Can Oahu's Wind Really Cause Roof Damage?

- 4/27/2020

"On Oahu, weather is a phenomenon of localized geography and even the time of day"

While mainlanders dream of the perpetually gentle winds passing through Oahu, residents know better. Among the Hawaiian islands--and even within them--weather is a phenomenon of localized geography and the particular time of day. Idyllic weather can turn inclement quickly, and just as quickly return to ideal conditions. Also, there is a reason why so many hotels and resorts are densely packed on the island's southern coast. The dominance of warmer, sunnier conditions there attracts tourists and investors. Like its sister islands, though, Oahu is subject to both the trade and Kona winds. Like everywhere, wind takes its toll on roofs.

Just as wind can contribute to soil erosion on farms, it can slowly, imperceptibly but absolutely degrade the materials that cover a house. Most of the winds Oahu absorbs are trade winds, i.e. those that flow in a northeasterly, or even east-northeasterly , direction. Especially during the summer, trade winds feel like, well, a breath of fresh air, both cool and stimulating. Yet they are not without their drawbacks. In fact, trade winds blow five to 20 knots faster over land than they do over open sea. That is up to 23 miles per hour (mph)--not hurricane force but significant nonetheless. Blowing to the south and west, Kona winds are less violent and of shorter duration, though they do carry ample amounts of precipitation with them.

What does all this mean for roofs? The National Weather Service declares that roofs are in immediate danger when winds are moving at 45 mph. Still, danger is a relative term, and a strong case can be made that roofs are vulnerable as soon as they are exposed to the elements. Depending on the materials used, roofs are subject to rain, wildlife, debris and hail, as well as winds. This is why most roofs do not last forever. Over years, winds erode the molecules that make up the roofing shingles, whether wood, slate, metal, plastic asphalt or composites. It is certain that winds, whether moving at five, 23 or 45 mph will be complicit in the slow, deterioration of any Oahu roof.

Roofs that are older, or that have gone without inspection for years, are certainly due for one. No roof in Oahu is immune to the long-term effects of wind, nor to any of the other external threats noted above. A neglected roof will lead to leaks, energy loss and even animal invasion. Securing the expertise of the Oahu Roofing Company is a step in the right direction. Our professionals examine the integrity of a roof closely before advising any repairs, patches or replacement. Familiar with the optimal state of roofing materials, they can assess whether a canopy is intact or in need. 

One of the primary causes of severe roof damage is inadequate maintenance. If a home or building covering has a corrupted cover, it is only a matter of time before collateral damage will occur. The Oahu Roofing Company can help prevent the inconvenience and expense of a major restoration project.