There are a few important factors to consider when it comes to your roof’s long-term condition and value, and one that sometimes doesn’t get enough attention in this realm is wind. Wind will interact with your roof every time it passes through, and strong winds can even create damage or other concerns – but knowing the basics here, plus how to protect your roof, goes a long way.
At The Roof Doctor, we’re here to help with a huge range of residential roofing services in Salt Lake City, West Jordan and West Valley City areas, including roof replacement, roofing installation and more. Using asphalt shingles as our test case here because of their broad popularity and use on many roofs around Utah, let’s look at everything you need to know about roofs and wind – how the wind interacts with your shingles and other roof components, the factors that may affect how wind impacts your roof, and some simple ways of keeping the roof protected no matter the wind speed in your area.
How Wind Interacts With Shingles and Other Roof Components
Wind is a curious force, one that we live with all the time but often don’t think about too much. When it comes to roofs, though, it’s crucial to understand how wind can interact with shingles and other roof components like gutters, flashings and more.
When wind comes into contact with a structure like your home and your roof, there are some basic effects that tend to take place:
- Uplift pressure: This is the most common effect of wind on shingles and other roof components, caused by a combination of wind velocity and air pressure. In these cases, the shingle material will often stay in place, but the fasteners may come up slightly or even entirely. Uplift pressure tends to be highest at the corners of the roofline – this is because of how wind wraps around the corners of structures, creating a sort of vortex effect.
- Negative pressure: Also called suction pressure, this is a form of pressure created as wind moves along the surface of your roof. If the wind is strong enough, it can create a vacuum that pulls on components like shingles, causing damage or even dislodging them entirely.
- Raw horizontal force: In other cases, if wind is strong enough, it may generate an intense horizontal force that can cause shingles to be peeled up or blown off the roof entirely. This force can also manifest in other components like gutters.
Factors Impacting Wind’s Effects on Shingles
There are several factors that may have a major impact on how wind interacts with your shingles and other roof components:
- Wind speed: Obviously, the higher the wind speed, the more damaging its potential effects will be. The specific dynamic pressure of the wind is calculated by taking half of the air density times velocity squared – this value generally increases in proportion to wind speed.
- Home location and wind patterns: In general, coastal regions or hilltops may experience higher wind speeds more often than low-lying inland areas. In addition, roof design and placement can impact how winds affect shingles – for instance, if your home is on a corner lot with an adjacent street that directs wind directly toward your roof.
- Roof geometry and arrangement: Another nuanced factor that can impact wind’s effects is how your roof is arranged. For example, a hip-style roof will tend to handle wind much better than a gable roof due to its shape and angles.
- Installation, age and condition: Finally, the quality of your shingles and other roof components will play a major role in how they respond to wind – newer installations or replacements are generally less susceptible to damage.
Protecting Your Roof From Wind
Given all these factors at play, how can you ensure your roof stays protected from the wind? Here are some tips:
- Regular inspections: First and foremost, make sure to have your roof regularly inspected for damage or wear, especially in areas known for high winds.
- Proper installation and maintenance: When installing a new roof or replacing old shingles, make sure to hire reputable professionals who understand how to properly secure shingles and other components against wind damage.
- Additional reinforcement: In some cases, it may be worth investing in additional measures like hurricane straps or metal roofing – these can provide extra protection against wind uplift.
By keeping these factors in mind and staying proactive, you’ll give your roof the best chance of standing up to even powerful winds.
At The Roof Doctor, we’re proud to assist clients around SLC, West Jordan and West Valley City with roofing services of all kinds. To learn more about any of our services, or to schedule an appointment with our professionals, contact us today. We look forward to helping you protect your roof and your home for years to come.