Most people associate wind damage with a major storm like a tornado or hurricane. While it is true that tornados can cause catastrophic damage to your property, it is also true that high winds from typical spring storms that happen this time of year can cause equally devastating damage to your roof.
Thankfully, your roof is tough and can make it through most storms unscathed. However, when that one bad storm arrives and causes damage, you want to get on top of repairing it quickly!
Wind damage to your property can occur when you experience any kind of storm or other weather event with high winds. Straight line winds (also known as damaging winds) are winds that come out of a thunderstorm. If this wind meets or exceeds 58 miles per hour then the storm is classified as severe by the National Weather Service.
When damaged trees and other structures are leaning in a uniform direction, the culprit is more than likely straight-line winds. Straight-line winds can uproot trees and toss various debris airborne. It is easy to see how straight-line winds cause damage to standing structures.
These types of winds are considered to be different from the types of winds that cause tornadoes. A tornado, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that progresses in a narrow path over the land. The National Weather Service defines a tornado as “a violently rotating column of air touching the ground, usually attached to the base of a thunderstorm.
Tornados are mother nature’s most violent storms. They are not always visible, sometimes hidden by rain or low-hanging clouds making some tornados only visible by the funnel made up of water droplets, dust, and debris. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. Winds of a tornado may top 250 miles per hour and clear a path in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. The average tornado travels 3.5 miles and can last from 10 seconds to more than an hour.
How Winds Can Damage Your Roof
Tornadoes do their destructive work through the combined action of their strong rotary winds and the impact of windborne debris. The force of the tornado’s winds pushes the windward wall of a building inward. The roof is lifted up and the other walls fall outward.
Some roof systems can withstand extreme winds. Older, more fatigued roof systems however, are more likely to suffer damage during high wind events.
The severity of damage to your roof is dependent upon several factors:
- Type and age of your existing roof system
- Quality of the installation of your existing roof system
- Speed and type of wind
- Presence and type of airborne debris
- Proximity to trees and other structures
What Do I Do Immediately?
If you suspect that your roof might have damage from a recent weather event, it is important to check as soon as possible after the storm or wind event (wait until the weather event has passed and it is safe to do so!). Looking on the ground for any shingles is an easy place to start as portions of your roof may not be visible from the ground. Do you see any lifted tabs on the portions of your roof that you can see? Do you see any missing shingles or lifted tabs on any of your neighbor’s roofs? These are all indicators that you have possible wind damage to your roof.
Other wind damage may not be easy to see from the ground or easily identifiable to the non-professional roofer. If your roof has been exposed to major winds, it is always best to contact a professional to inspect your roof. The contractor will also inspect the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, siding, and gutters since they can also become damaged by strong winds. Note that wind damage can look relatively minor at the beginning or even be tough to spot, but can quickly escalate over time, especially if you experience regular storms or high winds.
As the homeowner, you can also inspect the roof from inside the attic. This will show you a different view of potential damage or spots where roof leaks may occur.
Another beneficial piece of advice – document what you are finding around your property after a weather event. These images and videos will be invaluable if you need to make an insurance claim for wind damage.
Your local roofing contractor will be able to inspect your property and determine whether you have sustained enough damage to warrant a telephone call to your insurance agent! Wind damage claims are most often covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy – a call to your agent or a review of your policy should help you determine if you are covered for wind damage to your roof or other property.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH A LOCAL ROOFER
Choosing a qualified, dependable roofer is very important when storms damage your roof. The roofer should not only be able to handle the necessary repairs – or roof replacement, if necessary – but understand the insurance claim process completely.
Perhaps most importantly, you should choose a local roofer when storm damage occurs. Areas where storms frequently occur are often inundated with “storm chasers” who target homeowners but do not stick around to stand behind their work after it is finished.
Some other reasons to hire locally:
- Local contractors understand and comply with local building codes and requirements.
- You can set up face-to-face meetings and get references from other customers who live in the area.
- It is easier to develop a long-term relationship with a roofer who is from the same area. A relationship with a local roofer lasts well after the repair work is done.
Insurance Claims Assistance
If your local roofing contractor determines that your property has sustained enough damage to warrant a call to your insurance company, this will be your next step. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to come out and inspect your property damage. It is always advisable to have your selected contractor meet with your insurance company’s adjuster so they can go over all of the damage sustained together during a visit to your property.
All Roofing Products Are Not Created Equal
The difference between a good shingle and a great shingle is having SureNail® Technology, only available from Owens Corning on Duration® Series shingles. Patented SureNail® Technology features a wide, highly visible engineered fabric strip in the nailing zone for a consistent, quality installation, and Triple Layer Protection® for outstanding gripping power.
Why should you care about the nailing line? Even the best shingle can’t perform right if it’s not installed properly. And your shingles may not even be covered under the warranty if they are not fastened in the right place!
In a recent contractor survey, 9 out of 10 contractors* agree that versus other architectural shingles:
- SureNail® Technology provides the most visible nail zone in the industry.
- SureNail® Technology provides greater nail pull-through protection.
- The wider common bond in the Triple Layer Protection® of SureNail® Technology provides the greatest fastening power.
In fact, 98% of contractors say, “With SureNail®,I know exactly where to nail.” It’s easy to see why contractors feel Duration® Series shingles with SureNail® Technology are the most preferred for installation and the most reliable shingle on the market.