What is wind damage?

pulled up roofing materials

What is considered wind damage to a roof?

This year, 2020, has been a strange year for everyone, all around the globe. From killer hornet bees to COVID-19 to double hurricanes hitting the coast. Not to mention it is an election year, that is always good for entertainment. The weather is our topic today, more specifically, high winds and the wind damage to rooftops. 

Damaging winds, typically from strong thunderstorms, are also referred to straight-line winds because of the wind damage to roofs and other objects is different than tornado damage. There are several processes with damaging thunderstorm wind, with one being those winds are usually at ground level, the result of thunderstorm downdraft that generates an outflow. Those winds are clocked at fifty to sixty miles per hour. 

What is normal wind speed?

Well, this can all depend on where you’re located. For example, with 12.3 miles per hour, Boston is considered the windiest, and the calmest winds are in Phoenix, with winds measured at just over 6 miles per hour. On a typical day in the United States, the wind speed averages between six miles per hour to twelve miles per hour. 

Wait a minute!  Chicago, Illinois is known as the Windy City, right? Yes, that is the nickname Chi-Town has earned, but no, it is not the windiest city.  However, in 2019, that was dispelled by the wind speed data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, noted Chicago’s average daily wind speed was in Chicago was between three to four miles per hour. 

So, even California had a higher wind speed of eight miles per hour. Sorry Chicago fans, the windiest city stands to be Boston, Massachusetts. Couple those strong winds with the snow they get, you can imagine the amount of wind damage to roofs has in Boston! 

What wind gusts are dangerous?

Wind speed vs damage can vary. Mother Nature is a mad scientist that we can’t always predict. What seems like a mild wind can do wind damage to rooftops just like a strong wind can. It all depends on what angle the wind hits the roof. 

When winds get up to forty miles per hour, a high wind warning is issued. Winds at that speed will have gusts reaching fifty-eight miles per hour or higher.  The wind damage to roofs is typically from flying debris, tree limbs, and whole trees. If any shingles are loose on an asphalt roof, winds of forty miles per hour can rip them off, and any around them.  In addition to wind damage rooftops, there are downed power lines and collapsed buildings, roadways are blocked, and injuries and death are possible. 

What wind speed causes structural damage?

Wind damage at forty-seven miles per hour can cause light structural damage, and up to fifty-four miles per hour, the chances of light structural damage is more significant. Fifty-five to sixty-three miles per hour wind, in addition to considerable structural damage and wind damage to roofs, trees are uprooted. Any winds above 64 mph will leave widespread structural damage behind, more than just wind damage to roofs, but entire roofs ripped off houses.

shingle roof with minimal damage

Does insurance cover wind damage to shingles?

To know if your homeowner’s insurance is going to cover the repair or replacement due to wind damage to shingles is to review your policy or call your agent. Each policy is different, and the coverage can vary. Wind damage and homeowners insurance are not best friends, so know your policy, and you’ll minimize the chances of being aggravated, angry, and disappointed when you try to make a wind damage insurance claim. 

Insurance companies base roof coverage on the age, the current condition of the roof, condition of the gutters, and downspouts if you have any installed already. So, what kind of wind damage to the roof will most homeowner’s insurance pay? 

  • Wind damage to the roof caused by acts of God, such as hurricanes, straight-line winds, and tornados
  • Other insurance claims that most homeowner’s insurance will pay claims include: 
  • Unpreventable damage from fire or vandalism
  • Hail, rain, wind damage are covered in most cases. Again check your policy. These claims can be denied based on the age of your roof (after ten years old, a roof becomes questionable) and any signs of neglect. Regarding the age of your roof, the insurance company will likely pro-rate the amount they pay on your claim. 

The number one thing you should take from this article as a homeowner is keeping your roof maintained. Any small wind damage to the roof, fix immediately. Keep the algae and moss cleaned from the roof surface, and the gutters cleaned regularly. Review your homeowner’s insurance once or twice a year and inquire about upgrades and added coverage.  These are the things that will minimize the possible denied wind damage to roof claims. Need wind damage repair? Call the experts at (281) 338-7663 today!