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Overcoming Wind Uplift


One of the most common roofing issues that building owners face today is wind uplift. This occurs when a strong wind blows across the top of your roof, and lifts up all or part of the roof with it as it blows. This is a very obvious problem. You don’t have to know much about roofing to understand how your roof being blown off is bad for your building. Let’s look at the two main results of wind uplift, and how a seamless roof can prevent it.

Partial Roof Removal

This is the much-preferred result of wind uplift on your building. Partial roof removal means that only a small section is pulled up by the wind. This could mean that one piece of the roofing membrane or one metal panel is removed by wind. These problems need to be repaired ASAP and shouldn’t be ignored, but they are still nothing compared to complete roof removal as we’ll see below.

Wind uplift
The roof was blown clear off the Superdome during hurricane Katrina

Complete Roof Removal

If you experience complete roof removal from wind uplift, hopefully, you weren’t around to see it because this is usually the result of hurricane force winds. Complete roof removal generally only occurs in the midst of extremely heavy, long-lasting winds, and it can be devastating.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire roof was 100% removed, as there are normally corners and scraps of the roof left over. What it does mean is that enough was removed that the building will now require a completely new roof. Suffering a complete roof removal from wind uplift will halt your operations and take the time to repair, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Avoiding Wind Uplift

A roof that is seamless and fully adhered is a great way to avoid roof removal from wind uplift. Spray foam or a restoration coating are great fully adhered systems. Systems with seams can be susceptible to wind penetrating the seams, getting under the roof and lifting up. Seamless systems don’t allow wind under them, and therefore they combat wind uplift much better than other systems. There have been cases where every building in a 2-3 block stretch had their roof removed except for the spray foam roofs.


Wind uplift can be a devastating event. The most important thing is that if complete roof removal is a possibility, you get everyone out of your building. Safety should be your number one priority. Before storms come, having a roof that will minimize the effect of wind on your building is a great idea.

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