When most homeowners consider the weather conditions that can damage a roof, they rarely think about wind. With the exception of hurricanes and tornadoes, you might not think that wind could affect your home’s roof at all. On the contrary, high winds can impact your roof with almost as much damage as a tornado or hurricane. It’s important to know how these windstorms can damage a roof, and what happens you do not repair the damages.
Problems With Your Roof Before a Windstorm Hits
If you don’t have your roof regularly inspected, it can lead to greater damage during a windstorm. Without knowing that you have curling or loose shingles already, you run the risk of having shingles completely lifted off and torn away during the windstorm. Lost shingles leads to water damage and roof rot, not to mention water damage in the ceilings and walls of your uppermost rooms. (If you have a single-story home, the water damage will appear in the walls and ceilings right over your head.)
How a Roof Can Be Damaged in a Windstorm
Tornadoes and hurricanes aside, high velocity winds do their own bit of damage. Even the roofs in the best of shape can suffer damage if the wind gusts are strong enough. Anything over forty miles per hour over the course of thirty minutes or more can cause damage to your roof.
Winds can lift, bend, twist or even break off areas of the shingles. Tree branches can snap and fall on the roof. Electrical or communications lines can snap and land on the roof creating sparks and wrecking the shingles. Add to these conditions any precipitation, snow, ice, hail, etc., and the damage multiplies.
Once the top layer of protection on your roof has been damaged, the rest of your roof underneath is exposed to the elements. Since your roof protects your entire home from outdoor elements, the loss of the protective layer means that your entire home is at risk. While you can’t do much to fix the situation as it occurs, you can make repairs almost immediately after the storm.
If the roof is severely damaged by fallen trees or tree limbs, then your home becomes inhabitable until repairs are made. The trees or tree limbs have to be lifted off of the caved in roof before restoration efforts can begin. A contractor can protect your home with tarps while the work is being done.