Causes of Wind Damage and Assessing Its Damage to Roofs in Ohio

"Wind-blown Tree"While it makes sense that a roof can be damaged during a tornado, a roof can also be damaged when winds are not as strong or sustain. The moderate, gusty winds here in Ohio can also cause damage.  Anywhere the materials that make up your roof are even the least bit loose, the suction of the wind can raise it up causing debris in the wind to be blown into the exposed area and allowing rain to get in.

Causes of Wind Damage

Damage to your roof caused by winds starts small and grows through repeated cycles of wind over time.  The most common causes are debris and the shifts of air pressure within a structure.

Air Pressure

As the wind blows over the edge of a roof a partial vacuum is created, meaning there is less air pressure at that part of your roof. Nature is always bringing air from high-pressure locations to low-pressure areas. In this case, it is trying to bring air from inside your building pushing up the bottom of your roof assembly, to the low-pressure are outside at your roof’s edge. This shift in pressure can loosen fasteners and break the adhesion over time, making your roof susceptible to damage from the next moderate or strong wind.  This is where the choice made about the type and number of fasteners and perimeter details show their importance.


The interaction between high and low pressure is not the only cause for damage. Debris is also a factor. While larger items do not usually become airborne, in strong winds anything not tied to the ground can become flying debris. The most visible debris, tree branches, will do damage like tearing shingles or poking a hole in the roof. Dirt and other small debris lodged under your shingles, speeding the deterioration of your roofing underlayment. Leaves, branches, and dirt  blown onto the roof can hide damage and accumulate moisture again hastening your roof’s deterioration.

Assessing the Damage

Having your roof looked at by a roofing professional is the best way to assess the damage, but there are some things you can look for before calling us in. If you notice any of the following problems let us know immediately.

  • Broken shingles or pieces of shingles in your yard
  • Broken tree limbs
  • Visible shingle or gutter damage
  • Water seepage in the attic
  • Water stains on your ceiling or drywall
  • Damage to shed, gazebos, and hot tub covers
  • Visible window cracks or caulking displacement
  • Tears in window or door screens
  • Dents or damage to exterior HVAC units
  • Broken fence posts or missing pickets
  • Porch or garage light damage or breakage

If you believe that your roof has suffered severe damage from a recent wind storm here in Ohio avoid causing any more damage to any already compromised shingles by walking on them. Contact Van Martin Roofing as soon as possible.  Our experienced inspectors will assess your home’s wind damage, determine the condition of your roofing material, and check your gutters to ensure their integrity.

Remember, damage to your roof caused by winds starts small and grows over time.