Repairing Wind-Damaged Roofs: Essential Steps and Considerations

It’s recommended you stay inside and away from windows during severe storms. However, once the wind and rain pass, you may be wondering how your roof looks. Are there missing shingles, pools of water, or sticks and debris up there? If you suspect wind damage, you should have your roof inspected as soon as possible.

Consider this your guide to how to proceed when you think your roof has suffered wind damage.

Assessing the Damage

Serious repairs are jobs for trained residential roofing professionals. It can be dangerous to climb on a roof — especially when you’re uncertain of its structural integrity or roof surface stability. Shingles may have been damaged and could create additional dangerous conditions.

You’ll want to contact a knowledgeable roofing company to check out your residential or commercial roof — the right partner will generally perform an inspection free of charge. Roofers typically inspect for missing or damaged shingles, signs of roof leaks or water damage, and surface cracks. Some roof damage from wind can be spotted from the ground, but professional teams normally use ladders or drones to take photos of any compromised surfaces.

Once roofers analyze the extent of the damage, they decide whether or not it is safe to walk on the roof.

Safety Precautions

Safety is of the utmost importance during a roof repair job. That’s why it’s best to leave this type of work to trained experts who have the right machines, materials, tools, safety equipment and training.

A wind-damage roofing repair may call for the following items:

  • Tie-off fall restraint systems (fall system)
  • Special shoes to walk on a roof
  • Lift trucks
  • Hardhats
  • Gloves
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Earplugs
  • Knee pads

Temporary Repair Considerations

There are a few steps professional roofers will follow to mitigate indoor leaks and roofing problems until a more permanent solution is scheduled. A common way to buy more time during the repair process is to place tarps and coverings over punctures. This measure helps rainwater travel in the right direction and keeps wildlife and insects out of the home until the hole is patched.

It’s common for roofing materials like shingles and shakes to lift up during intense storms. Water can seep into insulation and attic spaces if this condition is left untreated. Tasks like securing loose shingles and materials help rainwater reach gutters instead of collecting on rooftops.

The goal of temporary repairs is to prevent further water intrusion into the home, but you will require a more permanent solution in short order to prevent further damage with the next storm.

Obtaining Professional Roofing Assistance

It’s crucial to seek service from a professional roofing company any time you find shingles on the ground or see wind damage from ground level. These visible signs might include shingles curling or lifting near your home’s gutter system or debris sitting on your roofing surfaces.

Choosing a reputable and experienced contractor for your work calls for you to do your research. Look for a company that has years or decades of experience serving your local community. You’ll want the company you select to be well-versed in roofing repairs — meaning the contractor should be able to work with multiple materials to bring your installation back to life. Ideally, your roofing partner will be knowledgeable about repairing wind damage on multiple types of residential and commercial structures.

It helps to go with a professional roofing company with outstanding customer reviews, as this gives you insight into the firsthand experiences of other home and business owners close to you.

Repairing or Replacing Damaged Shingles

Repairing versus replacing damaged shingles is a decision you’ll have to make. Shingle replacement is often the best way to maintain your installation’s attractive appearance, but if the damage is only to a small number of sealants, your roofing contractor may have options for using sealants to get you through the rest of the rainy season.

Replacing shingles on a roof requires careful removal. Professional roofers rely on special tools to break seals and lift the materials up without damaging surfaces underneath when possible.

Replacing Shingles on a Residential Roof

You’ll need to select high-quality roofing materials that match your existing shingles for a cohesive presentation and lasting wind resistance. When performed by a shingle shingle roof installation contractor, this replacement will help you extend the life of your residential roofing installation.

Your contractor will use the steps below to replace shingles one at a time:

  1. The seal is broken to remove the old shingle.
  2. Your contractor will pry the damaged shingle from the surface.
  3. Nails are removed from the shingle.
  4. The damaged shingle is lifted from its position.
  5. A new shingle is put in the vacant spot.
  6. The new shingle is fastened using a new set of nails.
  7. A fresh adhesive seal is applied around the shingle to prevent future lifting.

Addressing Structural Damage

Structural damage can happen during a severe storm once winds reach around 45 miles per hour — this is the point at which it’s common for weak branches to break off and fall.

Any structural repairs or reinforcements required following inclement weather should be performed only by an experienced professional with proper safety training and equipment. This may involve incorporating new roof trusses or supports, as dealing with weakened or compromised areas of your roof is essential for keeping the whole home intact for the long term. It may be necessary for a roofer to access your attic to finish these types of repairs.

Sealing and Waterproofing

Your residential roof must be able to shed rainwater and moisture. A trustworthy roofing company will take a close look at the condition of flashing — the thin materials installed in high-stress parts of a roof to direct water to gutters and downspouts. Your roofing team should complete roof flashing repairs following wind damage to give your installation the best chance of surviving future weather hazards.

Many roofs call for updated seals and caulking after a weather emergency. It’s a good idea to verify the caulking around chimneys and roof accents is in reliable shape before deeming a roof repair complete. Replacing shingles, flashing and adhesives during an emergency repair also goes a long way toward improving your roof’s water resistance, minimizing leaks and preventing water accumulation.

Post-Repair Inspections

You can only judge the effectiveness of a repair after an inspection. The team that works on your roof should clean up the tools, equipment and materials used during your repair project and perform a final walk-through to ensure all problem areas of your roof have been addressed — these should have been recorded during the initial inspection when you contracted them for the job.

It’s common for professional roofing companies to perform a water test after completing all the steps required for your repair. Here, a controlled water source is used to see if water can penetrate updated materials and seals. When water flows in the correct direction and indoor spaces stay dry, it’s clear the repair efforts are successful. A roofing company will likely spray every roofing surface they worked on with a hose to complete this test and verify that the repair will perform as intended.

All of the work done on your residential roof is reviewed during post-repair inspections to gauge the installation’s integrity and potential wind resistance.

Preventive Measures for Future Wind Events

No roof will last forever, but there are tips you can consider to better protect your installation from future wind events. Keep your roof ready for the unexpected using the advice below.

1. Reinforce Vulnerable Areas of Your Roof

It may be wise to periodically book an inspection with a reliable roofing contractor so they can point out any areas of concern on your roof. Even if it’s intact at the moment, the right conditions could result in outdated shingles blowing off or your roof becoming prone to structural damage. Taking a proactive approach to roof repairs and reinforcing vulnerable areas of your installation showing bald shingles or exposed flashing may keep you out of a tough situation down the road.

2. Upgrade Roof Materials for Improved Wind Resistance

A residential roof may last 15-20 years with routine maintenance. Once your roofing surfaces reach the end of their life span, however, you might think about updating them for improved performance.

Switching to strong roofing materials like metal is a fantastic way to plan for future weather events — heavy materials that install in large sections are much more resilient against wind damage.

3. Schedule Regular Roof Maintenance and Inspections

Hiring a roofing contractor to visit your property helps you catch anything out of the ordinary before it develops into something serious. Go the extra mile for your home by organizing routine appointments for roof maintenance and inspections. Doing this can keep your current roof bouncing back between storms.

Address Roof Wind Damage With Equity Builders Roofing

Wind damage to your roof is something that demands immediate attention. With Equity Builders Roofing, your Indiana home sees the highest level of care. Our team consists of full-time roofers and remodelers so we can bring nearly any roof design to life. With us, you can cover all of your repair, maintenance and construction needs with a single partner.

We’re A+ B.B.B. rated and have the positive reviews you want to see from a local contractor, and we’re available 24/7/365 if you ever need us in an emergency. Get in touch with our team to get on our schedule!