Following a storm with straight line winds, homeowners may not realize the full extent of damage to their roof. Without an inspection by a roofing contractor, it can be hard to spot damage from the ground. Some winds may cause only light damage to roofing shingles or metal roofing. Others may cause more extensive damage to a home’s roof decking and rafters. But straight line wind damage can catch many homeowners off guard. Straight line wind systems often go unnoticed because they are less dramatic than their swirling counterparts, tornadoes, and hurricanes. But they can do a good deal of damage, and the damage can increase if it’s not dealt with quickly. That’s why it’s recommended that homeowners contact a roofing contractor if they suspect straight line wind damage.
Facts About Straight Line Winds
- Speeds can exceed 80 miles per hour.
- Winds last for periods of 20 minutes or longer.
- Damage from straight line winds can sometimes mimic tornado damage, even if no tornado is present.
- These winds can uproot trees or break trees off at ground level.
Straight line winds are usually associated with thunderstorm systems. They occur at a much smaller scale than a typical cyclone, such as a hurricane or other massive spinning storm. For this reason, straight line winds tend to be underreported by the media. They aren’t tracked like larger storm systems, and they don’t have the drama of tornadoes.
Straight line winds are usually not as strong as hurricane or tornado winds. However, they can result in sustained winds of 60 miles per hour or more, with much more powerful gusts. The sustained wind and violent gusts are more than sufficient to damage roofs. Roofs may be damaged directly by the wind, such as shingles or other roof components being lifted. However, damage is just as common from flying debris, especially tree parts.
What to Do If You Suspect Straight Line Winds
Following a severe storm with suspected straight line winds, homeowners should contact a roofing contractor to avoid more costly repairs later. By having damage repaired within a short period after the storm, homeowners can avoid the following more extensive damage:
- Loss of additional roofing material surrounding the area of original damage
- Roof leaks and damage to interior ceilings
- Future damage to chimneys and vent pipes
- Entry of insects, rodents, or other unwanted pests
- In some cases, a catastrophic roof collapse
Homeowners should never attempt to climb on or inspect their own roofs. After a storm, roofs can be slippery and unsafe to walk on. In some cases, a roof weakened by damage from straight line winds could even collapse under untrained feet. Roofing contractors have experience in assessing damage safely. So it is best for homeowners to leave damage assessments or repairs to a professional.
If you suspect you may have straight line wind damage or any other roofing problem, Eagle Watch Roofing, your local Peachtree City roofer, is ready to help. Contact us today!