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Understanding Hail And Wind Roof Damage


The biggest threats to your roof are often weather related – hail storms and exceptionally strong winds can cause much damage to the shingles on your roof. While the durability and resistance to such conditions has been ever-increasing in the world of roofing shingles, not all are equally resistant to this type of damage. Each shingle is rated differently in regards to severe weather conditions and the prices vary widely. Hail and wind damage are among the top reasons that home owners file insurance claims on their roofs – knowledge of how this damage takes place and the ways in which the roof is affected is useful to any home owner.

Hail Damage

It is not uncommon for entire regions to be hit by a chance hail storm at once. As a result, a number of homes within a small or even large area may experience roof damage. Older roofs are typically more susceptible to this type of damage – in part due to the standards in shingle construction at the time they were made but also due to the age of the roof itself. When hail is large enough and brings with it enough force, the granules on asphalt shingles can be chipped away. The result from a hail storm is often indicated by a number of dark spots on the roof where a significant amount of the roof has been hit. In severe cases, shingle may be missing from the roof and indicating cracking as well. The problems that this damage causes are far-reaching – this can cause leaking due to moisture penetrating the roofs protective barriers. This leaking of moisture further into the roof structure can cause the formation of molds and even cause the wood deck underneath the shingles to rot. If this sort of damage is left unchecked, the entire roof structure can deteriorate and in the worst case, collapse.

Wind Damage

Though sometimes invisible, the damage resulting from excessively high winds is often quite easy to see. This is especially a concern for home owners who live in regions that are subject to hurricanes or tornados, though wind damage can occur during storms of lesser magnitude as well. Modern roof shingles are better designed than their predecessors in terms of wind resistance due to ever-increasing standards and knowledge, but there is often little that can be done to prevent wind damage in the most extreme conditions. One reason that wind damages roofs is that it does not hit all parts of the roof evenly – some areas experience greater force. This is why wind-damaged roofs often appear to have been affected only in particular spots of the structure – the visual effect that this leaves is that the shingles have been peeled upward. The perimeter or edges of the roof are easily affected by high winds in this way, as the edge of a roof is particularly vulnerable to lifting on many structures unless preventive measures have been implemented in the structure to account for potentially damaging winds. Often more damaging than the wind itself is the flying debris that powerful storms can cause. Trees with overarching branches that hover over the roof structure are potential causes for damage as well and should be trimmed or otherwise taken care of as a general precaution.

As you can see, both hail and wind damage can be major threats to the integrity of your roof. Though damage from one storm may be minimal, over time there is a cumulative effect that can further weaken the entire structure. Once any considerable damage has been suspected or observed, steps should be taken to discuss with your insurance company and roofing contractor how to repair or replace the damaged roof. Not only do modern shingles provide better protection from the elements than those found on older roofs, but a job well done could potentially prevent considerable damage in the future.
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