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Damaging Winds: The Factors Affecting Wind Speeds and Loads

Homeowners usually start to worry about their home when they hear news reports about gusts and storms that can reach relatively high wind speeds, but you shouldn’t start panicking just yet. Although wind speeds can be used to gauge the potential amount of damage to your home, they don’t give the whole picture. Wind speeds are just one of the factors used to calculate wind loads or the amount of pressure your home has to resist to stay intact.

Understanding how strong winds can cause damage is key to preparing your home for extreme weather events.

Wind Speed 

Wind speed is just one of the many determinants of wind load or pressure, but you need to start preparing if they exceed speeds of up to 50 to 60 miles per hour. Winds that exceed this figure are classified as damaging, and the havoc they can wreak is affected by several factors.

As a general rule, you should check your roofing system after your area experiences higher than 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Surrounding Terrain 

Air is a fluid and moves freely. Its speed is reduced through friction with the various land features and buildings at ground level; by how much depends on the height of the features themselves. The more trees and hills in your area, the lower the wind speeds and, consequently, the potential damage to your home.

Building Height and Shape 

Even with various land features, taller buildings are generally more prone to damage than shorter buildings. This is because wind speeds tend to increase the farther the winds are from ground level.

Wind Loads

Wind loads would be the primary determinant of damage to buildings. In fact, wind loads are factored into the construction and design of buildings. Apart from wind speeds, the wind exposure category, topographic effects and wind directionality are used to calculate the wind pressure on buildings. However, on average, wind loads vary from wind speeds by more than 30%.

Regardless of their location, height or design, all buildings are susceptible to damage from high winds. That’s why it’s important that you have a qualified contractor inspect and maintain the most vulnerable parts of your home, namely your roof.

New View Roofing is one of the top commercial roofing contractors in the state. We’re a veteran-owned roofing company specializing in storm damage repair and general roofing services. To get a free inspection, call (469) 250-0016, or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Dallas, TX.

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