Damage created by storms can be both obvious and discrete. Wind can remove entire roofs from shingles to membranes. It can also bend, tear, and rip the materials through their nails, but yet leave the materials on the roof. Shingle roofs are most prove to wind damage, especially as they age and loose their seals. The easiest wind damage to see from the ground is the damage where shingles/shake/slate/membrane have been blown off the roof, and you see a hole in the roof and at times the wood decking. Aside from the easily visible damage that high winds, often times, there is damage that is not noticed by a property owner upon first observation.
Unseen Wind Damage
It is easy to see the wind damage on your siding and roof when the shingles and siding pieces are blown off on the ground; however, the wind may damage your roof, but not throw it to the ground.
One type of damage is called “stair stepping”, because of the stair step look you get from the shingles being staggered when installed. As the wind hits the roof it will lift on shingle at its edge, breaking its seal if it is not already broken. If the wind is strong enough it will rip the shingle up through the nail, then the wind will use that shingle as leverage to rip the shingles above, then the next and so on. After the wind has stopped, the shingles will lie back down, and sometimes reseal. The problem is you now have damaged shingles on your roof, and you become very prone to more significant damage during the next high wind. Also, if you do not have felt paper under your shingles, as these shingles blow in the wind, rain is blowing under them and into your attic.
Another type of wind damage that is not seen from the ground is “Creased Shingles.” This happens on 3-tab style asphalt shingles. If the wind isn’t strong enough to rip a full shingle off, often times the wind will damage “a tab” of the shingle. The wind breaks the shingle’s seal then lifts the tab up and back. If there is enough force, the tab will break off and fall off the roof, or land in the gutter. If there is the tab does not rip completely, it will lay back down but in a broken condition. It will not reseal and it is very susceptible to any speed wind. These shingles are identified by the crease now present in the shingle as seen below.
Installation Errors That Make Shingles More Susceptible To Wind Damage
The wind will do what it can to your shingles. If the shingles are not installed properly, then the wind has an easier job damaging your roof. Some common mistakes roofers make.
Too much pressure on the nail gun and the nails blow through the matting
Nailing too high above the nailing strip
Not enough nails
Too short of nails – you want your nails to penetrate through the decking a minimum 1/2 inch
Installing the shingles too tight together and they do not lay flat
Having felt paper over portions of the shingles – many times roofers will put felt paper over the top course of shingles if they break for the day, any paper over the shingle, even if not seen, will weaken the shingles