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Posted On: July 11, 2024

How to Inspect & Repair Wind Damage to Roof

When it comes to protecting your home, your roof plays a critical role. It shields you from the elements—rain, snow, hail, and most notably, wind.

High winds can cause significant damage to roofs, leading to costly repairs or even the need for a complete replacement. In this guide to roof care, we’ll explore everything you need to know about wind damage to roof systems, from:

  • Identifying the signs
  • Preventative measures
  • What to do if you suspect your roof has been compromised

What is Wind Damage to Roofs?

Ripped up shingle on the rooftop

Wind damage to roofs occurs when high winds exert pressure on the roofing materials, causing them to loosen, break, or even blow away entirely. While all roofs are designed to withstand certain wind speeds, extreme weather conditions can exceed these limits, leading to structural damage.

Types of Wind Damage

  • Lift Damage: High winds can create an uplift effect on the edges of the roof, causing shingles to loosen or detach.
  • Impact Damage: Flying debris, such as branches or other objects, can strike the roof, causing punctures or cracks.
  • Water Infiltration: Loose or missing shingles can expose the underlying layers to water infiltration, leading to leaks and water damage.
  • Structural Damage: In severe cases, high winds can compromise the structural integrity of the roof, requiring extensive repairs or replacement.

Signs of Wind Damage to Roofs

Identifying wind damage early can save you from costly repairs down the line. Here are some common signs to look out for:

Exterior Signs

  • Missing or Loose Shingles: Check for any shingles that are missing or appear to be flapping in the wind.
  • Curling or Buckling Shingles: Shingles that are curling or buckling are more susceptible to wind damage.
  • Damaged Flashing: Inspect the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights for any signs of damage or displacement.
  • Debris on the Roof: Look for branches, leaves, or other debris that may have been blown onto the roof.

Interior Signs

  • Water Stains on Ceilings: Water stains or spots on your ceilings can indicate a roof leak caused by wind damage.
  • Peeling Paint or Wallpaper: Excess moisture from a leaky roof can cause paint or wallpaper to peel.
  • Mold or Mildew Growth: Mold or mildew growth in the attic or upper levels of your home can be a sign of ongoing water infiltration.

Causes of Wind Damage to Roofs

Damaged roof shingle

Understanding the factors that contribute to wind damage can help you take preventative measures to protect your roof.

Factors Contributing to Wind Damage

  • Roof Age: Older roofs are more susceptible to wind damage due to the natural wear and tear of materials over time.
  • Quality of Installation: Poorly installed roofs are more likely to experience wind damage.
  • Roof Design: Certain roof designs, such as gable roofs, are more prone to wind damage compared to hip roofs.
  • Material Quality: The quality of roofing materials can significantly impact their ability to withstand high winds.

Wind Speed and Roof Damage

  • Light Winds (20-30 mph): Light winds may cause minor damage, such as loose shingles or small branches on the roof.
  • Moderate Winds (30-60 mph): Moderate winds can cause more significant damage, including missing shingles and minor structural issues.
  • High Winds (60+ mph): High winds can lead to severe roof damage, including large sections of missing shingles, broken or cracked tiles, and structural damage.

Preventative Measures

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of wind damage, there are several steps you can take to minimize the potential impact on your roof.

Regular Inspections

  • Professional Inspections: Schedule regular inspections by a qualified roofing professional to identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems.
  • Self-Inspections: Conduct visual inspections of your roof, especially after severe weather events, to check for any visible signs of damage.

5 Simple Maintenance Tips

Want to keep your roof safe, before and after wind damage? Here are some of the top maintenance tips you need to follow!

1) Trim Overhanging Branches:

Regularly trim trees and branches near your home to prevent them from falling onto your roof during high winds.

2) Clean Gutters and Downspouts:

Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to prevent water buildup and potential leaks.

3) Replace Damaged Shingles:

Promptly replace any damaged or missing shingles to maintain the integrity of your roof.

4) Install Hurricane Straps:

Consider installing hurricane straps or clips to reinforce the connection between the roof and the walls of your home.

5) Upgrade Roofing Materials:

If you live in an area prone to high winds, consider upgrading to impact-resistant roofing materials.

What to Do If You Suspect Wind Damage

If you suspect that your roof has sustained wind damage, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent further issues.

  • Document the Damage: Take photos of the damage for insurance purposes.
  • Temporary Repairs: If safe to do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further damage, such as covering holes with tarps or plywood.
  • Contact a Professional: Hire a qualified roofing contractor to assess the damage and make necessary repairs.

Filing an Insurance Claim

  • Review Your Policy: Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what types of wind damage are covered.
  • Report the Damage: Contact your insurance company to report the damage and begin the claims process.
  • Provide Documentation: Provide photos and any other documentation to support your claim.

Let Us Take Care of Your Wind Damaged Roof

Wind damage to roofs is a serious issue that can lead to significant repair costs if not addressed promptly. Regular inspections and maintenance are key to mitigating the risk of wind damage. And if you do suspect damage, taking prompt action can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

For more information on keeping your roof in top condition or to schedule a professional inspection, contact Northface Construction today. Our team of experienced roofing professionals is here to help you safeguard your home against the elements.

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