Your roof is designed to put up with everything nature can dish out. Year after year, it shrugs off the elements, from heat waves to hailstorms. So how can wind damage your roof — and more importantly, what should you do when it happens?
How Does Wind Damage Roofs?
Although your roof is designed to cope with all sorts of weather, windstorms can be surprisingly destructive. Most roofs can handle winds up to 90 mph, and in areas prone to hurricanes, they’re designed for even higher winds. But in reality, it doesn’t take hurricane winds to damage your roof. According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, severe thunderstorms can generate winds exceeding 100 mph, about twice the 50-60 mph threshold for damaging winds. In fact, thunderstorms account for half of all severe damage in the lower 48 states.
The layout of your roof affects the likelihood of wind damage, by changing wind loading — the amount of force the wind applies to your roof. For example, houses with gables are more vulnerable than those with hip roofs. Certain areas of the roof, like the corners and eaves, are at greater risk of damage. The materials and installation also affect the resilience of your roof. Thinner or poor-quality shingles and substandard construction practices can make it more vulnerable to shedding shingles in a storm.
Although the wind itself can damage your roof, often what’s carried by the wind is a greater threat. Storms can bring heavy hail, pelt your roof with debris, or even bring down large tree limbs on top of your house.
Yet, the greatest factor is often simple wear. Over time, the sealant between shingles can fail, shingles can curl and crack, and repeated cycles of freezing and thawing can wear the shingles or rot the underlying structure — making it more vulnerable to wind damage.
How to Detect Wind Damage to Your Roof
After the storm, look for shingles on the ground and inspect your roof for missing shingles and other signs of wear. High winds can damage your shingles without tearing them off entirely. If a shingle comes unsealed and starts flapping in the wind, you may see horizontal creases on it, indicating it has been unsealed and damaged by flexing.
You should also look for other signs of aging, such as warping. If it looks like the corners of your roof are starting to curl up, or there’s a gap where the roof is separating from the fascia or soffit, your roof is damaged, and at risk of further damage from storms, freezing, and other severe weather.
What To Do When the Wind Damages Your Roof
You should visually inspect your roof after a severe storm. If you suspect damage, contact a licensed roofing contractor to evaluate your roof as soon as possible, and document any damage. Your contractor should document wind damage with both a written description and photos, and provide a detailed inventory of needed repairs along with a cost estimate — free of charge.
As soon as you schedule the inspection, find out what your insurance covers. Wind damage is generally covered by homeowners’ insurance. However, it’s a good idea to look at your manufacturer warranty and contractor warranty as well. If your roof fails as a result of sloppy workmanship or poor-quality materials, these warranties may come into play.
Contact your homeowners’ insurance provider promptly to report roof wind damage — you may be penalized if you wait too long. Your provider will send an inspector to look at the damage and inform you what they’re willing to pay out. Typically, roof coverage depreciates over time. If it’s been a decade or more since your roof has been replaced, your insurance may pay less. However, don’t take your insurer’s word for it — examine your homeowners’ insurance carefully, and stand up for yourself if your insurer tries to unfairly limit payouts.
Choose the Right Roofing Contractor
Dealing with storm damage can be a nightmare. You need a contractor who can help you navigate the process, and ensure you get quality roof repair at an affordable price, with the combination of know-how, integrity, and customer service skills to get the job done without breaking your budget.
That’s why Nu Look Home Design assigns each customer a Project Coordinator along with a Project Foreman overseeing a highly-trained roofing team. Our knowledgeable customer liaison helps us act as an advocate for you, and ensures the project is as stress-free as possible. Get a free, detailed estimate by calling Nu Look Home Design today!