Lessons learned

Asphalt shingle testing reveals reasons for shingle blow-off

Wind damage to asphalt shingles from hurricane wind-related damage is the leading cause of insured losses in residential buildings according to Albuquerque-based Applied Research Associates Inc., an international research and engineering company. Contributing factors include the dominance of asphalt shingle roof systems in the residential roofing market, installation quality and the shingles' ages at the time of the hurricane or wind-related event.

According to a 2010 Interface magazine article "Surviving nature's fury," post-hurricane assessments during the past decade have shown asphalt shingle roof systems with six years or more of service were more than 50 percent likely to incur some form of wind damage than their newer counterparts.

With this in mind, we asked two questions: How does wind damage shingles? And why is there an apparent correlation between shingle age and the likelihood of wind damage?

For the past three years, a partnership between the University of Florida's Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, Gainesville, and a broad group of industry, academic and government stakeholders has sought answers to these critical questions. As part of this work, experimental studies were carried out using state-of-the-art accelerated aging, full-scale wind tunnel tests and in situ assessments.