How do Hurricanes Damage Roofs?
Because of the combination of heavy rain and powerful winds, hurricanes can wreak havoc on your roof. The extent of the damage depends on the severity of the storm and the condition of your home, but there are some damages that you can expect from any hurricane.
Most Common Forms of Hurricane Damage:
The most susceptible areas of the roof are the windward eaves, corners and ridges, as uplift from the hurricane winds can cause serious damage to these areas, but all roof elements are at risk. The most common forms of hurricane damage to your roof include:
- Cracked, torn or detached shingles
- Leaks in roof
- Water and wind damage to roof deck and underlayment
- Hail damage to shingles, including dents and removal of protective granules
Wind damage from a hurricane generally involves your shingles. Depending on the speed of the hurricane winds, shingles may be damaged or torn off completely. Wooden shingles often splinter in hurricane wind, while asphalt shingles may crack, and their fasteners can protrude or become displaced. In addition, the heavy winds may cause the displacement of gutters, satellite dishes, or any other structures on or attached to your roof. Finally, heavy hurricane winds will often uproot trees in your yard that overhang your roof. Falling trees are one of the biggest problems for your roof during a hurricane, as they can cause extensive physical damage.
Heavy rain from a hurricane will often cause leakage or water damage to your roof. Wooden shingles can become damaged and weakened by excess rain, although they are also less likely to leak. Tile and asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are designed to shed water, but the wind-driven rain can penetrate cracks in the shingles and cause water to leak into your home. Wind-driven rain can also wear down the granules on your shingles, which are designed to help them resist the elements, and expose them to further damage or complete removal. In extreme cases, the weakening of the roof combined with the heavy volume of water can lead to collapses in a section of your roof.
Does the Type of Shingles Matter?
While hurricanes can damage your roof no matter what type of shingles you have, higher-rated shingles–a.k.a., 30 year vs. 10 or 20 year shingles–are less susceptible to storm damage. Shingles up to a grade of 25 years are generally only rated for winds up to 65 mph, making them more likely to become damaged or dislodged by hurricane winds. Shingles rated for thirty years or more, are often rated for hurricane-level winds, with some even made to resist wind uplifts of up to 130 mph. Because of this, high-grade shingles (at least 30 years) are recommended for areas that are susceptible to hurricanes. Keep in mind, however, that heat in regions with frequently hot weather, such as Texas, may cause shingles to degrade faster, shortening their lifespan to slightly below the rated amount.