Fortifying Roofs Against Wind Damage

Shandy Heil, Skinner, Patricia

Sooner or later, all roofing needs to be replaced. If a roof covering is old and worn, patching or limited repairs won't help. A roof tends to wear uniformly in most parts of the country, and even the best roofing materials will eventually succumb to weathering. Roofing in extreme wind and heat states will tend to have shorter life spans.

If you're not certain about the condition of a roof, here's how can you recognize when there are problems:

  • On a sunny day, go up to your attic and use a flashlight to inspect for stains caused by leaks.
  • Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored gypsum board and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.
  • Check downspouts for signs of excessive granule loss. Although most shingle manufacturers guarantee their products to last 20 years, many roofs with standard asphalt shingles more than 15 years old need reroofing, especially in extreme weather climates.
  • Use binoculars to inspect the roof from the ground, looking for cracked, curled or missing shingles; excessive loss of protective mineral granules; loose seams; deteriorated flashing; and other visible signs of roof problems.

BEWARE: Walking on a roof is dangerous and may damage the shingles.

The techniques used to make a roof more secure are the same, whether you're building a new home or strengthening an older one. They are generally easier to accomplish in new construction because all the joints are easily accessible. 

What you do with an existing roof may depend on the condition of your roof and the need for it to be repaired or replaced.

Strengthening the roof during reroofing  Reroofing provides an excellent opportunity for a homeowner to improve a structure's resistance to high-speed wind and wind-driven rain.

Related article:

  • Wind-Resistant Roof Design

    4/7/2005 2:23:03 AM
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