When it comes to home insurance, roof damage and roof wind damage can make or break your coverage. While tornadoes and hurricanes account for quite a large amount of property damage claims, you might be surprised to find out that more than half of all serious roof damage claims in the lower 48 come from strong winds whipped up during violent thunderstorms. In the rare case that lightning is responsible, the damage can be extensive and potentially deadly. Damaging straight-line wind gusts come in the form of macrobursts, microbursts, tornadoes, and derecho occurrences which can lodge tornado-force winds much larger than 5 miles in diameter. Derecho events can cause wind speeds over a hundred miles per hour and result in devastating structural damage.
While the damage caused by hurricanes, tornados, and other wind-driven wind events is a typical claim made under home owner’s insurance policies, one of the more interesting aspects of this topic is the sheer number of occasions when homeowners actually file a claim even though they did not suffer any damage from a tornado or hurricane. While the majority of claims filed for wind-borne debris are for tornado-related damage, there are also claims filed due to claims of dislocated shingles, roof damage due to hail, damage caused by lightning (including the case of an apparent lightning strike that damaged an attic in McKinley, South Carolina last October), and roof wind damage that is caused by a hurricane. In several cases, there are indications that the homeowner was not even in the proximity of the storm when it blew up, as some claims involving winds of a certain degree have been made following local observations of the wind blowing the debris in that area. While it’s not unusual for such claims to be made following local wind directions, if the location where the claim is filed is not within a regularly designated hurricane distribution zone, there may be additional reasons for the claim. These could include inclement weather conditions or even luck (if there was good fortune).
Even though there are many different types of roof wind damage, the most common type is caused by high winds. In cases of this kind, the top layer of the roof has already been compromised by high winds, and debris has been forced to fly in from above. As the debris flies, it often results in cracking, shingling breakage, or even complete roof collapse. For this reason, any damage resulting from high winds should be addressed with an immediate roof replacement. No one wants to think about having their roof damaged during a storm, but in reality, it’s just something that’s bound to happen. For this reason, anyone who lives in a neighborhood that has experienced a large number of high winds should be prepared to have their roof repaired immediately following a storm.
Sudden heavy rains are another key factor that can lead to roof wind damage. Heavy rains can cause mudslides, which are similar to leaks in that they stem from drainage issues. Like leaks, mudslides can also lead to extensive amounts of roof damage.
High-velocity winds can also lead to significant roof damage. Strong winds can cause the metal to rust and lead to the expansion of moisture on the roof, leading to mold formation. While roof wind damage caused by strong winds can be repaired in most cases, it’s important to note that it’s best to have the roof replaced entirely in some cases. In these cases, a thorough inspection of the roof by Roof Repair Colorado Springs is crucial. The inspection will determine what repairs need to be made and which roof components can stay and be saved.
Several different factors can play a role in whether strong winds or other factors cause damage when it comes to roof wind damage. For example, older, shaded areas may not be vulnerable to strong winds. Likewise, the type of roof and insulation on a roof can impact whether or not it’s susceptible to wind damage. Furthermore, the age of a roof can determine how long it can remain standing without being damaged. While modern roofs are often stronger than older roofs, this isn’t always the case. As such, homeowners need to be aware of how much of a role roofing materials play in preventing roof wind damage.
The types of materials on a roof also play a role in whether or not roof wind damage occurs. For example, asphalt shingles tend to be less susceptible to damage when compared to other types of shingles. However, if a strong storm were to come through the area where asphalt shingles are used, they may become damaged and leak. Similarly, metal roofs may become damaged by wind if there are nails used in the installation and even if the roof is not completely flat.
Because most storms do hit neighborhoods throughout the United States at least four times during the year, it’s important to pay attention to how your home is built. If you live in an older home or one that has been built on a sloping lot, it’s essential to look out for roof wind damage during severe storms. Storms can damage your home significantly, even when minor. If you live in a neighborhood that has experienced severe storms in the past, getting in touch with a reliable roofing contractor to have your home inspected for safety measures is a smart move.