Wind can wreak havoc on your roof. Even mild winds can gradually cause damage over time, while strong winds from storms can instantly leave your roof in poor condition. Learning to identify and repair roof damage from wind is an essential homeowner skill. This guide will teach you how to spot common signs of wind damage on your roof and the steps to fix it.
What Types of Roof Damage From Wind Cause?
Wind can impact your roof in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most common types of damage to look out for:
Lifting or Loosening Shingles
Powerful gusts can lift and shift shingles. You may notice curled edges or areas where shingles have come loose from the adhesive. This leaves openings for water intrusion.
Blown Off Shingles
In extreme winds, whole shingles or sections can detach and blow away. Missing shingles will make your roof more vulnerable to leaks.
Cracking or Splitting
Certain roofing materials, like wood shakes, can crack or split over time when subjected to high winds. Cracks allow water to seep through.
Missing or Cracked Flashing
Wind may damage the metal flashing around chimneys, vents, and valleys, allowing leaks to enter.
Compromised Roof Deck
If wind lifts shingles completely off, the felt or decking underneath can crack or split, requiring repairs to the roof deck itself.
Straight-line solid winds or tornadoes can damage the roof structure, rafters, and framing.
Seam separations, bending, and wind gutter debris can impede proper drainage.
Signs Your Roof Has Wind Damage
If your area has experienced recent windstorms, be proactive about inspecting your roof for any signs of damage. Look for:
- Missing, cracked, curled, or overlapping shingles
- Shingles were blown away, exposing the underlying felt
- Exposed nail heads from lifted shingles
- Leaks or water stains on ceilings and attic
- Sunlight peeking through gaps in shingles
- Loose, damaged, or missing shingle tabs
- Granule loss gives shingles a worn, faded look
- Warping or damage around flashing areas
- Damaged or obstructed gutters
- Sagged or uneven roof deck
- Cracked or split wood shakes
- Bent or protruding nails
Check for leakage in your attic during or after windy conditions. Sunny days make it easier to identify gaps in roof decking. After a significant storm, conduct a thorough roof inspection to identify any areas needing repair.
When To Call A Professional Roofer
While minor wind damage, like a few lifted tabs or cracked shingles, can be DIY fixes, it’s wise to call a professional roofer for any more extensive damage. A competent roofer has the expertise, equipment, and access to unique supplies to properly repair wind-related roof damage.
Contact a roofer immediately if you have:
- Large missing shingle sections or full shingle blow-offs
- Visible damage to the roof deck or structure
- Significant granule loss over large areas
- Severe cracking/splitting of wood shakes
- Significant leaks, water stains, or moist ceilings/insulation
- Multiple damaged flashings
- Debris accumulation in gutters
Trying to repair these issues yourself can risk falls, injuries, and improper repairs that lead to even worse long-term damage. Your roofer can safely inspect, troubleshoot, and fix the full extent of storm damage.
Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Damage From Wind?
Generally, standard home insurance policies and insurance claims for roof damage from wind cover wind-damaged roofs. However, the exact amount of coverage and what is covered can vary depending on your specific policy. Do you know if Wawanesa home insurance covers roof damage from wind?
Wind damage is typically covered under a home insurance policy’s dwelling coverage or other structures coverage. This applies to damage caused by straight-line winds from storms or gusts that lift and tear shingles. Wind damage coverage includes trees or branches blown onto the roof during a storm.
Coverage amounts and deductibles for wind damage differ based on the details of your policy. There may be dollar limitations such as covering a certain amount per shingle. Older roofs also often have caps on coverage depending on the roof’s age and expected life span.
It’s important to note that home insurance policies do not cover damage from normal wear and tear over time. But they will cover damage if winds accelerate or worsen existing issues like cracked shingles. Your insurer may want to conduct a roof inspection to determine if wind was the primary cause of the damage.
Add a windstorm rider to your policy if available to get the best wind damage coverage. This provides enhanced coverage amounts beyond the standard policy limits. You can also opt for a roof warranty to help cover deductibles in a wind damage claim.
Checking your policy specifics and being aware of exclusions is critical to understanding how much wind damage will be covered. But in general, home insurance does protect against roof damage caused directly by windstorms or falling debris in winds. Knowing coverage details prepares you in the event your roof suffers storm-related damage.
DIY Repairs For Minor Wind Damage
For small shingle issues limited to a few tabs or minor cracks, basic DIY repairs using roofing adhesive and replacement shingles can temporarily protect your roof until professional maintenance is possible.
Follow these tips for safely making minor wind damage fixes:
Purchase matching shingles
Take a damaged shingle sample to the store to get the closest match to your existing shingles in color, size, shape, and texture. Your roofer can provide official replacements later.
Use roofing adhesive or sealant.
Particular tar or rubberized adhesives/sealants made for roofing are available. Follow product directions and apply a quality sealant under loose or cracked shingles to re-adhere them. Apply carefully to avoid getting sealant on other shingles.
Secure curled corners
You can carefully nail down problem spots with short roofing nails for mild corner curling and apply sealant/adhesive.
Replace broken tabs
Broken individual tabs can be replaced without doing a complete shingle replacement. Carefully pry up the intact sections and remove old tabs. Insert new matching tabs appropriately aligned under the tabs above. Re-secure with roofing nails and apply sealant around the edges.
Cover exposed areas
Where the wind has fully lifted off shingles, exposing large areas, cut pieces of new shingle to cover the holes as you await full repairs. Adhere to these with sealant and nails along the edges.
Remove any branches, leaves, and dirt washed up by winds to allow proper drainage.
Exercise extreme caution and follow proper safety protocols when doing roof work. Ensure right slope footing, wear fall protection harnesses clipped to anchors, work with a partner, don’t go up on wet roofs, etc. Stop immediately if conditions seem unsafe.
How Roofing Contractors Repair Wind Damage
For comprehensive wind damage repairs, a professional roofer has the skills, equipment, and products to fix roof issues, including:
Full shingle replacement
They will identify and replace all damaged, cracked, or missing shingles with matching ones to restore your roof’s integrity.
Areas of compromised decking will be repaired and reinforced as needed.
The damaged metal step, valley, chimney, and vent flashings will be replaced. New flashings may be sealed for added wind resistance.
Sealing and adhesives
They’ll apply industrial roofing sealants and adhesives under loose shingles and around flashing.
They can install bracing and supports to strengthen framing for roof structure damage. Trusses may be straightened or replaced.
Wind-resistant roof products like hurricane clips, sealant strips, or special nails may be applied to enhance windproofing.
Gutter and drainage corrections
They’ll realign, secure, and clean gutters and drainage to prevent interior leaking.
Damage around vents will be fixed. New vents may be installed to improve airflow and prevent wind suction.
All roof materials, layers, and structures will be inspected for hidden damage or required repairs.
Choosing an established local roofing company with proper licensing, insurance, and a good reputation is critical to correctly performing quality wind damage repairs. The company should handle any permits and follow building codes.
Preventing Wind Damage To Your Roof
While we can’t avoid wind altogether, specific maintenance and roofing choices can help minimize potential wind damage:
Metal roofing, like steel or copper, is inherently more wind-resistant than shingles. The elongated panels interlock for strength. If you need a new roof, metal is a sturdy option.
Shingles with a low profile hug the deck better in the wind. Thick wood shakes are more vulnerable.
”Hurricane shingles” have unique sealant strips that bond together from wind pressure. There are also impact-resistant composite options.
Ensure shingles are correctly installed with adequate nails, tar paper, and sealing. This prevents lifting.
Regular Inspections & Maintenance
Over time, replace old or damaged shingles. Keep the roof clear of debris. Check flashing seals and repaint when needed.
Proper attic ventilation balances interior and exterior air pressures. This minimizes shingle lifting from winds flowing over your roof.
Continuous ridge venting along the roof’s peak allows smooth wind flow up and over the roof, reducing pressure.
Wind Resistant Edge
Shingle edge designs that resist uplift are available. Alternatives like roof edge spline systems also counter lift.
Storm Bracing & Clips
Bracing boards can be installed for hurricane regions to provide additional wind resistance. Special clips can also fasten to framing and grip shingles.
Preparing your roof to handle wind through innovative materials and design choices will help prevent damage and save you headaches.
Wind can seriously damage roofing, but with the ability to identify problems early and make proper repairs, homeowners can minimize the impacts. Control what you can by inspecting for damage after windy weather and using preventative maintenance and wind-resistant materials. When significant roof damage from wind does occur, have confidence in relying on professional roofing contractors with experience dealing with storm repairs. They have the skills to assess and fix wind damage comprehensively, strengthening your roof against future events. With vigilance and prompt response, your roof can withstand the inevitable winds and storms that come its way.
What wind speed starts damaging shingles?
Shingles may lift or become damaged at sustained winds above 50 mph or gusts exceeding 65 mph. Heavier winds above 80 mph significantly increase the likelihood of significant shingle and roof damage from wind.
Does homeowners insurance cover wind damage to roofs?
Standard homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage, but the amount depends on your specific policy. There may be deductions for the age or condition of the roof. Additional wind damage riders can provide enhanced coverage in some cases.
What is the difference between a windstorm and hailstorm roof damage?
Wind damage often tears shingles or shifts them out of place. Hailstones dent and fracture shingle surfaces. Wind also typically causes flashing issues, while hail damages vents. Combined wind and hail can be incredibly destructive.
Can missing shingles be patched, or do they need total replacement?
If just a few scattered tabs or shingles are damaged, matching replacements can be patched in. But if wind caused multiple shingles to blow off in an area, whole sections or the entire roof likely need replacement for reliable performance.
Is it safe to climb on my roof to inspect wind damage?
Steep or wet roofs can pose serious safety hazards. Use extreme caution or avoid climbing up altogether. If possible, inspect from the ground with binoculars or a drone. Have professionals do up-close inspections. Safety should be the first concern.