Excessive winds have the potential to cause considerable amounts of damage to roof systems and exterior finishes. High winds passing over and around a pitched roof can create uplift pressures that can exceed the resistance of a component to such pressures and allow it to become more susceptible to wind damages.
The uplift pressures created by wind forces are highest along windward corners, rakes, eaves, and ridges due to the levels of turbulence created at these roof locations. This typically results in wind damage being initiated at these points first, especially if the roofing material is aged/weathered, deteriorated, or poorly attached. It is also important to note that damage is specific to the type of roof system in question, whether it is shingles, wood shake or shingles, tile, or metal panels.
National consensus and state building codes require buildings and other structures to be able to withstand forces generated from certain minimum wind speeds, dependent on location, without damage occurring to the roof or structure. Based on experience, however, when failures occur, often the primary cause for the damage is found to be inadequate construction or installation that was not done in accordance with industry standards and common practices for wind resistance. This can lower the threshold for resistance and cause damage at wind speeds below design levels.