Why Some Shingle Roofs Resist Wind Damage Better Than Others

It is not good fortune that makes some shingle roofs resist wind forces better than others. Here are some of the reasons why one shingle roof may be better at wind resistance than another one:

The Shingles Are Properly Nailed

Nailing is one of the most important things when it comes to determining how strong the shingles are on the roof. Here are some of the specific issues that ensure shingles are properly nailed:

  • The nails should be driven to the right depths; under nailing leaves weak shingles and over nailing can crack the shingles
  • The nails should be driven at the right positions; the manufacturer's instructions should reign supreme
  • The right nails should be used; again, manufacturer's instructions or roofing standards are the guides to rely on

The Shingles Have Effective Glue Strips

It's not just nails that keep shingles on the roof; the glue also has a role to play. This means wind-resistant shingles have effective glue that, in addition to the nails, keep them strong. The adhesives are applied at the manufacturer's factory so their failure is a manufacturing problem.

The Shingles Have Extra Sealant

Shingle roofs in windy areas should be installed differently from shingle roofs in areas that don't experience strong winds. For example, installing shingles in high-risk areas (as far as wind damage is concerned) requires the application of extra sealant. The extra sealant is applied under the tabs between shingle courses to add extra strength to the shingles. Local residential roofing codes usually specify whether this is a requirement or not.

The Roof Sheathing is Sound

Another thing that determines the wind-resistant abilities of roofing shingles is the sheathing to which they are attached. After all, even if you use the best nails, nailing techniques, and sealant, the roof will still suffer nail damage if the sheathing is not sound. This is usually not a problem with new roofs, but replacement roofs sometimes have rotten or weak sheathing that can't hold onto shingles firmly.

The Roof Has a Good Pitch and Orientation

Lastly, the pitch of the roof also affects its ability to withstand wind forces. For example, in most places, strong winds always blow from the same direction. This means installing the roof in such a way that the regular winds don't have direct access to its edges makes it wind resistant. Mid-range slopes have been found to be better (at wind resistance) than flat or steep roofs.