Just because a storm wasn’t a tornado or hail does not mean you didn’t sustain roof damage. In fact, high winds are one of the top causes of roof damage. And while most roofs are built to withstand at least 60 mph winds, even a typical thunderstorm can bring damaging winds with gusts far higher than that.
If this makes you nervous, don’t be. Wind damage can be spotted easily and dealt with quickly to protect your home from future storms. This guide will help you spot wind damage and know what to do if you find it.
How Fast Does Wind Need to Be to Damage a Roof?
The wind speed at which your roof begins to suffer damage depends on a few factors: the age and design of your roof, the wind’s direction relative to your home, and the type of roofing material.
There are different ratings as set forth by the ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) that can determine how much wind resistance a shingle is built to withstand.
Shingles undergo rigorous testing to determine their rating; for example, ASTM D3161 is a standard testing method for wind resistance on steeply sloped roofs. Meanwhile, ASTM D7158 is a standard testing method for wind resistance on sealed asphalt shingles, a.k.a. it tests for lifting due to wind. Those ratings look like the following:
Wind Resistance—Steep Slope (fan-blown method)
- Class A for shingles that passed testing at 60 mph
- Class D for shingles that passed testing at 90 mph
- Class F for shingles that passed testing at 110 mph
Wind Resistance—Sealed Shingles (uplift-force method)
- Class D resists uplift at wind speeds up to 90 mph
- Class G resists uplift at wind speeds up to 120 mph
- Class H resists uplift at wind speeds up to 150 mph
For the most part, all asphalt roofing shingles carry the same wind resistance classifications: Class F and Class H. However, it’s important to note that shingle ratings and wind warranties may not be the same, and you should always check your manufacturer’s warranty. But most roofing materials will be able to resist typical wind loads of under 50mph.
So to answer the question: how fast does wind need to be to damage a roof? Any amount can technically damage a roof, mainly if the roof is older, weakened from prior damage, or the wind carries debris or hail along with it.
But a good rule of thumb is that anything over 60mph should be inspected for signs of damage. This leads us to our next point: how to tell if you have wind damage on your roof.
How Does Wind Damage Your Roof?
How wind damages your roof isn’t always the same, and as we stated before, the age and condition of your roof can play a significant factor in how susceptible it may be to wind damage. Regardless, wind can damage your roof in many ways.
- It can create pressure on (or in) your roof and attic that causes it to warp and shift, which can in itself cause damage such as lifting shingles or breaking them loose from their tight seal.
- Wind can carry with it debris, hail, rain, and other things that, when pummeled towards your roof at high speeds, can cause pretty severe damage.
- Certain types of roofs, such as gable or butterfly roofs with large overhangs, can be more susceptible to being lifted during severe wind storms. This doesn’t necessarily mean your roof is lifted off your home, but that upward wind can cause shingles to lift up in large sections or even blow them off completely.
- Wind can also, over time, loosen the edges of your shingles to the point where the nails come loose and small leaks can start to happen.
So, it’s not always immediate damage, but rather wear and tear throughout the life of your roof as well. Paying attention to your shingles’ wind resistance rating and ensuring you get adequate wind damage coverage from your warranties and homeowners insurance can help avoid the pain and expense of wind damage should it ever occur.
5 Steps to Take if You Suspect Wind Damage
If you see any of those signs, it’s time to call in a roofing professional for an inspection. A roofing inspection means someone will come and do a thorough walk-through of your property, pinpointing where wind damage may have occurred and determining if it’s new or old damage. The roofer or inspector uses this information to develop an accurate estimate and solution for repairs.
If you suspect wind damage on your roof, take the following steps:
- Do a walkthrough of your property (if it is safe to do s), and document any potential damage.
- Check for any water leaks on the interior of your home, and mitigate further damage with buckets or tarp.
- Call Impact Roofing to schedule an inspection.
- Ensure any emergency tarping or repairs happen ASAP.
- Schedule your roof’s repair or total replacement as the inspection deems necessary.
11 Tell-Tale Signs of a Wind Damaged Roof
Wind damage to your roof is not a one-size-fits-all event. Some damage may be blatantly obvious, while other damage could be underlying and, if left alone, could turn into something bigger and more extensive.
Some clear signs of wind damage include:
- Fallen trees, branches, or limbs. These can puncture right through your shingles.
- Curled or missing shingles.
- Blown-off areas that have lifted large sections of shingles to reveal the underlayment.
- Missing or peeled back flashing.
- Fallen gutters or downspouts.
Some not-so-obvious signs of wind damage may look like this:
- Debris clogging your gutters.
- Lines or scratches from debris being raked across your shingles.
- Damaged vents, soffits, flashing, gutters.
- Curled or raised shingles that look like they may have been lifted.
- Lines on shingle edges where they may have bent upwards.
- Cracked flashing.
While many of these signs can be indicators of other issues, they are all reasons to get a roof inspection. Maintaining your roof and catching repairs early are the two ways you can prolong the life of your roof and prevent things like high energy bills, water leaks, and expensive repairs.
Tips for Getting Your Roof Repaired
The best thing you can do for your home and roof if you suspect wind damage is hire a reputable roofing contractor to make the repairs quickly and efficiently. Untrustworthy roofers or fly-by-night contractors might flock to town after a big wind storm to offer bad roofing work at an overly cheap price.
To avoid these situations, call on a team like Impact Roofing. Our expert roofers offer clear communication, education, support, and roof repair with integrity—we’ll never oversell you on something you don’t need.
Our job is to make sure you have a solid roof to protect your home and family. So call Impact Roofing at the first sign of wind damage so we can help your roof get back to its condition before the severe storm came through.