The Effects of Wind Damage on Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt roofing or an asphalt shingle has been used as a roofing cover for more than one hundred years. Originally, this roofing system was made from cotton rags with asphalt super stratum and slate particles surface, but in the 1960s, it underwent the transformation: the use of glass fiber mats as a base made the system lighter and less likely to retain moisture, which made asphalt shingles very popular in steep slope roofing of which any Atlanta roofing company knows very well.. However, as well as other types of roofing covers, asphalt shingles are suspected to various kinds of damage, especially the ones caused by the wind; the system consists of multiple parts, and wrong installation, lifetime, and wind power may influence their breakdown and following leaks. This paper is for an Atlanta roofing company that aims to discuss the effects of wind damage on asphalt shingles and how an Atlanta roofing company can deal with it.

For a start, one should identify the mechanism of wind damage, the most places susceptible to it, and the most common types of asphalt roofing systems. According to Marshall et al., wind creates on the roof uplift pressures, and the highest of them develop along the windward corners, ridges, rakes, and eaves; in these locations, asphalt shingles have weaker bonds, and, thus, they are more subjected to wind damage (Marshall et al. 1). Generally, there are two common types of asphalt shingles: three-tab and laminated. Three-tab shingles contain two joints that are in the bottom half of a shingle. Laminated or architectural shingles consist of top and bottom laminates; the bottom laminate is solid, and the top laminate has the shape of a trapezoid. Both types of shingles have different costs, different characteristics, and different wind resistance, but the types of wind damage are the same for the whole roofing system and are offered by any Atlanta roofing company.

According to DeLeon and Pietrasik, the most common types of damage that wind brings to asphalt roofing include partially or fully un-adhered shingles, bent or failed shingles, missing shingles, and punctured and scuffed shingles caused by wind-blown debris in cases of hurricanes (DeLeon and Pietrasik 5). Partially or fully un-adhered shingles can be easily located by hand; due to the lack of adherence, they decrease the general moisture resistance of the roof, cause leaks, and should be replaced or repaired depending on the level of damage. Bent or failed shingles demonstrate flexural distress and the lack of adherence with the basal shingle in parallel to shingle’s position. They bend under the wind power, cause leaks in case of downfall and wind combination, and need to be replaced. Missing shingles are usually caused by high winds and appear in the locations with weaker bonds. They require replacement as they decrease the common moisture resistance of the system; the locations with missing shingles have only roof decking or basic layer that do not answer water resistant requirements. Punctured and scuffed shingles are usually localized and require individual replacement of damaged shingles; they may cause leaks due to the defects of shingle’s surface and the pitch of the system.

Marshall et al. found that laminated shingles are less subjected to negative consequences of the wind than three-tab shingles; it can be explained by the lighter weight of the tabs and their trapezoidal shape that behaves similarly to a flap of an aircraft wing (Marshall et al. 3). Besides the bonds between shingles and the level of uplift pressures, the factors that influence wind damage of asphalt roofing also include the age of shingles, material properties, quality of manufacturing and installation, and wind direction. In order to reduce wind damage, asphalt roofing systems should answer building codes and standards that an Atlanta roofing company is guided by. DeLeon and Pietrasik highlight the weakness of the building code wind requirements for residential asphalt shingles and recommend using ASTM D3161 Class D and F shingles for the wind regions with less and more than 100mph correspondingly (DeLeon and Pietrasik 9). The final decision about the way of roof repairing should be based on the visual inspection of the damage, building requirements, and availability of the materials by your Atlanta roofing company.


DeLeon, Marco A., and Pamela C. Pietrasik. "Assessing Wind Damage to Asphalt Roof Shingles." Nelson Forensics. Nelson Forensics, 2009. Web. PDF. Accessed 24 Dec 2016.

Marshall, Timothy P., et al. "Wind Effects on Asphalt Shingles." 29th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Irving, Texas, 9 May 2010. Unpublished Conference Paper. Print.