Wind: Stealthy Destruction

Removing a damaged portion of roof shingles.

People assume that storms and water are the only causes of damage to roofs, but wind is a stealthy enemy that can be a major contributor to roof damage.

How Wind Damages a Roof

When you walk outside on a spring day and feel a warm breeze on your skin, it's hard to think how something that feels so good can end up costing thousands in roof repairs. It's not the steady breeze that is the problem, but the strong wind gusts that are the culprit.

Shingles are traditionally simply nailed to the top of the roof and layered in such as way as to create an seal against water damage. High speed wind gusts and the ever changing direction of the wind can slowly loosen the shingles. Once the wind is able to catch under a shingle, then one good gust can lift it off the roof completely.

It's a good idea to do a quick survey of the roof after every big storm.

Many people tend to ignore wind damage on a roof because it's only a small section of the roof. This could be a very costly mistake. The roof on a home is like a shield against water. If there are any weaknesses, no matter how small, then the house is vulnerable. For example, if there is even one shingle loose or blown off a roof, then the rain has an access point into the home. The water can travel throughout the roof area and cause rotting and a leak. In fact, the inside leak can be very far away from where the water entered the home.

The sooner the wind damage is fixed, the less damage may be done to the roof.

The Perfect Storm

When wind damage is added to other factors such as clogged gutters it can be the perfect situation for serious problems. There are few issues more damaging to a roof that pooling water.

Wind damage plus pooling gives water ample opportunity to access the weakness in the roof. Unlike a rainstorm where the water only has time to enter the home while on its way to the gutter, pooling lets water slowly soak into the roof over time.

If wind damage is minor and caught early, then replacing a small portion of the shingles is all that needs to be done. If wind damage goes unchecked, then it can cause havoc with the entire roof structure and you may need to replace everything. This can very expensive even if you're doing the roofing yourself, not to mention the back breaking labor and time involved.

It doesn't take much time to survey your roof after a wind or rain storm and check for loose or ripped off shingles. This simple act can end up saving big money in the long run. Shingles that are loose can be strengthened, but once they are off or nearly off, then they simply need replaced.