4 Ways To Prevent Wind Uplift Damage To Your Roof

2 December 2014
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Moisture protection is often the primary concern when one installs a new commercial roof. That makes sense. After all, if moisture leaks into your building, it can cause mold, mildew, and even structural problems. However, moisture shouldn't be your only concern. Wind uplift is another serious risk. Wind uplift occurs when the air pressure underneath your roof is greater than the air pressure above your roof. Air sneaks into your building and applies pressure from inside the roof. As wind blows overhead, it clears out external air pressure. That inside air pressure then forces the roof upward. Over time, it can even force portions of your roof loose. Here are steps you can take to prevent wind uplift:

Make sure all flashing is secure. Loose flashing is a prime entry-point for air. Flashing is the metal strips on your roof around vents, pipes, and other angles. It helps guide water to the appropriate drainage points. Over time flashing can come loose and when it does, it provides entry into your building for air and water. Once air is in your building's roof, it has nowhere to escape to, so it just accumulates until the pressure forces your roof open. Do regular checks of your flashing to make sure it's in place and in good condition.

Block the wind above your roof. Air inside your roof is fine as long as the inside pressure is less than the outside pressure. When a gust of wind blows through, the outside pressure drops. If you're in a location that is vulnerable to high-speed wind, consider installing blockages. Tall trees around your building can help slow down wind gusts. You may even consider planting trees and shrubbery on the roof itself.

Keep large bay doors closed when they're not in use. If you have an industrial facility, you probably have large bay doors for easy loading and unloading. Do those doors stay open even when they're not being used? If so, they're allowing air into your building, which is increasing the indoor air pressure. Keep those bay doors closed when they're not needed.

Install vents. The best way to prevent wind uplift is to have vents high in your building that will allow air to escape. If your building doesn't have these types of vents, you may want to have them installed.

Talk to a commercial roofing contractor (such as B & B Sheet Metal And Roofing Inc) about wind uplift and the dangers that it poses. They can inspect your roof and recommend preventative solutions.