Wind damage as a result of a fallen tree

Before Hurricane Season, Does Wind Really Pose a Threat to My Suburban Maryland Home or Office?

The familiar images of destruction caused by Hurricane Ian leave no doubt that wind can be catastrophically damaging. Owning a residential or commercial property near the coast or within striking distance of hurricanes during the hurricane season from June through November means you are likely prepared for the threat of these powerful storms.

But wind damage can occur anywhere at any time, even if the wind force doesn’t measure at hurricane speeds. Read on to discover more about wind and how to protect your property from damage.

Wind: The Basics

Technically, wind is the horizontal motion of air past a given point. When air pressures differ from one place to another, a force is created. This force pushes from an area of high pressure toward an area of low pressure. The greater the difference in air pressures, the stronger the force that is created. We feel this movement as wind.

The National Weather Service classifies winds according to speed and has developed visual cues that correspond to each class.

  • Calm – The wind is calm, and the smoke is rising vertically without any noticeable drift.
  • Light air/1-3 mph – Direction of wind shown by smoke drift, not by wind vanes. Little, if any, movement with flags. Wind barely moves tree leaves.
  • Light breeze/4-7 mph – Wind felt on face. Leaves rustle and small twigs move. Ordinary wind vanes move.
  • Gentle breeze/8-12 mph – The wind is causing leaves and small twigs to constantly move, and dry leaves are being blown up from the ground. Additionally, flags are being extended outward due to the strong wind.
  • Moderate breeze/13-18 mph – The wind causes small branches to sway and lifts dust and loose paper from the ground, propelling them along its path.
  • Fresh breeze/19-24 mph – As the wind intensifies, we can observe the swaying of large branches and small trees covered in foliage. Additionally, there might be a formation of cresting wavelets on inland lakes and large rivers.
  • Strong breeze/25-31 mph – Large branches in continuous motion. Whistling sounds are heard overhead or nearby power and telephone lines. Umbrellas are used with difficulty.
  • Near gale/32-38 mph – Whole trees in motion. Inconvenience felt when walking against the wind.
  • Gale/39-46 mph – Wind breaks twigs and small branches. Wind generally impedes walking.
  • Strong gale/47-54 mph – There is structural damage, such as damaged chimney covers, missing roofing tiles, and damaged television antennas. The ground is scattered with numerous small twigs and broken branches.
  • Whole gale/55-63 mph – Significant structural damage may occur during high winds, especially on roofs, with roofing materials being dislodged and damaged. The wind can also uproot and blow over small trees, leading to additional damage.
  • Storm force/64-75 mph – Widespread damage occurs. Larger trees blown over and uprooted.
  • Hurricane-force/over 75 mph – Extensive and severe damage may occur during strong winds, with roofs being torn off, windows shattered, and trees uprooted. Small mobile homes and RVs may be overturned while moving vehicles can be pushed off the roadways.

Damaging winds can occur well before speeds that qualify as hurricane-force winds. These winds are called straight-line winds to differentiate them from hurricane or tornadic winds. According to NOAA National Severe Storms Library, damages from severe thunderstorm winds account for 50% of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and are more common than damage from tornadoes.

Damaging winds can cause serious damage to structures and the landscape. However, you can act now to help minimize the impact.

Protecting Your Property

Here are some simple, low-cost ways to protect your property and minimize damage due to high winds.

  • Protect windows and glass with storm shutters.
  • Reinforce garage and double-entry doors.
  • Maintain your roof to the highest standards, from the structure to the shingles.
  • Remove dead, damaged, or rotting trees and limbs from your property.
  • Secure outdoor furniture, gutters, and downspouts.
  • Store away sporting equipment, trash cans, and small items.
  • Check the seals around windows and doors.
  • Secure manufactured homes to the ground per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make sure fences, porches, canopies, and sheds are structurally sound and firmly attached.
  • Replace gravel and rock landscaping materials with softer mulch or soil.
  • Double-check exterior fuel/utility tanks to see that they are anchored securely.

If you lose power during a high wind event, unplug all electrical appliances until after the power is restored. You can protect your electronic equipment from power strikes by using surge protectors. If you live in an area that is prone to severe storms and high wind events, consider building a safe room.

You’ll also want to take a few minutes to review your homeowner’s or mobile home insurance policy to verify your coverage. If you haven’t already done so, take a full inventory of your home or business possessions. It’s best to document these items photographically.

PuroClean professionals can help you assess the damage caused by a storm and get back on your feet as smoothly as possible. Take the first step toward peace of mind, and contact us if you’re dealing with wind damage in the Lanham area.

Call PuroClean Restoration Services for Any Wind Damage Issues in Lanham

Wind damage can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but fortunately, PuroClean Restoration Services is here to help you through it. If you have suffered wind damage issues in the Lanham area, our team of trained professionals is ready to assist you in assessing the damage caused by the storm and getting you back on your feet as soon as possible. We understand the importance of acting quickly and efficiently to minimize further damage to your property. That’s why we offer 24/7 emergency services so you can reach out to us anytime for immediate assistance. Call us today at (301) 277-2755.

Last edited on 11th of April 2023