If you live anywhere in the midwest, you know that storms can wreak havoc on your home. The winds and heavy rainfall might result in damages that require your immediate attention.
If you own a home, then it’s incredibly empowering to know the different types of storm-related damage and the repair or restoration options you have available. This quick and easy guide will help you understand the diverse types of damage that can occur during a storm and provide you with practical tips on how to address them.
When different weather rolls in, one of the most common forms of property damage are from high winds. High winds can range in speed, and the damage costs homeowners all over the United States millions of dollars a year to repair. High winds can cause roof shingles to lift, break, or blow off, leaving your home exposed to the elements. Additionally, wind can cause siding, gutters, and even windows to take damage from flying debris, or become removed due to poor structural integrity.
- Inspect your roof for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. Have a professional repair or replace them as necessary.
- Check for damage to your siding and repair or replace damaged sections. Look for cracks or punctures to ensure water doesn’t start penetrating the interior elements of your home.
- Inspect your gutters and downspouts for signs of wind damage, often the gutters will get ripped away from the house, or debris from the storm can leave them clogged.
- If your windows have been damaged, take the necessary steps to make sure water doesn’t get inside your home, and consider upgrading to more impact-resistant windows to protect against future wind damage.
Hailstorms can cause significant damage to your home’s exterior, especially if the hailstones are large or the storm is particularly severe. Hail can dent or crack your roofing materials, siding, or other protective structures of your home, leaving them vulnerable to leaks.
- If you suspect hail damage, hire a professional to inspect your roof and assess the extent of the damage. Determine if utilizing your homeowner’s insurance warrants a repair or full replacement.
- Minor dents and cracks may be repaired, but more severe damage may necessitate a full roof replacement.
- Check your siding as well, vinyl siding is known for taking a lot of damage during hail storms, consider an upgrade if it’s a common issue.
Heavy rainfall, flash floods, and storm surges will test the structural integrity of your home and it’s the foundation. If your home has a weak spot, water will find it and can lead to structural issues, mold growth, damage to your interior including drywall, and potentially damage to your personal belongings if your roof collapses.
- Inspect your home’s ceilings for signs of water damage. Also, check for discolored walls, and flooring.
- If you locate standing water then remove it quickly and dry out affected areas using fans and dehumidifiers.
- Hire a professional water damage restoration company to address more extensive water damage and prevent mold growth. Mold growth is a very common problem for many homeowners who aren’t aware of how it forms.
- Consider investing in a sump pump, flood, or other flood prevention measures to protect your home from future water damage. A sump pump will pump water out of your home and into a safe area nearby where it can channel towards a local storm drain.
Lightning strikes are another issue with inclement weather. If it strikes your home directly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s electrical systems, electronics, and appliances, as well as pose a fire risk. A lightning strike can also damage your roof or other structural components, opening them up to the elements, and creating entry points for water.
- Inspect your home’s electrical systems for signs of damage, including flickering lights, power surges, and burnt outlets. Also check your circuit breaker to see if any circuits were tripped during the lightning storm.
- If you suspect your home was struck by lightning, contact a licensed electrician to assess and repair any issues. It’s important to proceed with caution as faulty or damaged electrical wiring can lead to death if touched.
- If you are in a commonly struck area, then consider Installing a lightning protection system, such as a lightning rod, to minimize the risk of future lightning damage.
- Regularly inspect your roof from the ground for signs of damage and repair or replace damaged sections to prevent water infiltration. If you see damage, contact a local roofing contractor for assistance.
Fallen Tree Damage
During a storm, high winds or saturated soil can cause trees or large branches to fall on your home, causing extensive structural damage. This type of damage is not only dangerous but it’s costly to repair.
- Contact a professional tree removal service to safely remove any fallen trees or branches from your property. Watch out for trees that have fallen near or on top of electrical systems or structures and if you see this, do NOT attempt to intervene.
- Assess the extent of the damage and consult with a contractor or structural engineer to determine the best course of action for repairs.
- Regularly trim trees, get rid of overhanging branches, and remove dead or diseased branches to reduce the risk of branches falling and damaging your home, cars, or electrical systems around your home.
Storms often generate large amounts of debris, including leaves, branches, wood chunks, and even items from neighboring properties. Debris can clog gutters, damage siding, rip shingles, and create other issues that may compromise your home’s integrity.
- Inspect your property for debris and if possible remove it as soon as possible to uncover any damage, and allow water to properly flow toward local storm drains.
- Check your gutters and downspouts for clogs and if they are obstructed, then clear them out to ensure water doesn’t pool on or around your property.
- Inspect your siding and other exterior surfaces for dents, tears, holes and other signs of debris damage and make necessary repairs or consult with a local contractor.
- If you are commonly dealing with leaves, and other debris collecting in your gutters after storms, then consider installing gutter guards to minimize debris accumulation and prevent the clogging of your gutters in the future.
Snow and Ice Damage
Winter storms can bring heavy snow and ice. The continual process of freezing and thawing can be very hard on your home’s protective structures. Your roof, gutters, foundation, and more will be put to the test during the coldest months of the year. Ice dams can form on your roof, leading to water infiltration and potential damage to your home’s interior.
- Regularly remove snow from your roof using a roof rake or hire a professional snow removal service who can assist in keeping your home free of excess ice and snow.
- Inspect your attic for proper insulation, this will ensure proper temperature and ventilation to prevent these ice dams from forming.
- If you notice signs of ice damming, contact a professional to remove the ice and provide any short and long-term solutions that may help prevent them for good.
- Repair or replace damaged roofing materials, gutters, and downspouts as necessary to prevent water from pooling in or around your home.
As a homeowner, it’s important to understand how storms can affect your property. The different elements and seasonal changes lead to new challenges and tests for the protective exterior structures of your home. By regularly inspecting your property and addressing any damage, you can minimize the risk of extensive damage that will lead to massive headaches down the road.
When it comes to your home’s roof, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional roof replacement contractor, who has extensive experience with the nuances of properly installing a roof that will last. Your roof is your home’s biggest form of protection from the elements, so invest in knowledge and assistance to ensure it’s properly taken care of.