Make sure your home stays sealed up tight against storms and high winds
Spring and its warmer weather mean many things: picnics, upcoming beach days, blooming flowers, and unfortunately, some serious thunderstorms that can cause storm damage to a house. Even though a lot of people love the sound of a rainstorm, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Warm weather and the damaging wind, rain, and hail it brings cost homeowners a lot of money in repair costs as well as many insurance claims. Frustratingly, there isn’t much a homeowner can do to stop a storm from causing damage to her home. And, aside from hurricanes, there isn’t time to batten down the hatches.
When a storm hits, it can be swift and fierce, causing wind damage, downed power lines, hail damage, and other structural damage to your home. When this happens, homeowners turn to their insurance companies for help.
Preventative measures you can take to limit the need for an insurance claim
High winds typically cause the most damage to a home’s roof, window, doors, and garage, with roof damage being the most common. Luckily, homeowner insurance will typically cover storm related damages with the exception of water damage related to flooding. By and large, a homeowner needs separate flood insurance.
But, no one wants to get tied up in the claims process if they don’t have to. Chances are you probably will still have to file a claim if a big storm comes through, but there are a few things you can do to possibly lessen the chance or damage to your home if you know how different parts of your home are affected by high winds and water damage.
Learn more below about the most vulnerable spots in your home during high winds
Your home’s roof is the most vulnerable to wind damage, especially depending on your roofing material. Clay tiles, metal roofing, and fiberglass shingles are most likely to stand up to high winds.
While it’s true that clay tiles that break off can become a hazard as they get tossed around in the wind, well-installed and secured clay tiles will stay put for decades. Also, they do not succumb to salt spray, which is great for homes located in coastal areas.
Metal roofs won’t rust or corrode. They will also take a walloping from the wind. Metal roofing is a great choice of roof material for all of these reasons in addition to the fact it lasts for at least 50 years.
Fiberglass shingles look like asphalt, but instead of a fiber underlayment, it has a heavy-duty fiberglass one, which is more durable and able to withstand strong gusts of wind from storms.
Our home’s windows do a shockingly good job of keeping out some of the worst weather, even when branches and debris flies into the glass. But when wind speeds reach 120 mph, the glass can shatter if it has not been protected properly with boards and tape.
If a window breaks or happens to be left open during a severe storm, it can create a great force of air within the home and can compromise your roof. A roof is made to withstand wind blowing over its surface, but when a strong force of air flows under the roof’s surface, exterior layers can be blown off.
Wind pressure can also blow off parts of a roof from the inside. This happens when roofing material is loose or does not lay flat, when roof edges are not sealed, or when roofing layers are not tightly affixed, all of which allow air to blow underneath. Shingles and roof panels that peel off are common, and more substantial damage is always possible when strong winds are able to get under a poorly sealed or affixed roof.
There are hurricane impact rated windows. Often, installing impact windows will eliminate the need to install storm shutters. So, even if impact windows do cost 1.5X-2Xs more than regular windows, it usually still comes out cheaper than the cost of buying and installing storm shutters over standard windows. Plus, you very well may qualify for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance too.
Doors can be pushed open during a storm. This is especially true of double doors. You’ll get the same problem as with an open window. When the interior of your home is exposed to the wind and elements outside, it allows for water damage, including mold growth. It takes a surprisingly small amount of time and water (just one inch) for it to cause very expensive damage.
But, just like impact resistant windows, doors can also be manufactured to withstand hurricanes. And, though it’s understandably hard to fork out that extra money on an extra-secure door, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. But, what’s definitely worth it is saving your home from costly water damage if your regular doors fail.
If you don’t have time to brace your garage door with planks of wood before a severe storm, you risk turning your garage door into a sail. Being a huge flat surface, it becomes a prime target for damage from high winds.
If the garage is compromised during a hurricane or storm with high winds, you run the risk of having your windows blow out, your walls damaged, and your roof
In fact, when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, it destroyed more than 25,000 homes and damaged another 100,000. Analyst after the storm attributed more than 80 percent of this damage to the failure of garage doors.
Installing an impact-resistant garage door protects it and your home from 200 mph winds, which is above that of a category 5 hurricane. States that suffer from frequent hurricanes or bad wind storms usually have codes in place to ensure home’s are adequately prepared to withstand such a serious threat.
Even if you are not required to by code, but you want some extra protection without the high cost of a new high-impact resistant garage door, you can purchase and install a bracing kit. It’s a hurricane-resistant retro-fit system for your home. It’s about $500 and can be a DIY project if you’re handy with a drill. It might not have the extra defense that a specialized garage door has when it comes to withstanding flying debris, but it will help prevent it from succumbing to the wind.
Finding a qualified contractor to help you weather the
Bad storms are frightening because we are at the whim of mother nature. And, although we can’t stop the weather, we can prepare ourselves for it occurs.
Finding a contractor who is experienced working in areas where dangerous storms are common is a good first step. A qualified pro can help you figure out your needs and put it into a plan.