Wind damage is one of the top causes of damages to roofs. 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 Does Wind Damage Your Roof?
The effects of wind moving across your roof will vary area to area. For example, the corners and perimeter of your roof are usually subject to higher wind pressure, while the center of your roof tends to have lower stresses. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), 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
Strong winds tend to pick up debris, which can make its way onto your roof as well. Shards of glass, trash, tree branches, and other debris that lands on your roof can sometimes be more damaging than the wind itself. When inspecting your roof after a windstorm, check for anything that might have blown onto or across your roof. It’s also a good idea to check your gutters and downspouts as debris can easily clog them. Remember to keep trees trimmed and away from your roof because tree branches touching your roof will scratch and gouge roofing materials when the branches are blown by the wind. Falling branches from overhanging trees can damage and puncture shingles and other roofing materials.
How to Check for Roof Wind Damage
Perform an Outdoor Inspection:
Look for missing and damaged shingles (damaged shingles might be curled, cracked, or torn) on your roof or around your property. If this type of damage is localized (i.e., it covers less than 30 percent of the entire roof), roofing repairs might be able to address the problem. More extensive damage might necessitate roof replacement. Also keep in mind that not only the roof itself, but the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, gutters and fencing can also become damaged. Be sure to inspect them for damage as well. If you suspect that your roof is damaged, here is a basic list of what to look for:
- Composition shingles: curling, loss of granulation, broken, damaged or missing shingles
- Wood shingles/shakes: Mold or decay, splitting or curling
- Flat roof: Obvious patches, cracks or tears, several blisters and/or wrinkles (also check patched areas from inside the attic)
- Flashing: Tears, buckling around roof penetrations
- Roofing cement: Excess cement, crumbling
- Soffits and fascia: Decay, stains
- Soffit and ridge vents: Clogged or damaged vents, flashing and shingles around them curling or missing
- Gutters: Decay or rust, leaky seams, loosely attached to structure, bent or sagging, missing sections of gutter or downspout, filled with debris. Clogged gutters can easily freeze shut and cause excessive weight on gutter fasteners, ice dam conditions, and slippery walks below.
- Chimneys: Leaning, loose or missing flashing, damaged bricks, cap or cracked joints. Chimney flashing is especially prone to tearing because a chimney settles independently from the house.
Perform an Indoor Inspection:
Moisture marks, brown, yellow, or grey stains, and peeling paint on walls and/or ceilings could all indicate a damaged, leaking roof. Also check your attic for damp rafters or leaks. And if you experience a sudden surge in energy costs, it could be a sign that your roof ventilation has been compromised.
What to Do if Your Roof has Wind Damage
If you have roof damage caused by wind and/or flying debris, it’s important to get it fixed immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur. Roof replacement and roof repair costs a lot less when you don’t have to add in the other costs of repairing leaks and water damage. Contact your insurance agent to assess the situation and determine whether you should file a claim. Thoroughly document any damage that occurred and keep receipts for all work, including any you do yourself, such as covering windows or holes in your roof to facilitate reimbursement if you file a claim. Many policies will cover these expenses when submitted with a claim.
Call Berlet Roofing at (970) 846 – 9816 for a FREE inspection today!