Wind poses a substantial risk to roofs, threatening the safety and structural integrity of our homes and businesses. Particularly in Florida, where hurricanes and tropical storms are part and parcel of the weather, property owners must remain vigilant.
But it’s not just these major weather events; smaller storms can also inflict significant wind damage to roofs. Hence, as a proactive homeowner, understanding the signs of wind damage on your roof is key to preventing small issues from spiraling into severe problems.
The Power of Wind
Wind is a powerful force, and, of course, the higher the wind speed, the more likely it will be to cause damage to roofs.
Low Risk (45-57 mph)
These wind speeds correspond to a tropical storm or lower-end severe thunderstorm. There’s a lower risk of significant roof damage, although loose shingles or roofing material may still be affected.
Medium Risk (58-73 mph)
This wind speed range matches the strength of a strong tropical storm or low-end Category 1 hurricane. At these speeds, there is a medium risk of damage. You may see more significant damage to shingles and roofing materials, especially on older roofs or poorly maintained structures.
High Risk (74+ mph)
At this wind speed, we’re dealing with a Category 1 hurricane or stronger. The risk of significant roof damage is high. Even well-maintained roofs can suffer substantial damage, including loss of shingles and potential structural harm.
For more detailed information about wind speeds and their potential to cause damage, you can check out this resource: Beaufort Wind Scale.
Wind does not distribute its force evenly across your roof. Instead, it concentrates its power on the corners and periphery, gradually loosening shingles or other roofing materials.
As wind speed escalates, it can lift and peel off roofing materials, exposing the underlayment and decking. This exposure leads to increased vulnerability, where even moderate rainfall can penetrate the roof, causing leaks and potential water damage inside your home.
Wind can also drive debris, like tree branches, against your roof, causing further physical damage. Understanding this pattern of wind damage is crucial, as early detection can prevent minor issues from developing into major, costly repairs.
Recognizing Wind Damage on Your Roof
Spotting wind damage is crucial to maintaining the health of your roof. Here are some signs that wind has damaged your roof:
One of the most obvious signs of wind damage is missing shingles. Shingles blown off leave your roof’s underlayment exposed and vulnerable to further damage.
Cracked or Broken Shingles
High-speed winds can cause shingles to crack or break. Damaged shingles can’t effectively protect your roof from water leakage and other elemental damage.
Granules in Gutters
If you spot an unusually large amount of granules from asphalt shingles in your gutters or around your property, wind may be the culprit. Granules protect the asphalt from the sun. When they are lost, the shingle’s lifespan is significantly reduced.
Leaks Inside Your Home
Leaks or water stains on your walls or ceilings could be a sign that wind damage to your roof has allowed water to seep into your home.
Wind Damage and Your Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide wind damage to roof insurance coverage. However, the degree of coverage can vary based on your specific policy and the extent of the damage.
Consult with your insurance company to understand your coverage better.
What To Do If Your Roof Has Wind Damage
Discovering wind damage on your roof can be alarming, but it’s important not to panic. By taking the right steps, you can ensure that your roof gets the necessary repairs and minimizes further damage to your home. Here’s what you should do if you find that your roof has suffered wind damage:
Take Steps (Safely) to Prevent Further Damage
The first thing you should do is take immediate steps to prevent further damage to your roof, but only if it’s safe for you to do so. Here’s what you can do:
- Cover damaged areas. If a large section of your roof is exposed or damaged, consider using a tarp to cover it temporarily. This can prevent water from entering your home and causing further damage. Make sure you do this safely, avoiding any attempt to cover the roof in stormy conditions.
- Secure loose objects around your home. After the wind has died down, inspect your yard and secure loose objects that could potentially be picked up by the wind and cause additional damage in future storms.
- Clear debris. Safely remove any debris on your roof to prevent further damage to the shingles or other roofing materials. Again, only attempt this if you can do so safely from the ground.
- Remember, while these steps can help prevent further damage, they are temporary solutions. A professional roofer should be contacted as soon as possible to properly assess and repair the damage. Your safety is the top priority, so never attempt to make roof repairs yourself if it involves risking your well-being.
Document the Damage
Use a camera or smartphone to take clear photos and videos of all the areas where you see damage. This includes any missing or damaged shingles, leaks inside your home, or other visible signs of harm. This documentation will be important if you need to make an insurance claim.
Call a Professional Roofing Company
While waiting for the insurance adjuster, it’s a good idea to contact a professional roofing company. These professionals can perform a thorough inspection and assess the full extent of the damage. They can also provide a comprehensive estimate for repairs or replacement, which you can compare with your insurance adjuster’s estimate. This ensures you get a fair assessment of the repair costs.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve documented the damage and contacted a roofing contractor, contact your homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible. Most homeowner’s insurance policies include some coverage for wind damage, but every policy is different. Your insurer will guide you through the process of filing a claim. They will likely send an adjuster to inspect the damage and determine the compensation amount. The photos and videos you took earlier will be helpful during this inspection.
By taking these steps after discovering wind damage on your roof, you can protect your home and ensure that your roof gets the attention it needs. Remember, swift action is key to minimizing the impact of wind damage and preserving the integrity of your home.
Stronghold Roofing & Solar
At Stronghold Roofing & Solar, we have experienced roofers who specialize in wind damage assessment and repairs. As one of the best roofing companies in Florida, we’re committed to helping homeowners recover quickly from wind damage. We offer comprehensive roofing services, and our team can work with your insurance company to streamline the repair process.
We’re not just a roofing company; we’re your neighbors, and we’re here to help ensure that your home stands strong against whatever weather Florida has in store. From initial free roof consultation to final inspection, our focus is on your satisfaction. We understand the trust you place in us when you choose us as your roofing company, and we’re determined to exceed your expectations. After all, we’re not just working on houses; we’re working on homes.
Contact us today for a no-obligation roof inspection!