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Wind storms can damage roofing systems in several different ways. The effect of the wind itself can exert a force on important roof system attachments that prevent the roof system from separating from the roof deck and building. Wind forces can also damage exposed sheet metal items, such as gutters and downspouts. In addition, the force of the wind-borne debris may cause puncture or cutting of the roof membrane. In fact, severe wind storms can even dislodge rooftop units and cause the units to blow across the roof, causing extensive roof membrane damage.


As soon as possible after any significant wind storm.


  • Roof Membrane Surface. 
  • Rooftop Units.
  • Roof Edge Metal, Gutters & Downspouts.


Ballasted Roofing Systems:

  • Look for missing or displaced roof ballast.
  • Look for shuffled or displaced insulation boards beneath the roof membrane.

Adhered Roofing Systems:  

  • Look for loose or disbonded areas of roof membrane.  
  • Look for deflection or distortion of the insulation boards beneath the roof membrane.
  • Look for "tented" insulation fasteners and plates. 

Mechanically Attached Roofing Systems:

  • Look for large cuts or slices in the roof membrane.
  • Look for deflection or distortion of the insulation boards beneath the roof membrane. 
  • Look for "tented" or loose roofing fasteners and plates.
  • Displaced or Damaged Rooftop Units or Damaged or Missing Sheet Metal Components.
  • Membrane Cuts and Punctures.


  • Remove Debris.
  • Replace or Re-Disperse Roofing Ballast. This must be done carefully in order to avoid puncturing the membrane.
  • Repair Damaged Roof Membrane & Components. Permanent repairs should always be performed by a licensed roofing contractor.

In order to respond to emergency situations, the following actions can be taken by the building maintenance staff: 

  1. Small cuts and punctures can be sealed temporarily. 
  2. If large areas of membrane have become detached and are actively billowing, it is very important to cut the membrane to reduce the internal pressure build-up. Even though this procedure may cause some water to enter the roof system, it may prevent additional detachment of the membrane and the potential for a roof "blowoff".
  3. Roof membrane which has detached at the perimeter anchorages should be resecured by weighting the membrane with sand bags or by securing with a wood batten or nailer.


  • Add Roof Ballast. If some areas of ballast stone are frequently displaced by winds, consider adding a larger size of ballast stone or replacing ballast stone with concrete pavers. Note: Ballast should not be added to a roof without a review of the roof load capacity by a structural engineer.
  • Review Roof System Design. If damage consistently occurs in certain areas of the roof, the roof system design should be reviewed by an engineer or roof consultant. 



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