how much wind can a roof withstand
Kristina Davis

How much wind can a roof withstand? You will likely have this question on your mind when you live in an area prone to windstorms.

As the frequency of extreme weather occurrences rises, so does the need for safe housing that can withstand powerful winds.

You can increase a house’s resilience to the wind by consulting building norms and standards based on studies.

So, how much wind can a metal roof withstand? Well, it is certainly different from how much wind can a tile roof withstand.

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How much wind your roof can withstand often depends on its material and construction technique, and with quality construction, it can withstand 100mph or more.  

Possibilities of a House Withstanding Powerful Winds

a house withstanding

A home can be built to withstand gusts of 100 mph with careful planning and high-quality construction.

It means that a windproof house needs a continuous path in addition to windows and doors that can withstand high winds and heavy rain.

Therefore, the roof, walls, and base must be securely attached to one another.

During extreme gusts above 100 mph, the walls, floors, roof, and foundation are kept in place thanks to a robust continuous load channel.

It is essential because it helps disperses the forces of the wind.

How Much Wind Can a Roof Withstand?

wind a roof withstanding

When you talk specifically about the strength of a roof, you will have to consider various factors.

The material of the roof is probably the most important one here.

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The Power of Shingled Roof

power of shingled roof

It just takes winds of 45 mph to do some little damage to a shingle roof.

In most cases, you may notice some loose shingles removed because of high winds.

You should expect widespread, substantial damage to shingle roofs if the wind speed is increased to 75 mph or more.

Note: Mostly, high winds can loosen shingles, but it is more common for a tree limb or large branch to cause extensive damage by crashing through it.  

The Power of a Tile Roof

power of tile roof

Fortunately, concrete roof tiles are an excellent barrier against the damaging effects of weather, especially strong winds.

When properly built, concrete roof tiles are likely to withstand winds up to 180 mph.

This has been verified through simulations of stress placed on a tiling wall.

However, their underlying advantage in wind resistance is their construction and shape.

Because of this shape, the wind can travel freely without causing significant stress. 

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The Power of a Metal Roof

power of metal roof

When you are in an area where you usually expect more windstorms, you will benefit greatly by going with a metal roof.

They are not only more durable but also do a better job of keeping out the rain that the wind has blown in.

Metal roofs can resist winds of up to 180 mph and have a wind rating of 140 mph based on the Metal Roofing Alliance’s testing procedures.

Note: Hurricane Michael's winds reached 155mph, but as it made landfall, gusts were closer to 104–129 mph and safe for metal roofs. 

Roof Materials and Design To Withstand Powerful Winds

roof design and materials

A home’s first line of protection against severe weather is a sturdy, well-built roof, which may redirect the force of wind away from the walls below.

Similarly, the framing and sheathing of the roof are responsible for transmitting lateral loads to the shear walls of the building.

The Most Important Concern for Roof Performance

concern for roof performance

Strong winds over the edge of a roof can create a vacuum and upward forces that has the force to tear the system of a house.

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Strong winds can also turn loose objects into missiles that can damage the roof to the point where it collapses, along with any walls they come into contact with.

That is why the roof’s sheathing and framework must be appropriately sized to withstand the typical wind speeds in the area.   

Important Considerations for Sheathing

important considerations sheathing

In places with winds of less than 100 miles per hour, ordinary nails can be used without worrying about severe damage.

However, you will always have to switch to ring-shank nails in high-wind areas.

Be sure to nail wood anywhere there is a high probability of uplift, such as under the eaves, in the corner zone, or on the roof. 

Considerations for Roof Framing

room framing considerations

Once you have handled the roof sheathing correctly, you need to proceed to the roof framing, which is the next structural component in the load path of your house.

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Lateral loads are transferred to shear walls via the roof framework.

But keep in mind that the rafter’s size in a roof’s framework determines how well it can support the weight of your roof and the wind pressures. 

Roof Design Considerations To Withstand Strong Winds

roof designs considerations

The roof’s style determines how well it holds up in gusty weather. 

When building a home that can survive 100 mph winds, experts recommend the following design tips: 

Opt for Hip Roofs

chose hip roofs

It is always a good idea to stick to hip roofs with various 30-degree slopes to withstand powerful winds.

They perform much better than gable roofs, which are less expensive but not efficient with their two slopes. 

Create Stronger Connections With the Walls

connections with the walls

You need to strengthen the connection between the walls and your roof. And that is when hurricane ties help do the job.

Metal connections available in several shapes and sizes are used as hurricane ties. Steel and wood versions of these connectors are also available.

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And both are designed to withstand the added stress of heavy winds and seismic activity.

Tip: Overhangs larger than 20 inches are countered by wind uplift forces and should be avoided. 

Roofing Materials To Withstand Strong Winds

materials to withstand strong winds

How much wind your roof can withstand will depend heavily on wind-resistant roofing materials.

Several options are available for your consideration. 

For instance:

  1. Try 3-tab asphalt shingles to manage 60-70mph winds.
  2. Use slate tiles because they hold up well against 110mph winds.
  3. Go with cedar shakes to handle winds stronger than 245mph.
  4. Try recyclable metal roofs to handle 110-160mph winds.
  5. Use architectural-grade asphalt shingles to withstand winds up to 130mph.
options are available

These materials are famous and extremely popular as well. The good thing is that they also last a long time.

For instance, cedar shakes can last more than 40 years with little maintenance.

Similarly, recyclable metal roofs are capable of lasting up to 50 years.

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But going with clay or slate tiles means your roof will likely last up to 100 years with regular maintenance. 

Why Go With Roofs Capable of Withstanding Strong Winds?

roofs capable of withstanding

Many homeowners do not believe the wind can destroy their homes until it is too late.

However, uprooted trees, fallen branches, and downed power lines are just a few threats that high winds can bring to your home and neighborhood.

Although these threats come to mind when we think of the aftermath of a major storm, the wind itself can cause significant damage to your home’s structure.

Shingles can become dislodged or even blow off a roof in strong winds.

A severe windstorm might rip off even brand-new, properly fastened shingles.

Falling branches and trees, debris, and electricity lines can also damage roofs. 

Identifying Wind Damage To Reinforce Roofs

identifying the wind damage

If your area has recently experienced gusts of 45 mph or more, check your roof for obvious wind damage.

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You should look for specific signs of damage, such as:

  • Loose shingles
  • Problems with the chimney
  • Granule loss
  • Peeling shingles
  • Damaged soffit or fascia
  • Interior leaks
key takeaways

Roofs can be damaged when branches break off trees and fall due to high winds.

Tip: To confirm you have missing granules, the first area to check is the gutters since that is where they are likely to collect. 

Takeaway

How much wind can a roof withstand? A number of factors play a role here, and the material and design of your roof are probably the most important ones.

If you opt for a metal roof, it can handle over 180mph.

But, if you stick to a shingle roof, it may not be able to withstand winds over 75mph without experiencing significant damage.

Be sure to consider the winds in your area and work with a pro to choose the best material and design for your roof.

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