Many homes are exposed to high winds, either year-round or seasonally. The following tips can help you prevent those winds from causing expensive roof damage.
1. Reinforce Gutters
Gutters can cause a lot of wind damage if they aren't properly secured. Wind can catch the gutters, twisting them and breaking the bolts that hold them in place. This in turn damages the eaves and drip edge of your roof. It can even rip off shingles along the edge of the roof. Properly installed hardware along with specially made fasteners called hurricane clips will hold the gutters firmly in place even when high winds pummel your home.
2. Repair Loose Items
Anything that is loose on the roof is likely to cause wind damage. This include things like loose flashing that needs to be re-secured or replaced, as well as things like loose vent caps on chimneys and ventilation pipes. It's also important to inspect the roof regularly for loose shingles. These stand out because they may appear to be out of alignment with their neighbors or they may have a ruffled look.
3. Install Hurricane Anchors
Hurricane anchors, also sometimes call wind anchors, secure the main roof supports to the support structure of your home. When wind hits your home, the anchors prevent it from pushing up beneath the eaves of the house and lifting up the roof. Not everyone in windy areas needs this extra protection, so consult with your roofer to see if high winds are a common cause of uplift damage in your area.
4. Upgrade Your Vents
Rooftop vents are commonly damaged in wind storms. This is because the traditional design of a roof vent acts as a sail -- wind enters on one side but it doesn't escape on the other. The effect is that the wind can rip the vents right off your roof, causing damage to both roof and vent. Fortunately, baffled vents are available. This style still keeps out rain and pests, but it allows the wind to pass right through so that the vents aren't ripped off the roof in heavy wind.
5. Manage Your Landscape
Your landscaping could be endangering your roof when the wind starts to blow. Falling tree branches are the most obvious risk, so keep trees maintained and prune them back and away from the home. Loose items in the yard, such as furniture, can also be a risk if your area gets high enough winds to make these items airborne. Secure yard items so they can't blow away.
Contact a roofer in your area for more advice on wind damage.