Hail and Wind Uplift Roof Damage

Mother Nature causes havoc to roofs.Tornadoes and hurricanes are some ofthe most destructive forces a roof maybe subjected to, requiring buildingowne

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Contributed by CentiMark, CU Quarterly, June2012

Mother Nature causes havoc to roofs. Tornadoes and hurricanes are some of the most destructive forces a roof may be subjected to, requiring building owners to re-roof their structures. Hail and wind uplift forces often cause roof damage that is readily apparent, but it can also cause damage undetectable to the untrained eye. That’s why damage from hail and wind requires a professional roofer to assess the immediate effects as well as potential or longer term problems.

centimarkarticle resized 600Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation that creates greater impact forces as it grows in size. Hail may fracture or shred the roofing membrane with its irregular, sharp edges (figures 1 and 2). Hail damage to the roof may not be noticed until leaks, cracks or other structural damage is detected on the roof. Since some damage may not be evident immediately, roofing professionals should inspect the roof after a serious hail storm to be proactive in determining potential roof problems.

Wind Uplift
Wind uplift is the net upward force of air on the roofing system when the air pressure below the roof is greater than the air pressure above the roof. This effect creates a vortex of wind where it swirls over the roof edges and may lift the roofing materials and accessories off the roof (figure 3). High winds may cause roof membranes to separate at seams and flashings. Wind uplift damage may not be easily seen but still may cause roof leaks. Roof damage, if unattended, could lead to a major roof replacement.

Summary
For hail and wind damage, trained roofing professionals should inspect the roof after a storm to provide expert advice and proactive repairs. In parts of the country where hail storms and wind damage are more common, high compressive strength roof cover boards for lowslope roofs are used as an added protection from hail and wind damage.

Protect your roof by being proactive. A preventative maintenance/housekeeping plan costs between .01 to .03 cents per square foot per visit. For every dollar spent on preventative maintenance, it is estimated that five dollars is saved through reduced emergency repairs, decreased building interior damage and increased roof life expectancy. The life for a roof without a preventative maintenance program is estimated to have a service life of 12 years, drastically reduced from its intended service life of 20 years.

Trained roofing professionals offer proactive suggestions and identify repairs and potential problems, especially after damaging storms. Generally, cost-saving, proactive solutions save money and extend the life of a roof.


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