Roof Shingle Wind Damage – Clearing Up the Confusion

Jan 23, 2023

You may think that wind has not damaged your roof if you don’t see any shingles blown off. Think again. Wind can cause a multitude of damages to your roof that will decrease its life and leave it susceptible to leaks and further damage. And you may never even know it!

When the wind blows, it creates an enormous amount of pressure on the shingles. Damages don’t occur from the wind itself getting underneath the shingles, but rather from the vacuum-like forces created on the surface. Have you ever watched video of a tornado approaching a house, and suddenly the entire roof lifts off the house as though it were a lid? It is the same uplift force that can cause damage to your shingles, albeit on a smaller scale.

The first thing wind uplift will do to your shingles is break the adhesive seal. Once that seal is broken, the shingles become susceptible to tearing off completely. These loose shingles will often flap up and down during the next thunderstorm, allowing rainwater to get underneath, where it isn’t supposed to be! Wind driven rain can then cause leaks and damage the interior of your home. Though many insurance companies and their engineering firm partners claim a broken seal is not damage, there is no doubt that it is damage. The shingles must be sealed down in order to do their job correctly. Every manufacturers specification emphasizes the fact that the shingles must be sealed. At a bare minimum, these shingles must be hand-sealed back down. This may not be possible with older shingles, depending on their condition.

In some cases when the seal of the shingle is broken, it will cause de-lamination of that shingle, or the one it was sealed to. In this case, the shingle cannot simply be resealed. Both shingles must be replaced. It is very possible an entire roof could need replacement because of de-lamination, even though all of the shingles are still in place.

Another common form of damage caused by wind that cannot be seen from the ground is creasing. This happens when the seal has been broken, and with the shingle flapping in the wind, it folds it back far enough to form a crease. This will usually happen before the shingle tears off completely, which is the most obvious form of damage, and readily visible from the ground.

Don’t wait until your roof springs a leak! Have your roof inspected at least once a year, and following any major storm to insure you are aware of its condition. You may be able to get a new roof through your homeowners insurance!