First off, most storm and hurricane roofing damage is done to a shingle roof, which is also the most common roof on a home in Florida today.  Mostly because of the economical nature of installing and replacing a shingle roof, although that tune has been changing in recent years toward metal roofs.

Today, we will focus on why storms and hurricanes damage a shingle roof, and of course, what you can do to limit the impending damage should a severe storm come your way.

Impacts on a shingle roof

Hurricane season in the United States ranges from June 1st until November 30th of each year. Although a hurricane can happen at any time during this period, they’re most likely to strike Florida in September or October.

Hurricane winds can bring significant storm damage to your home and property. One of the things most impacted by these severe storms is your roof.

High Winds Damage Shingles and Windows

We all know firsthand that severe storms can produce incredibly high winds. These winds are relentless and can severely thrash against everything in their way. Of course, the one area that is particularly vulnerable to these strong winds is the roof and windows of a home.

When either the roof or windows get breached, it leaves your home susceptible to rain, hail, and other potentially damaging elements. If the shingles continue to lift and curl, they may eventually rip off entirely, leaving your roof exposed and vulnerable.  If a window gets busted, the inside of the home becomes exposed to the harsh elements.

Exposed Roof Decking

Wind gusts can be powerful enough to strip shingles right off a roof, especially if those shingles aren’t fastened securely. Imagine lifting the lid off a box; if it isn’t tight, it comes off easily. Similarly, when shingles are torn away, the roof’s decking—or its foundational layer—is left exposed.  If left untreated, this can lead to further damage and potentially even structural issues. (yikes!)

Loose Roofing Nails

High winds are a significant issue because, over time, the repeating forces of the winds can cause the roofing nails holding your shingles in place to actually wiggle free. Once this happens, your shingles are at risk of damage or even being blown off during a storm.  As we showed in a recent social media post, a fast-flying shingle off your neighbors roof can fly through a window, causing havoc around the entire neighborhood.

Cracked or Broken Shingles

When strong winds rush through an area, they can be especially tough on older, brittle shingles. These shingles, weakened by years of wear and changing weather, may not be flexible enough to withstand the force of high winds. The result? They can crack or even break.  This is why Florida insurers are now requiring homeowners to replace their roofs much sooner then ever before, in most cases, every 15 years!

TIP #1

If your shingles show signs of cracking or breaking, don’t wait to have them replaced by a trusted roofing contractor  as soon as possible.

Debris Impact on a Roof

Shingles aren’t the only thing flying in those high winds, debris like tree branches and loose objects from your yard can also be blowing around. This flying debris can crash into your roof, causing shingle damage. These impacts are concerning because even small punctures into a shingle and through the decking can allow water to get in and start causing problems before the storm is even over.

Tree branches are left on the roof can scrape and damage the shingles as the wind continues to blow after the storm has passed.

TIP #2

To prevent expensive repairs, keep trees trimmed and yard items secured.  Tree limbs should not be touching the home sides or roof.  And while you are trimming, trim limbs that may be growing close to utility lines.

Structural Damage to Roofing Trusses

Trusses are like the bones of the roof holding everything up. The very framework of the roof, can be affected by a severe storm.  Since they are part of the structure of the home, damage to trusses can lead to serious safety concerns and the need for extensive repairs.

Wind Direction during a Storm

Wind speed and direction are two of the many variables that meteorologists keep track of when observing the weather. The speed and direction of the wind can hold vital clues to understanding the weather and play a major role in forecasting future conditions.

Windstorms are one of the most destructive natural disasters that can strike any place in the world. These powerful storms can cause massive damage to homes, buildings, and other structures, leaving homeowners with costly repairs and significant losses.

Understanding the science behind windstorm damage can help homeowners prepare and protect their homes from the devastating effects of these storms.

  1. Wind Speed and Pressure

The force of wind is one of the primary factors that determine the extent of damage caused by a windstorm. The speed and pressure of the wind can cause significant damage to a home’s roof, walls, and windows. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), wind speeds of 74 mph or higher are considered hurricane-force winds, which can cause catastrophic damage to homes and buildings.

  1. Wind Direction

The direction of the wind during a windstorm can also impact the extent of damage caused to a home. For example, wind that blows directly into a home’s gable end can put significant pressure on the roof and cause it to lift or collapse. Similarly, winds that blow from the side of a building can cause windows to break and walls to collapse.

While we have done our best to explain the nature of the effects high winds can have on your home during a severe storm or hurricane, there is no better action to take then talking to a licensed contractor.  To help our clients stay safe, we offer a free roofing inspection every 5 years.  Akin to a regular oil change, we recommend having the inspection done during the summer before the heavy storms come.  Peace of mind knowing that your roof is in good shape, is one thing you can take off your annual disaster preparation list.  Keeping your family safe is our top priority and we hope this short post helps you obtain some peace of mind.