Roofer's Guide to Wind Speeds

It’s not just rain that your roof has to put up with. Wind is an ever-present type of weather than can wreak havoc on roofs that are already worse for wear. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how wind speeds vary and what it means for your roof.

Wind speeds: the basics

While it varies year on year, the average wind speed for the UK typically falls between 8 and 9 knots. That’s a wind speed of between 9.2 and 10.4mph. In simple terms, that’s a gentle breeze which can blow dry leaves up off the ground.

It goes without saying that 10mph wind isn’t going to bother anyone. But with gusts exceeding 100 knots and 120mph recorded at low levels in the past, it’s safe to say that the wind is capable of causing serious problems.

Weather warnings for wind are a reliable indication for this. They come into force when wind reaches potentially dangerous speeds, with colour coding to indicate the severity. While the UK Met Office hasn’t published specific figures, its Irish counterpart provides some helpful speeds for reference:

  • Yellow – Mean speed of 30 to 40mph with gusts of 55 to 70 mph
  • Amber – Mean speed of 40 to 50mph with gusts of 70 to 80mph
  • Red – Mean speed over 80mph with gusts exceeding 130mph

What high wind can do to your roof

To put the numbers above into context, wind speeds over 30mph are enough to impair walking, damage tree branches and carry small debris through the air. In some instances, this debris is enough to damage your roof, such as a sizeable branch knocking tiles out of place. Otherwise, you’ll just need your gutters clearing afterwards.

As it moves towards 50mph, you’re looking at structural damage with the ability to pull roof tiles away. Needless to say, that will leave your property unprotected from the rain and in need of repairs, with a break in your roof’s covering.

If the wind gets any higher, there’s the possibility of trees being uprooted. There have been numerous cases of falling trees causing damage to roofs, as well as the rest of a building. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to protect your property from this disaster – other than having nearby trees removed.

Is it safe to work in high wind?

Another issue wind causes for roofing is that problems can’t always be fixed immediately. As speeds over 30mph impair walking, it’s certainly not safe for roofers to be working at height when the wind is blowing a gale.

Storms can last for several days without speeds dropping, as can the associated weather warnings. Unfortunately, that can mean putting up with a missing tile, or worse, for a few days or longer – depending on when a roofer can fit you in.

Above all else, this is another reason why it’s important to be proactive with your roof. Having your roof regularly inspected will keep it protected from most wind damage. It also means you’ll have a roofer on your side if you need any emergency repairs.

Maintaining your roof

A well-maintained roof is the best defence against wind of any speeds. DPR Roofing provides exactly that for homes and commercial properties throughout Leeds.

With over 30 years’ experience inspecting, repairing and replacing roofs, our expert team can provide the services you need to keep your property protected from the elements.

Contact us today on 0113 335 0043 or email [email protected] to find out more.