Wind and Roofs – Everything You Need to Know

Rain isn’t the only type of weather that can affect your roof. Wind and gales can be a big issue across the British Isles too, and that includes Leeds and the surrounding areas. From loose tiles to structural problems, it’s important to know how to make sure your roof is protected from wind damage all year round.

If you’re worried about the impact of wind on your roofing, don’t fear. There are some precautions you can take to secure your property. Read on to find out more…

How does wind affect your roof?

So, how can wind impact your roofing – and what kind of damage can it leave in its wake?

First-hand damage

On the one hand, there’s the damage that wind causes directly to your roof. This is usually caused by strong winds. For example, any loose tiling may be blown right off your roof.

Upward pressure from the wind could also weaken any damaged sections of your roof, whilst downward wind pressure can potentially crack tiles.

Second-hand damage

Whilst the wind can do immense damage by itself, you also need to be aware of how wind can affect surrounding hazards. Debris can be blown and dragged about by the wind – and potentially, it could land on your roof. If that roofing is already weakened by poor maintenance, this can mean cracked or broken tiles.

Very strong winds can even blow over trees or telephone poles, which could do serious damage to your roof.

What is classed as high wind?

Of course, not all wind is equally destructive. A gentle breeze is unlikely to do much damage to your roofing. On average, wind speed in the UK falls between 9.2 and 10.4 mph. This may move leaves and small twigs, but it won’t cause any major issues for your property.

However, as wind speed increases, so does the risk of roofing damage. When wind speeds reach dangerous levels, weather warnings are deployed to keep people safe.

Generally speaking, the wind speeds required to issue warnings are…

Yellow warning

This warning is issued when winds reach an average speed of 30 to 40mph (and gusts of 55 to 70 mph). At this speed, you can expect small branches to break, which could potentially damage tiles if the tree overhangs your roof.

Amber warning

When an average speed of 40 to 50mph (and gusts of 70 to 80mph) is reached, an amber warning is issued. At this stage, you can expect structural damage to roofs, including to roofing tiles.

Red warning

Red warnings are much more serious, with an average speed over 50mph (and gusts exceeding 80mph). These are, fortunately, rare warnings that would require immediate action to protect yourself and your property.

When is the worst time for wind in the UK?

According to data from Statista, the average wind speed in the UK is at its highest during the winter months. So, why is this the case? A variety of factors impact the UK’s wind levels in winter.

One of these is the jet stream. According to the Met Office, the jet stream refers to “a core of strong winds around 5 to 7 miles above the Earth’s surface, blowing from west to east”. The jet stream can impact areas of pressure, both high and low, which affects the weather. Due to differences in temperature between the equator and the poles in winter, the stream floats over the UK, contributing to wet and windy weather.

This is also exacerbated by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) – a primary pattern of “atmospheric circulation variability”. Put simply, this is a yearly change in wind directions. It has “positive” and “negative” phases. During the positive phase, windstorms increase in the UK, as the pressure bolsters winds from the Atlantic.

How can you make sure your roof is protected from wind?

Of course, you can’t control the weather, but you can put measures in place to keep your roof protected. In most cases, high winds shouldn’t be an issue for well-maintained roofs.

But if your tiles are coming loose or your gutters haven’t been cleaned, strong winds could have nasty consequences. Here are some steps you can take to secure your roofing against wind damage…

Check your roof’s condition (from ground level)

The first step is to gain a clear impression of your roof’s condition. For safety purposes, it’s best to conduct this from ground level, using a pair of binoculars to help you see in finer detail, if required.

Check for any loose, broken or cracked tiles or damaged metal flashing, as these could potentially be blown away by strong gusts of wind. Ensure your roof is not sagging at any point, as this can be a structural issue.

You can also check in your loft for any leakage or mould, as this can indicate an issue with the maintenance of your roof.

Maintain your trees and gutters

As mentioned above, high winds can also be problematic for your roof due to indirect damage. Trees that overhang onto your roof are a potential hazard, as branches could break away during high winds and cause huge damages. You should also ensure that you keep a close eye on gutter maintenance and check that your gutters have not been damaged by the wind.

Get a professional inspection

Ultimately, the best way to protect your roofing from wind damage is through a professional inspection. Once a year, professional roofers should come to your property and check your roof for signs of damage. They can then fix any minor issues, such as dislodged slate or cracks in the guttering, before they become major problems.

Protect your roof from the worst of British weather

Taking a proactive approach to your roofing ensures it’s kept safe over the windy winter months. That saves you the worry that comes with damaged roofs – not to mention the expense!

With over 30 years of industry experience in Leeds and the surrounding areas, DPR Roofing is on hand to secure your roofing against wind damage. From inspecting your roof to providing repairs and replacement, we’ll ensure your home or commercial property is fully shielded against the elements.

To learn more, give our helpful and friendly team a call on 0113 335 0043 or email [email protected].