cracked or gaping chimney flashing, curled or torn shingles along the roof edges, or scratch marks across the roof field where debris has raked across the roof. If you see the shingle edges looking slightly raised, the seals are likely broken. A damaged fascia board should also be replaced right away, so schedule a fascia replacement with your roofer as soon as possible.
After inspecting your exterior, it’s time to examine wind-driven roof damage inside your home. When checking for potential indoor signs of wind damage, start in your attic and the rest of your living areas. Remember to put safety at the top of the list, so don’t forget to wear appropriate protective gear and use a secure walking path when going up into your attic. If you think your roof is unsafe, contact a professional roofer to inspect the area for you.
In the attic, look for water leaks and stains on the underside of the roof or signs of moisture damage on the floor. If it’s dark, you can use a flashlight to see clearly. To check for holes or gaps, turn off the lights and scan the roof decking for areas where sunlight is shining through. In the finished living areas, keep an eye out for discolored patches on the ceilings and walls. If there are any, it’s a sign that water may be getting in through damaged areas on your roof.
What Makes Your Roof Susceptible to Wind Damage?
Plenty of factors influence your roof’s susceptibility to wind damage. We list some of the most common here:
- The age of your roof: Roofs weaken with age. Over time, shingles will lose their granules and flexibility. Thus, an older roof with cracked shingles is at a greater risk of being badly damaged by the wind compared to a newer roof. If you think your roof is nearing the end of its service life, consider replacing it with a new one.
- The layout of your roof: High-pitched gable roofs with wide overhangs are more vulnerable to wind uplift. Four-sided hip roofs, on the other hand, are more resistant to wind-driven damage.
- Quality of the roofing material: The quality of your roofing materials also matters. High-quality asphalt shingles, for instance, are rated to withstand strong winds of up to a specific wind speed. Class D shingles resist wind uplift up to 90 miles per hour (mph). Also, if your soffits are also made from a poor-quality material, investing in a soffits replacement is a smart solution.
- Previous roof damage. Your roof may have suffered roof damage previously that you haven’t addressed yet, such as missing shingles or flashing. If so, your roof is likely to sustain wind damage and suffer extensive damage during an extreme windstorm.
- Improper installation: The quality of your roof installation plays a key role in its wind resistance. Improper nailing may lead to a weak roof, so your roofer must use the correct nails and position them correctly on the shingles.
- Poor maintenance: Roof maintenance is also a significant factor. Experts recommend scheduling at least one professional roof inspection every year, or after every storm. This way, a roofer can examine your roof for minor issues and perform repairs as needed. Prompt roofing action will reduce the risk of wind damage.
Trust AQ Roofing LLC for your all roofing needs! Whether you need to have your roof repaired, replaced or maintained, you can count on our team of professional roofers to get the job done right the first time. Give us a call at (501) 951-1683, or fill out our online contact form to request an estimate.