How To Deal With Roof Damage From High Winds
High winds can be a threat to roofs year-round. Both winter and summer storms can carry with them gusty high winds that can cause major damage to shingle roofs by breaking seals or even ripping off shingles. If you live in a hurricane or tornado-prone area, the damage can be even worse.
If a high wind storm has blown through, dealing with any roofing damage right away is important to prevent further problems that will cost you more money. Though catastrophic wind damage is always a possibility, being prepared is your best bet. Make sure to call a professional roofer for an inspection so your roof is ready for the next big wind storm.
High winds mean major risk to your roof
When people think of high winds, they often think of hurricanes or tornadoes. The winds from both of these weather events can reach well in excess of 100 miles an hour. The largest and most destructive tornadoes can pack a punch over 200 mph in wind speed.
Even regular thunderstorms can bring wind gusts of over 100 miles per hour. In 2020, a rare type of storm, a “derecho,” pounded parts of the country with nearly 60 mph winds for over 14 hours. Often the effect of lower winds for a long period of time can be just as destructive as powerful short gusts.
Winds create damage in a couple of different ways. First, there’s the phenomenon of negative pressure. Essentially, when the air flows quickly over a roof, it creates a sort of vacuum effect, lifting everything underneath upward. This is the same force that allows a 100,000-pound airplane to lift into the sky.
This suction can be so powerful that it tears the roofs completely off commercial and residential buildings. Shingles and other roofing material can go flying. Other areas affected by the positive air pressure can be blown apart.
Debris is another huge problem. Entire trees can come down during a windstorm, as can large branches, building materials, or just about anything else
Preparing for the big storm
Making sure your roof is in good shape is actually the first step to keeping major damage from happening in the first place. Performing regular roof inspections is the best way to accomplish this.
Depending on the height and pitch of your roof, you may be able to see certain problems from the ground. If you can’t, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional roofer to perform the inspection. They know exactly what to look for and can fix many minor problems quickly and inexpensively. Here’s what they’ll be looking for:
Loose or missing shingles:
Weather or improper installation and maintenance can cause shingles to sometimes be only loosely attached to the subroof. These shingles are much more likely to go flying when the wind comes. The gap they leave can let more air under the surrounding shingles and cause them to fly away as well.
If the edges of shingles are beginning to curl upward, this provides an excellent surface for wind to fully peel the shingle up and tear it off. These shingles will need to be replaced for your roof to stand up to a wind storm.
Water that has pooled in certain areas can cause nails and adhesive to become weakened. This means that strong winds are much more likely to cause shingles to become detached and fly off. If you can see places where water is pooling, you need to have the issue repaired as soon as possible.
High wind storms bring branches and other debris with them. You don’t want to provide any more fuel for them to do damage to your roof. When your roof is inspected pieces of debris can be removed so it’s less likely to do damage when the wind hits.
Fully functioning roofing system:
Your roof is made up of several parts: the outer shingling or tiles, a membrane, and then the subroof. It’s important that the entire structure be strong and in good condition. When you have your roof inspected, your roofer can tell you if the subroof and other parts are in good shape and if it needs any work.
After damage has taken place
While preparation is so important, and can help in a windstorm, there are times when the weather is so severe, there isn’t much you can do.
In these cases, it’s important to call a qualified roofer like Horizon right away once the storm has passed. If your roof has been damaged, there may be little to nothing to protect what remains of the roof and the structure underneath.
Do not attempt to inspect a damaged roof yourself. Only a qualified professional should be up on your roof, which could be structurally damaged after a major storm.
You can look for any signs inside your home that indicate a loss of roof integrity. If you observed water coming in during the storm, this means that the roof was damaged enough to break the waterproof membrane or paper. Even if you didn’t see any drips during the storm, make sure to look for staining or cracked paint that could indicate the presence of water damage.
If the damage is severe, large portions or even your entire roof may need to be replaced. Horizon can look for ways to salvage parts of the existing structure to keep costs down. They can also assist with temporary measures like tarps while you wait for your repair
Even if the storm has come through and everything looks good from the street, it’s important to have a close-up look. If shingles are missing, or the waterproof membrane was damaged, then even a simple rainstorm can cause additional and serious water damage.
Selecting the right roof
Wind from storms and other weather events can be hard to predict. They can happen in any part of the country. However, some areas are more prone to tornadoes and hurricanes, which reliably pack the biggest punch.
When it’s time for a new roof, discuss the different options with a qualified professional roofer. There are some types of roofs that can be more resilient when it comes to wind than others.
Horizon Roofing – serving the Orange County, CA area – is your reliable local roofing contractors. We specialize in residential roofing and commercial roofing and have been in the industry for over a decade. We have excellent reviews and look forward to serving your need.