Ways to Help Prevent Wind Damage to Your Home
There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home. Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property from broken windows and fallen tree branches to more severe damage to the roof, garage, or car. It can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.
Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms
Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage. It can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage. Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.
It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect. These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.
Preventing Wind and Storm Damage
Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside. Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.
Roof damage can be reduced during the construction phase when the roof deck and the shingles or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will firmly anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material must be properly fastened to the deck. Weakly connected shingles will lift easily from the deck.
Siding damage can be reduced at the construction phase as well. Properly fastened siding is less likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger and more storm resistant structure.
Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of the structure being damaged.
Mitigating Damage after a Storm
Close any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.
Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.
Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a very serious personal and structural safety issue. A tree may look as if it will not shift position. But it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. A fallen tree may also mask other very serious safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be live and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.
If your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage. SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.
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