The wind uplift resistance of different roofing materials is variable. Some tend naturally to be resistant to damage caused by wind and others have a propensity to get damaged because of it. But the nature of the material the roof is made of is not the only thing that determines the wind uplift resistance of roofs.
Roofs that are installed poorly are very vulnerable to damage due to strong winds. The most common problem in this front is bad nailing. Badly nailed shingles fly off with winds and cause damage to neighboring shingles as well. Nailing shingles properly and sealing them prevents this kind of damage and also prevents leaks from the roof.
Using nails and staples of poor quality is very bad and they should not be misaligned, as this makes them more susceptible to wind uplift and damage. Often nails and staples are not passed through the rafters and this can also make roofs vulnerable to winds. Screwing down the sheathing of the roof is very effective albeit expensive.
It goes without saying that in windy places and those that lie in cyclonic regions, building codes lay out construction regulations to protect homes and if you live in one such region, you should strictly adhere to these codes. While insurance covers wind uplift, it only does so when the roof complies with the codes.
In many parts of the country, codes and insurance companies require homes to have hurricane straps that protect the roof from winds as fast as 100 miles per hour. Tree branches that are flying around as a result of wind are often the bigger problem than the wind itself.
It is imperative therefore that you get all tree branches hanging over the roof out of the way as otherwise they are bound to cause damage. You should also inspect your roof regularly and repair any damaged parts like flashings or rusted nails that are coming loose. It is not wise to avoid undertaking these repairs, as it may cost you big later.
Appropriate roof ventilation is also very important in making a roof resistant to wind uplift and damage. If you have all the other things in place that make a roof resistant to wind uplift but haven’t actually ventilated the roof correctly, you haven’t done your best.
A ventilating system called V2T was invented in 2008 by two students in Virginia. This system makes sure that roofs are pushed down instead of pulled up when there are strong winds. They do this by splitting the wind a certain way. A lot of properties can be saved if these are used.
Article by Scott Rodgers