Wind Damage: Understanding Wind Load and Wind Speed

Wind is one of the leading causes of roofing damage, and it happens with or without a storm. In today’s post, local roofing company Wortham Bros discuss how wind damage can be avoided, and how wind loads and wind speed figure into it. 

How Does Wind Damage the Roof?

Roofs are built to withstand the typical wind loads in a particular region, however, damage can still occur during extreme wind events such as storms and tornadoes. Wind picks up speed in areas where there’s nothing—trees, buildings or natural rock formations—in its way. Wind speed can also be lower in areas where buildings are typically taller than 70 feet. Comparatively, open areas with structures that are 30 feet at most and are few and far in between—as is often the case with residential areas—are more likely to bear the brunt of high winds when they hit.  

Wind Load Vs. Wind Speed

The terms “wind load” and “wind speed” are sometimes used interchangeably, but mean two different things. Wind load measures a structure’s capability to resist the force exerted by a structure, or, in this case, a roofing system. Wind speed pertains to how fast wind is moving; the faster the wind speed, the stronger it hits. Therefore, the higher a roof’s wind load rating is, the better it is at resisting high wind speeds. A roof’s wind load can be affected by wind direction, the roof’s shape and air density.

Factors That Can Increase Wind Damage

The extent of wind damage can vary between different homes or buildings due to factors such as the roof’s condition and the building’s age. Roofing systems that lack maintenance or are beyond their expected life span are more likely to sustain wind damage. Poor roofing design can also be a factor: for example, roofs with exposed rafter tails are more vulnerable to wind uplift. Roof slope is also a factor, as low slope roofs offer less resistance to oncoming wind, which helps reduce potential wind damage. 

Wortham Bros is your leading provider of roofing services, including hail damage repair. Give us a call at (972) 960-3135 or (972) 960-3135. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in McKinney, TX, and the surrounding communities.

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