Severe weather events and natural disasters can cause billions of dollars in damages annually. In 2021 alone, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) recorded 20 separate billion-dollar weather disasters. These resulted in a total of $145 billion in damages.
It’s crucial to hope for the best yet plan for the worst, especially if you live in a coastal area. A hurricane’s high winds can uproot trees or turn everyday items into dangerous projectiles. Additionally, possible storm surges can result in flooding that ruins everything in its path. Failing to prepare for these events can leave you overwhelmed by the aftermath of a hurricane.
What kind of damage can hurricanes cause exactly? What can you do as a homeowner to protect your property when one strikes? We tackle these topics in the following sections.
What Kind of Damage Can Hurricanes Cause?
Not all hurricanes are the same, but they can all inflict a certain level of house damage, no matter their category.
High-speed winds that come with hurricanes can shift tiles on a house’s roof. In some cases, it can even rip entire roof structures off. Moreover, wind gusts that pick up trees, branches, or other objects can strike the roof or other parts of a house’s exterior.
Meanwhile, hurricanes can generate storm surges that are not only destructive to properties but also dangerous to humans. A storm surge refers to the unusual, fast-moving rise of water caused by high winds. It can raise water to 20 feet, span hundreds of miles, and sweep properties and roads within minutes.
The Most Common Types of Hurricane House Damage To Watch Out For
While the NOAA predicts this year’s hurricane season to be less active than in recent years, there’s no harm in preparing for the worst. Awareness of these common types of hurricane house damage goes a long way in preventing extensive issues or achieving a smooth and swift restoration project.
1. Roof Damage
A severe storm can cause many types of roof damage. Even the sturdiest roof structures can suffer serious damage from high winds, from shingles being torn off to the entire system collapsing or being lifted off. Hurricanes rated Category 3 and higher can completely tear roofs off their buildings, regardless of their age or condition.
What makes roof damage more challenging to deal with is that the problems don’t end with damaged shingles, sheathing, or framing. It can also expose your home’s interior to natural elements, causing water and structural damage.
Whether or not you see visible signs of roof damage after a hurricane, it’s crucial to have it checked by a professional. Doing so lets you catch and fix problems before they worsen.
2. Structure and Foundation Damage
Hurricane wind speeds can range from at least 74 mph to 157 mph, which can be too much for your home’s foundation to handle. In some cases, an uplift can occur and wreak havoc on buildings. This happens when the wind flowing over the roof separates the house from its foundation.
In an uplift, the wind pressure can cause your home to tilt, rotate, or slide off its foundation. This movement can create new cracks or widen existing ones, making your house unstable and unsafe.
3. Equipment Damage
Besides flooding, the power surges that hurricanes often bring can also affect your home’s equipment. You may see damage to your water heating equipment, HVAC systems, transformers, telephone systems, pool equipment, and other appliances.
Unfortunately, most water-damaged equipment and electronics become damaged beyond repair. Power surges, on the other hand, can reduce your appliances’ performance. In worse cases, intense surges can damage the electrical systems within your devices and even start an electrical fire.
4. Interior Damage
Damaged windows and doors can allow flying debris, heavy rains, and wind inside your home, causing damage to everything inside it. You may find your entire interior in chaos from the walls, floors, and furnishings to your important documents and other belongings.
With that said, not all interior damage will be obvious. Hidden issues may also develop after a hurricane, like water infiltration behind walls and ceilings due to a roof leak. Collapsing drywall, cracks on walls, and peeling paint or wallpaper are other signs of wall water damage.
Prompt water extraction, drying, and restoration can help save your salvageable items. However, those that have been soaked beyond repair must be discarded to avoid creating damp conditions ideal for mold and microbial growth.
Flooding may occur when storm surges formed during a hurricane push water from the ocean into the land. The water levels may also rise if heavy rain causes rivers and lakes to overflow. Whichever the source, flooding can damage your property and cause mold to grow and thrive in it.
This is why it’s best to assume that mold is already present in your home, whether flooded or exposed to minimal water. In damp conditions, mold can develop within the first 72 hours. Also, once it grows, it can leave behind hard-to-clean stains and persistent musty odors.
What’s more critical to note that mold exposure can trigger asthma attacks, eye and skin irritation, and other allergic reactions. If you have a weakened immune system or other health issues, consulting your physician before attempting any cleanup is recommended.
Ultimately, consider enlisting professional mold remediation as soon as possible. A trained and certified team will be more equipped to address the contamination, address underlying moisture problems, and keep mold from returning.
Ways To Reduce Hurricane Damage to Your Property
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, it’s highly likely that you have experienced or could experience a hurricane in the future. Here are some pointers that can help you minimize its impact on your home:
- Follow your local building codes when securing your roof. For example, six nails per shingle are required in high-wind areas instead of the average four nails.
- Reinforce your roof using hurricane clips to help it withstand winds up to 100 mph.
- Reinforce your garage doors by installing heavy-duty hinges and vertical panel bracing.
- Consider investing in impact-resistant windows and exterior doors.
- Minimize the risks of hurricane house damage from fallen trees and branches by trimming large trees surrounding your property.
What To Do When a Hurricane Damages Your Home
The reality is that returning a property to its pre-damaged condition can be both exhausting and expensive.
Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies cover some aspects of hurricane damage. Taking sufficient documentation of your losses and filing a claim with your insurance company can help you get the compensation you need to restore your home.
Most importantly, when rebuilding your property, know that you don’t have to do everything alone. For the most efficient repairs and the best results, consider hiring certified companies offering disaster response, storm recovery, and flood damage cleanup. Take advantage of their expertise and modern equipment to make your home safe and livable again in no time.
Find a Restoration 1 Team Near You and Get 24/7 Assistance
Some severe storms can last days and destroy homes, while others leave quickly and cause more minor damages. Still, regardless of their strength and duration, hurricanes can leave property owners dealing with overwhelming destruction to address.
If your home has been affected by any of the types of hurricane damage mentioned above, it’s critical that you begin the restoration process as soon as possible. Restoration 1 has local teams all over the country ready to respond to your emergency request and start getting things back to normal.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch anytime to get expert help. Your local Restoration 1 team will be by your side shortly to return your home and your life to normal.