Frequent wind storms have made the past few years especially tough on roofs in our area. This past weekend was definitely no exception! Take a look at roofs as you walk/drive by. You’ll begin to notice missing shingles, and general damage. Why does this happen, and what do you need to know about asphalt shingles and roof damage?

What are asphalt shingles?

Asphalt shingles, the most popular in our area, consist of an organic felt or fiberglass base, which is coated with asphalt and mineral granules. They are economic, easy to install, offer insulation from the cold, and offer reliable waterproofing. They are also flexible, which allows them to adapt to the roof’s movement.

Asphalt shingles are made to be durable, and to withstand high, sustained winds. In fact, asphalt shingles have wind ratings of 60 MPH-150+ MPH, depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the shingle.

Why does wind cause damage?

When wind strikes, it not only hits your roof directly, but your home as well.  The wind then automatically moves up and over the roof. With high winds, and especially sustained winds, this can cause damage, especially along the roof’s perimeter which takes the brunt of the pressure.

Typically, it is not one wind event that causes the damage. Shingles tend to wear down over time until the damage becomes evident.

What causes shingles to be vulnerable?

It usually comes down to adhesive seals. When shingles are installed, they are installed in two layers—the starter shingles and the traditional shingles. They bond together using a powerful adhesive. When this adhesive breaks down or is compromised, it allows for wind to get underneath the outer layer.

This can be caused by:

  • Temperature fluctuations
    • We’ve all seen the temperature rise/fall by 30, 40 or even 50+ degrees in less than the span of a day. This causes your shingles to expand and contract. Shingles are designed to withstand this type of weather but, over time, this can lead to a breakdown of the seals/bonding on the shingles.
  • Age
    • As shingles age, so does their adhesive bonding. Over time, it becomes weaker.
  • Improper installation 
    • If the adhesive is not allowed to properly bond in the first place, even a new roof can be vulnerable to wind.
    • It is important to make sure that your contractor installs your shingles properly and ensures proper adhesion the first time.

What kind of damage can be caused?

Any damage to your shingles leaves your roof vulnerable to leaks, and more extensive damage to your roof deck and home.

  • Creasing/tearing
    • The force of the wind gets underneath the shingles, and causes them to bend.
    • This ultimately can cause the bottom part of the shingle to tear off, or to crease where the shingle bent—leaving a visual mark on the shingle.
  • Punctures/scratches
    • This is not a product of compromised sealing, but a result of objects being blown on the roof and causing damage.
    • You will see this most often with tree branches.
  • Detachment
    • The shingle actually tears completely from the roof.
  • Lifted 
    • Shingles will actually lift and flap during the wind event, and then lay back flat on the roof with little or no physical damage.
    • While no visible damage exists, this allows water to seep underneath the shingle, and debris to accumulate (dirt, pollen, etc)

If you notice damage to your roof, or have concerns that your roof might be compromised, call a roofing professional today. In many cases, wind damage is covered under your home owner’s insurance.

Allstate Roofing & More, LLC is not only able to assess wind damage, but we are also able to work directly with your insurance company. As always, estimates for residential customers are free. Contact us anytime 585-400-7663 or