While hail may be the ‘usual suspect’ that most homeowners associate with weather-related roof damage, high winds can also compromise the integrity of your roof system and lead to moisture infiltration issues such as leaks, which could result in issues such as mold growth.
In fact, according to ‘About IBHS’ & ‘DisasterSafety.org’, roof damage is present in 85 percent to 95 percent of wind-related insured property losses each year (source – https://www.disastersafety.org/high_winds/), so a wise homeowner will be mindful of the damage that can occur as a result of high winds and the post-storm actions that should be taken to ensure your roof is sound.
When properly installed, most standard asphalt shingles come with a wind resistance rating of 110 mph when properly installed, which means that shingles are designed to remain fixed to your roof in all but the most extreme winds (if you live in an area prone to high winds it is recommended that you contact a roofing professional or manufacturer to find out which shingles are best for you). Yet wind damage is not limited to shingle blow off or loose shingles. High winds can result in downed trees and tree limbs, and also turn everyday objects like patio furniture into high-velocity projectiles. In these instances the result is a physical impact that damages the roof cover, and possibly the supporting structural materials beneath.
Having a professional roofer inspect your roof immediately following any major storm where high winds were present is part of responsible home ownership. However, if you prefer to perform an inspection yourself, here are some key actions you should take:
- Walk around your home ‘post-storm’ and look for signs of trouble: fallen branches from trees that are over or close to your home, shingles or other components of your roof system (e.g. flashing, ventilation, edging) which have blown off the roof.
- Inspect your attic space for telltale signs of damage to your roof under ‘normal’ conditions: take a flashlight and inspect the attic space for things such as loose, wet, water stained or damaged decking, rafters, or insulation. Also look for places where light ‘leaks’ through your roof and into your attic.
- Leaks elsewhere in your home – ceiling and walls – can be a sign of water infiltration.
- Look for loose shingles or impact damage (impressions, missing granules or tearing). Also check that the gutters are secure and free of debris as well. Under no circumstances should you attempt to walk on a wet or icy roof, or go out onto a roof during a storm.
Should you discover any of these signs of trouble, contact a roofer for a professional inspection as soon as possible.