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How to Handle Wind Damage & Homeowners Insurance


June 19, 2020

With the changing season of West Michigan, we—and our roofs—are going to be subject to high winds on occasion throughout the year. While wind storms aren’t necessarily a regular occurrence in this part of the world, high winds from severe thunderstorms are the cause of about half of all severe wind damage roof insurance claims.

Being prepared for storm damage involves trying to prevent it by maintaining a healthy roof and carrying homeowners insurance that covers any unavoidable damage.

When Winds Cause Damage

Roofs are built to be durable and resilient, so it takes a lot of wind to threaten the integrity of your roof. Still, nature cannot be stopped. When winds get up to 45 miles per hour or more, your roof can start to feel it.

At wind speeds of 45-57 miles per hour:

  • Loose shingles may fall off
  • Limbs can be ripped from their trees and land on your roof

At wind speeds of 58-74 miles per hour:

  • Shingles, whether previously loose or not, can be ripped off
  • Trees can be torn down or uprooted

At wind speeds of 75-89 miles per hour (F1 tornados range from 73-112 MPH):

  • Severe roof damage is a risk
  • Potential for total roof replacement

At wind speeds of 90 or more miles per hour (F2 tornados start at 113 MPH and F5s can get as high as 318 MPH):

  • Severe roof damage is a risk
  • Potential for total roof replacement

Signs of Wind Damage to a Roof

If the damage is severe, it’s going to be obvious. Shingles will be strewn about your yard, tree branches may be on the roof and other debris will be littering the neighborhood.

Thankfully, severe wind damage to roofs is rare in West Michigan. However, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the possibility of minor damage. If minor damage isn’t addressed, it can lead to bigger problems in the future.

Signs of minor wind damage to your roof include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Missing, curling, lifted, creased or cracked shingles
  • Shingle granules in gutters or around downspouts

After a strong storm, it’s a good idea to check for wind or storm damage to your roof. You’ll be able to spot the obvious signs like tree limbs or missing shingles from the ground, but we also recommend you contact us for a roof inspection. Our experts will make sure your roof is in its best possible shape and, if necessary, advise you on making an insurance claim.

Filing a Wind Damage Roof Insurance Claim

If your inspection determines you need roof repair or replacement that will cost more than your deductible, you’re going to want to file a wind damage roof insurance claim, which will fall under almost all homeowners insurance policies.

Following the inspection, we’ll give you an estimate for repairs or replacement and help you decide if you should file a claim. Even better, West Michigan Roofing will be your advocate throughout the insurance process if you commit to using us as your contractor. This simplifies the process for you, knowing you have experienced professionals in dealing with the intricacies of insurance. For what to expect, read Homeowners Insurance 101.

We hope you never have to make an insurance claim related to wind damage for your roof, but if you do, know that we’re here for you.