Wind Can Be More Damaging To Your Roof Than Hail

It makes perfect sense that hailstones would cause damage to your home’s roof. After all, we’re talking about chunks of ice barreling down onto your property at a high rate of speed. But even storms that do not have much hail can be destructive to your roof. That is because wind has the power to rip away entire pieces of your home’s protective top layer.

Such a storm was felt recently in the DFW area. There were very few reports of hail, but winds reaching up to 80 mph knocked down trees and power lines, damaged buildings and even toppled a crane in downtown Dallas. It might not be the kind of storm that has homeowners thinking about roof repairs, but that is a mistake.

According to the National Weather Service, some slight roof damage can occur with just 45 mph winds, even though this is considered to be a “non-severe” storm. A traditional “severe” storm features winds of at least 58 mph, and definitely has the potential to rip apart a home’s roof. Wind speeds above 75 mph will likely cause widespread roof damage.

The effects of strong winds on a home can be pretty interesting, because the damage is not done in a uniform manner. Wind tends to cause the greatest amount of damage along the edges of a roof, or in areas that were damaged by a previous storm. Those are the places where the shingles can most easily be ripped away from your property.

Much of the reasoning is based in science. Wind pressure is greater along a home’s perimeter, and lower in the middle sections of a home’s roof. Also, there are two types of pressure: positive and negative. The positive pressure creates a pushing effect while the negative pressure is more like a suction. Your roof will experience both kinds of pressure. The section of your roof that sees each type of pressure depends on the direction that the wind hits your home.

Strong winds knocked trees down onto and around a home. (credit: NOAA)

That wind pressure will cause the materials on your home’s roof to move. In areas of higher pressure (like the edges) or locations where the shingles are already damaged, that movement will be greater. The problems increase exponentially from that point. Once there is a little bit of movement, it becomes easier for wind to grab that shingle and move it more, or even peel it away from the roof entirely.

This kind of roof damage usually starts very small, and is difficult for most homeowners to notice. But the problem increases with each gust of wind that blows through your area. Spots where shingles are raised, displaced or missing altogether become susceptible to water damage from rain, which can quickly lead to leaks inside of your home.

The goal is to prevent wind damage before problems become devastating, or fix your home’s issues very soon afterward. Contact the experts at Stonewater Roofing for your FREE damage assessment. We can thoroughly look over your home and let you know if recent storms have had a hazardous impact on your family’s safety.

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