Roof Wind Damage

Strong winds recently came tearing through your neighborhood and you’re wondering if it has damaged your roof. Wind is nothing to take lightly. The wind can knock down tree branches, blow over fences, relocate patio furniture, break windows, and more. And, they can damage your roof. Here in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming, we get strong winds. Especially in the Fall and Spring. And believe it or not, high winds can damage a roof.

So, what does wind roof damage look like? How do you protect your roof from roof-damaging winds? Is this type of roof damage covered by your insurance? Below are answers to these questions and more.

Short Answer: You know your roof has wind damage if roofing material is loose or is missing. Have your roof inspected by us if you are unsure. Inspections are free.

What is Roof Wind Damage?

Roof wind damage is when the wind loosens or completely tears off pieces of roofing material, such as asphalt shingles. When the wind tears off roofing material, it leaves the roof deck exposed to rain, U.V. radiation, fire, and further damage. Asphalt shingles are not the only roofing material that’s vulnerable to wind damage. Actually, with strong enough winds, any roofing material is susceptible to wind damage. However, wood shake and asphalt singles are the most susceptible.

What Does a Wind Damaged Roof Look Like?

Here are a few photos during a high wind day in Fort Collins, Colorado. As you can see, some shingles have been completely torn off. Others are loose, flapping in the wind, and about to be torn off. The high wind even torn off sheet metal from a roof. Not all roof wind damage is apparent. Those loose shingle flapping in the wind, once the wind dies-down, those shingles will lay flat, again, and you won’t be able to tell from the ground that they’re loose.

This is why, if you can, you should take a look at your roof during a windy day – so you can see if there’s any loose roofing material. Then, once the wind dies-down, you can get up and secure the material back down again. If you are uncertain if you have wind damage, or do but do not want to get onto your roof, you’re in luck. We offer free roof inspections and estimates. Without any charge to you, we will let you know if we see any damage. What’s more, if we do see any damage, we will provide a no-obligation estimate, should you choose to hire to fix your roof.

How to Tell if Your Roof Has Wind Damage

Sometimes roof wind damage is obvious, such as when the roof material is missing. If asphalt shingles aren’t properly fastened, strong winds can easily pull them up, and possibly remove them. The same goes for metal shingles, metal sheets, tile and shake. Although, even if the roof is properly fastened, a strong enough wind can cause uplift or suction and loosen or pull the roofing material right off.

Sometimes roof wind damage is not obvious, however. Sometimes the wind breaks the seal between the roofing material and flashing, but leaves the material in place. This is rather common. From the ground, you can’t tell that the seal beneath the shingles, or between the shingles and flashing is broken. This type of damage isn’t an emergency, but those shingles should be nailed back down so they aren’t torn off in the next high wind day.

How Do You Prevent Wind Damage?

As they say, the best defense, is a good offense, and that starts with a high wind resistant roofing material. Given that, even the best wind resistant roof, if installed incorrectly, can be damaged by wind. So, it’s important that your roof also be installed correctly.

Which Roofing Materials Withstand High Winds the Best?


Metal roofing resists high winds the best. When installed correctly, a metal roof is an excellent wind resistant material. The metal sheets are often large, so there are fewer opportunities for wind to get under the material. The sheets of a standing seem metal roof are tightly locked together. Exposed fastener metal roofing sheets are screwed down where the sheets overlap. Screws are a superior fastener to nails. Stone-coated metal shingles are also very effective against high winds. Again, because they are fastened down with screws.

Note: Wind-driven debris, such as tree branches or lawn furniture, if large enough or driven by enough force, can puncture any of the above high wind resistant roofing materials.


Slate, concrete, and clay tiles are also excellent wind resistant roofing materials primarily due to their weight. On average, depending upon the dimensions and thickness of the specific slate tiles, weigh between 5 and 11 lbs per square foot. It should be noted that, if wind blown debris, such as tree branches, land on your tile roof, there’s a good chance your tile(s) will crack or break from the impact. Also, due to the number of seams, joints, and opportunities for wind to get under tile, it’s not as secure or wind-resistant as metal.

Asphalt Shingles

High wind resistant asphalt shingles, such as Owens Corning’s Duration series, have exceptional wind resistance thanks to their SureNail technology. When installed properly, high wind resistant shingles such as these are rated up to 130mph winds. Like tile, asphalt shingles are not as high wind resistant as metal roofing.

How to Fix a Wind Damaged Roof

If the material hasn’t been damaged, it simply needs to be secured back down. A little construction adhesive works great for securing asphalt shingles back down. If the roofing material has been damaged, it should be replaced. Don’t forget, start at the bottom of the affected area and work your way up, so the top roofing material lays on top of the bottom one. When in doubt or unsure, contact your local roofing professional.

What Wind Speeds Cause Roof Damage?

Winds 45-60mph can loosen old or inferior shingles, maybe even remove them. Winds 60mph or stronger can cause damage to your roof, including tearing off shingles. Your basic, least expensive asphalt roofing shingles are designed to protect your roof against winds up to 60mph.

wind uplift creating suction and pulling roofing material off of roof
wind uplift creating suction and pulling roofing material off

How can wind remove shingles, tile, or metal roofing? By getting underneath it if the roofing material has space between it and the roof deck, if it’s already loose, or by uplift. Uplift is when wind hits the side your house and continues over the top. The space created between the moving wind and the roof creates suction. This suction pulls weak roof materials off.

The Bottom Line

High winds are nothing to take lightly. They can cause serious problems. If you can, take a look at your roof while the wind is blowing and see if you spot any roofing material being lifted-up by the wind, and make a note of it. Once the wind has died-down, be sure to get that loose roofing material fixed, either by yourself, or a roofing professional, before more costly damage is done.

If loose roofing material is not secured back down, it might tear off in the next wind storm. If that happens, it might hit someone or something, resulting in serious injury or property damage. To your home, that now removed roofing material exposes your roof deck to rain, snow, sun, insects, birds, etc. If rain gets past the roof felt, it can destroy the roof deck. Once past the deck, electrical shorts and fires can happen, as well as mold and rot. The problems continue, the longer a damaged roof is ignored.

When we offer free inspections, you really do have nothing to loose. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.