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Why Hurricanes Rip Off Roofs (& How to Check Your Roof for Wind Damage)

Advice For Homeowners, Roofing, Tips & Useful Info

Posted by Emmit | February 27, 2023 | Reading Time:

Hurricanes hit Virginia every few years, causing millions of dollars in damage. As a homeowner, your rooftop is particularly vulnerable to the high winds and heavy amounts of rainfall that accompany these storms, so it’s critical to learn about the risks you face and the steps you can take to protect your investment.

Tidewater Roofing has spent years working on rooftops across Richmond and Hampton Roads, VA, so we’ve seen what hurricanes can do up close. Read on as we guide you through the havoc these storms can wreak, the steps you can take to avoid it, and how to recognize severe wind damage so you can repair your roof if your home has been affected.

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Roof ripped off of home by hurricane

How Can a Hurricane Rip Your Roof Clean Off?

Hurricanes can rip roofs off of homes due to the high winds and intense pressure they generate. The winds can cause roofs to lift or become detached from the building, while the pressure changes can weaken the structure of the roof.

Additionally, wind-borne debris, such as fallen trees or other objects, can strike the roof and cause significant damage. The severity of roof damage during a hurricane will depend on factors such as:

  • The strength of the storm
  • The age and condition of the roof
  • The location of the building

Homes in coastal regions (like Hampton Roads) or low-lying areas (like Richmond) are particularly vulnerable during hurricanes, as the increased risk of flooding can cause extra damage to the roof and other areas.

Hurricane clips on roofing materials

What Can You Do to Protect Your Roof from Hurricanes?

To minimize roof damage during a hurricane, it is important to ensure that your home’s roof is in good condition and that it is properly anchored to the building. Here’s a list of easy steps you can take to improve your roof’s hurricane resistance:

  • Use durable roofing materials: metal rooftops provide superior protection from extreme weather, but even architectural shingles are preferable to three-tab shingles.
  • Regularly clean gutters and downspouts: this can prevent blockages in heavy rain and help you avoid water damage. Alternatively, consider investing in a leaf-free gutter system like the Carefree Gutter Guards by Tidewater Roofing.
  • Trim trees and other vegetation near the building: this will reduce the risk of falling debris during a storm.
Green metal roof and brick chimney under cloudy sky photo

What Type of Roof Is Best for Handling High Winds?

Metal rooftops, although more expensive, have better durability and wind-resistance than shingles. This makes them a smarter choice for Virginia homeowners who want hurricane protection. Using a metal roof for your home can help your home weather hurricanes in the following ways:

  • Damage protection: metal roofs can more easily withstand high winds and flying debris, making them ideal for protecting homes during hurricanes.
  • Resistance to moisture: metal roofs are resistant to water damage, making them ideal for areas that are prone to heavy rain during hurricanes.
  • Fire resistance: metal roofs are non-combustible and resistant to fire, reducing the risk of fire damage during hurricanes.

Getting a metal roof installed by Tidewater Roofing is also quick and easy, which makes it easy to upgrade your roof if you’re worried about the impact a hurricane could have on your home. As a bonus, metal rooftops require less maintenance than roofs made of shingles, which can save you time and money in the long run and offset their initial costs.

Shingles torn off roof by hurricane

How to Recognize Damage After a Windstorm

If your area has recently experienced a hurricane or high winds, check your rooftop for the following signs of damage:

  • Missing or damaged shingles
  • Cracked or broken tiles
  • Dents (for metal roofing)
  • Leaks or water damage (in your home’s interior, near the roof)
  • A sagging or distorted roofline (this can indicate structural damage)
  • Uplifted or missing roof flashing
  • Debris on the roof (such as tree branches)

Get Expert Hurricane Help for Your Roof

It is absolutely vital to have any damage to your rooftop repaired as soon as possible, since leaving it unaddressed can make your roof even more vulnerable to hurricanes in the future. The better the condition of your roof, the harder it will be for a hurricane to rip it clean off the next time one strikes.

Contact Tidewater Roofing for a fair and accurate quote on repairs for roofs of any kind. We can also replace rooftops that have sustained too much damage to be fixed, or recommend a leaf-free gutter system to help you avoid water damage in inclement weather.