Roofs are designed to protect the rest of your home and everything inside from the elements for decades. However, severe weather events (particularly, those involving high wind speeds) can easily interfere with the average roof’s integrity and turn into a costly replacement.
Roof wind damage is actually one of the primary reasons homeowners insurance claims are filed. However, wind damage can be a bit more difficult to pinpoint compared to other types of storm damage.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about spotting roof wind damage and when to take action.
What Does Roof Wind Damage Look Like?
Wind damage can present itself in a number of unrelated ways which is what makes it a bit difficult to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for. On top of that, certain areas of your roof will be more vulnerable to wind damage, such as the fascia. If your roof is already weak from age or prior damage, there won’t be anything stopping high winds from getting below your shingles and pushing them upward — paving the way for more roof damage.
When it comes to getting to know roof wind damage, here are some important facts all homeowners should know:
- The eaves and fascia of the roof are the most vulnerable areas to high wind speeds and pressure.
- The center of the roof (up to the roofline) is the structurally strongest area and can generally withstand wind speeds of varying degrees.
- High wind speeds are also usually the culprit behind all kinds of debris moving across a roof’s surface. This can include anything from broken glass shards to entire tree branches — all of which can end up causing more than just wind damage.
For wind to be a potential risk for your roofing, it’ll need to be traveling between 40 and 90 miles per hour. With anything over 90 miles per hour, you can fully expect damage to occur, and this goes for both wind gusts and sustained winds over time.
Either way, here’s what to look for once the winds calm down:
- Wind damaged shingles — meaning they’re curled, loose, peeling, or missing completely.
- Granule loss, which will present itself as bald spots on damaged shingles and potentially clogged gutters.
- Debris that has piled up.
- Insulation that has become exposed (this can end up leading to water damage if it starts raining).
- Damaged fascia
- Damaged soffits
- Chimney issues
How to Inspect For Roof Wind Damage
After any significant storm, it’s necessary to check for roof damage. That way you can have it taken care of before it worsens. Luckily, the process is fairly quick and simple, just follow these three steps:
- Do a perimeter check. Start by examining the exterior of your home from the ground up. Check for granules in your downspouts, shattered glass, fallen trees, and damaged siding. Then look up to your roof and see if you notice any curled shingles, damaged roof flashing, lop-sided gutters, etc.
- Do an interior inspection. Next, you’ll need to inspect the inside of your home. Specifically, the top floor ceilings and walls and your attic space. This is where you’ll notice more universal signs of storm damage, such as water stains, obvious leaks, weak spots, and peeling paint. In the attic, you may encounter wood rot and noticeable drafts, as well as wet insulation.
- Take a look at your energy bill. Another sneaky sign of wind damage is a higher-than-usual energy bill. This is true for other types of roof damage, however, a spike in your energy bill can signify that your ventilation system has been compromised by heavy winds. So, if you don’t notice immediate roof wind damage, take a look at next month’s energy bill and compare it to last month’s to be certain.
It should be noted that it’s never recommended that you climb up on top of your roof and look around — especially after a severe storm. Therefore, whether you notice that there’s wind damage or simply suspect it, the next step is to call a professional roofer and schedule an inspection.
What to Do When There’s Wind Damage: 3 Steps
Finding roof damage is one thing. Knowing how to handle that damage is another. Once you notice damaged shingles, damaged chimney flashing, clogged or damaged vents, etc, you need to act quickly before it turns into serious structural damage.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1) Call Your Homeowners Insurance Company
When there’s any type of storm damage, you’ll need to review your policy and file an insurance claim right away. You’ll want to speak with an agent to find out exactly what you need to do, what your policy covers, and how to fill out and submit the claims form.
2) Find a Reliable Roofing Contractor
As mentioned above, you need to have your roof inspected by a trusted roofing professional. A good company will provide emergency services for storm damage, a thorough inspection report, and insurance claims assistance. (This step is incredibly important as you’ll need the inspection report to fill out your claim).
3) Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster
Once you’ve filed your claim, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damages based on that claim. They also decide whether or not your claim is approved, so it’s important to have your roofing contractor meet with them on the day they’re scheduled to come.
Has Your Roof Sustained Wind Damage?
Dealing with a wind damaged roof can be very stressful, especially if it’s severe. As long as you act quickly and have the right roofers on your side, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
When you’re dealing with any kind of roofing issues, Distinctive Roofing is on your side. Rain or shine, we guarantee our full attention and quality workmanship. Get in touch with us today (or as soon as you notice damage to your roof) for a free inspection and no-obligation estimate. We also offer special financing plans in case your homeowners insurance company denies your claim!