The wind is one of the most damaging forces that your home's roof faces. Unlike many other weather events, the wind is often a day-in and day-out pressure on roofing materials. While modern roofs are designed to stand up to wind in ways that previous materials couldn't, shingle failure still occurs.
What contributes to shingle blow-off? And how can you protect your roof and your investment? Here are some answers every homeowner needs.
Why Do Shingles Blow Off?
The biggest culprit when a shingle is loosened and ripped off from your roof is air pressure. But counterintuitively, this means pressure from both above and below the shingle. How?
Wind blowing across the surface of the shingle reduces the pressure of the air in that space, creating negative air pressure. Then, air circulating inside the house pushes upward from below the shingle. Because the upper air now has less pressure, there is higher pressure underneath (positive air pressure).
The combination eventually causes the shingle to erupt upward to the low-pressure area. Unfortunately, missing shingles make it even easier for positive pressure air to get underneath the remaining shingles, creating a cascade effect.
What Can You Do to Protect Shingles?
You can't prevent extreme wind events from happening. But you can take some steps to boost the chances of shingles withstanding them. First, make sure that underlying damage is rooted out and repaired as soon as possible. Damage to the structure on which shingles are attached makes the connections weaker and the shingle less able to hold on.
Second, use quality installation. An uneven nailing pattern that uses too few nails or places them too high, for instance, leaves portions of shingles susceptible to air pressure changes. Even too much overlap between upper and lower shingles creates an opening for wind.
Finally, have your roof replaced when it reaches the end of its lifespan. Today's roofing materials last a long time, but none of them lasts forever. And roofs subjected to frequent wind will need replacing more often as well. The closer your roof gets to its expiration date, the more shingles will weaken, become brittle, shrink, detach, and curl away.
Where Should You Start?
Shore up your roof before the next wind event by having it inspected today. A roofing contractor can identify any weak spots in your shingles and help you protect them from failure. Make an appointment today to learn how.