How A Strong Wind Can Damage Your Roof

Posted on: 27 May 2019

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Wind can cause serious damage to your roof. Below are some of the potential damages your roof can experience during a strong windstorm. If you find your roof has problems with any of the following, reach out to a roofing contractor for help with repairs.

Debris Accumulation

Some of the problems associated with wind damage stem from debris accumulation on the roof. Strong winds can pick up all manner of debris, such as tree leaves and dust, and deposit them on the roof. The deposit area determines the potential damage. Here are some parts of the roof that are likely to suffer as a result of debris accumulation.

The Gutters

Debris in the gutters causes damage in three main ways. First, the weight of the debris might overload the gutters and cause them to sag, detach from the roof, or break at the seams. Secondly, the debris blocks the flow of water along the gutters, and the blocked water might overflow over the sides of the gutters or back under the roof. Lastly, the debris also prevents the gutters from drying up in time, and constantly moist gutters are susceptible to corrosion.

The Roof Valleys

Roof valleys are low points of the roof where two or more sections of the roof meet. These are the places where roof debris is most likely to accumulate during a windstorm. Debris in the valley will interfere with roof drainage and increase the risk of roof leaks. The debris also prevents the roof from drying out in time, which leads to deterioration of roof materials.

The Roof Vents

Lastly, the roof debris may also block the roof vents. Blocked roof vents can lead to multiple plumbing problems such as slow or blocked drains.

Falling Trees or Tree Branches

A serious windstorm can uproot trees or break tree branches and send them crashing on your roof. The trees can crack roofing shingles, loosen the shingles, damage roof flashing, and affect other parts of the roof. The nature of the damage determines the long-term consequences. However, roof leaks are almost guaranteed if you don't repair the damaged sections of the roof. There is also a chance that the next wind might cause even more extensive damage if you don't fix the initial issues.

Loosened Materials (Gutters, Shingles, and Flashing)

The action of the wind itself can also loosen various parts of the roof. For example, it can loosen the following:

  • Flashing – flashing provides waterproofing to roof joints. Loosened flashing means the next rainfall or snowfall may leak water into the house.
  • Shingles – wind can also uplift shingles and expose the underlayment to further damage that may end in a leaking roof.
  • Gutters – wind can also loosen the gutters and interfere with their pitch such that subsequent water from the roof doesn't fall directly into the gutters.

Note that the loosened materials will be susceptible to further damage if you don't fix them. For example, loose shingles can fly off the roof the next time they experience strong wind forces.