Wind Damage: Understanding Wind Speed and Wind Load

Every year, many regions across the United States face high wind hazards and the accompanying threat of wind-related damage to residential and commercial buildings. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) has stated that high winds cause millions, if not billions, of dollars in damage. However, it is quite possible to avoid this damage by having your roofer strengthen buildings against wind forces by applying techniques that account for interactions between wind loads and building material properties. Coleman Roofing sheds more light on wind damage below.

Wind Damage: Understanding Wind Speed and Wind Load

How Wind Creates Damage

While roofing systems are designed to withstand the typical wind loads of your region, no roof is likely to handle extreme wind events like tornadoes. Wind blows faster in open areas where there’s nothing like trees or other building to slow it down. This wind speed is also dependent on the height of the building; such that a neighborhood in which 50% or more of the buildings are taller than 70 feet, will experience reduced wind speeds, while open terrain with scattered obstructions less than 30 feet tall or no obstructions at all bear the full brunt of the wind speed.

Wind Speed versus Wind Load

Wind load on a building is measured as the amount of force that the structure actually has to resist. Wind speed on the other hand, gives some indication of the potential for damage and can vary by more than 30%.  Factors that influence wind load include:

  • Building shape
  • Wind orientation
  • Air density

Factors that Can Accelerate Wind Damage

  • Roofing Material Condition Roofing materials in poor condition will naturally be more  susceptible to wind damage.
  • Roof Shape and Slope – Wind speed and load will react differently on different roof shapes and slopes. These differences can also account for the amount of damage sustained.
  • Building Age – Older properties, especially those not compliant with today’s building codes will obviously be  at higher risk of wind damage.

Coleman Roofing is the professional roofing company to call for your roofing, awnings and wind damage concerns in your area. Get started with a FREE estimate today by calling (225) 379-7663 or by filling out our contact form. We serve clients in  Baton Rouge, LA, and nearby areas.