Skip to Content Top

A Guide to Asphalt Roofing’s Susceptibility to Wind Damage

Damaged roof with chimney

Wind can be unpredictable. It moves at varying speeds up, down, sideways and even in circular patterns. We’re all aware that strong winds may cause significant roof damage during a major storm, but shingles can also be damaged by constant winds on days when no rain, hail, sleet or snow is anticipated.

VillWell Builders, LLC, your trusted home improvement contractor in the area, discusses the relationship between your asphalt shingles and wind resistance.

How Does Wind Interact with an Asphalt Roof?

Wind does not always move in a straight line; it swirls up and down, sideways and in circles at different speeds. The wind’s direction and force change when temperature and pressure differences in the Earth’s atmosphere change.

When wind collides with a building, such as your house, it behaves in predictable ways:

  • With varying degrees of uplift pressure, wind striking the side of the house moves up and over the roof.
  • The uplift pressure is strongest at the corners of the roofline and almost as strong around the edges of the roof.
  • A roof deck’s shingles may be lifted or pulled off as a result of negative pressure, also known as vacuum pressure, which is formed as the wind passes across the surface.

Wind Speeds and Roof Damage

The speed of the wind greatly impacts the type of damage that might occur:

  • 45-57 mph

The National Weather Service states that gusts up to 45 mph can start to cause minor damage, but this speed range is regarded as not severe. Weak winds of 45-57 mph may break some tree limbs and harm shingles that are already loosened or vulnerable.

  • 58-74 mph

Winds turn violent at this time, seriously harming structures and landscape. At this speed, the wind will tear off shingles that were in fine shape, and damage chimneys in addition to bringing down entire tree branches and whole trees.

  • 75+ mph

At this speed, wind will significantly damage the roofs of homes and businesses as well as cause widespread damage to trees and mobile homes. This requires the immediate attention of building renovation professionals.

Factors That Influence How Wind Affects Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Several factors determine how the wind may affect or damage your roof:

  • Installation quality. Your roof wouldn’t be strong enough to withstand heavy winds if it wasn’t installed correctly. However, choosing the right nails is essential for a professional roof installation. When placing the shingles, your roofer should use the proper nail head size and follow the manufacturer’s recommended nailing patterns. The easiest way to secure your roof against the wind is using large-head roofing nails that are long enough to penetrate through sheathing.
  • Age. As a roof ages, its performance degrades because it loses its shielding granules and becomes brittle. Over time, adhesive parts may start to lose their adhesion, reducing the mechanical bond between the layers of shingles. In order to know when to replace your roof, make sure that it is periodically inspected and maintained by a home improvement contractor who specializes in roofing.
  • Materials. Shingles are categorized based on how well they withstand wind. Some shingles are heavier than others, which will enhance wind resistance. Additionally, shingles contain several kinds of adhesives that seal shingles in layers. Because many of these adhesives are patented, there can be variations between manufacturers. 
  • Roof geometry. Large overhangs on roofs create air pressure underneath them, which reduces wind resistance. This is why four-sided hip roofs often have more wind resistance than high-pitched gable roofs with large overhangs.
  • Local environment and weather patterns. Your roof needs to be planned and constructed to withstand strong winds if your area is prone to them. When having a new roof installed or replacing an existing one, you should speak with local building renovation professionals because they would know what roofing systems are best for your region.
  • Location of your home. Your roof may be more susceptible to damage if you live in an area where strong winds are common, especially in locations that are vulnerable to hurricanes or tornadoes. Homes by the sea, for instance, are more exposed than those in urban areas.
  • Air density. Because colder air is denser than warmer air, temperature impacts wind force. When both warm and cold winds are moving at the same speed, the colder, denser air will exert more force on your roof, resulting in greater damage.
  • Unaddressed previous damage. A roof that already has problems, such as cracked or missing shingles, is more likely to sustain wind damage over time or sustain significant damage in a strong storm.

Signs of Wind Damage on Your Roof

Roof wind damage has some more evident signs than others. After a violent storm, considerable roof damage may be quite obvious, including the following:

  • A hole caused by a branch that fell from a tree
  • Several large swaths of underlayment are visible where shingles have been blown off
  • Fragments of flashing that are broken or missing
  • Hip and ridge shingles are missing

Even though other indications might be more subtle, you can still identify them if you know what to look for both inside and outside. Get in touch with a qualified roofing and siding repair contractor if you can’t safely inspect your home’s interior or exterior for symptoms of roof damage.

Meanwhile, here’s how to check your attic for signs of roof wind damage:

  • While it is still daylight outside, go up to the attic.
  • Examine the underside of the roof for water leaks and stains and look for water damage on the floor using a flashlight.
  • Turn off the lights and look over the roof decking for any places where daylight is coming through, which could be a sign that something has broken above.

You can tell that water is entering through wind-damaged roof sections by looking for discolored patches on the ceilings and walls in your finished living spaces.

How to Protect Your Shingles from Wind Damage

Here are three quick and easy steps you can take to safeguard your roof from wind so that you can relax knowing it will survive the next storm.

  • Before a storm is forecast, make sure you do everything to keep your shingles intact. Have loose shingles fixed and missing shingles replaced.
  • Trim nearby trees with branches that are already touching your roof and siding.
  • Check your gutters for any clogs before a storm approaches.

VillWell Builders, LLC is a fully licensed, bonded and insured home improvement company. We offer roof installation, siding repair, deck replacement and kitchen remodeling. Regardless of what improvement we’re completing for you, it’s our aim to exceed your expectations. Call us today at (475) 271-1242 or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

The post A Guide to Asphalt Roofing’s Susceptibility to Wind Damage appeared first on Villwell Builders, LLC.