Surviving Wind Damage: What You Need to Know

Storm damage can be devastating. Wind damage, in particular, can cause severe damage to your home or business. Protecting your property from wind damage is essential if you live in an area prone to severe weather. 

Types of Winds

Our atmosphere has dozens of different winds, including trade winds, westerlies, polar easterlies, and monsoon winds. Straight-line winds are the most common type of wind in thunderstorms, however.

Straight-line winds are winds not associated with rotation and can travel up to 100 miles per hour. These winds are often called “downbursts” when the storm’s downdraft hits the ground and spreads outwards. They are usually produced by the overflow caused by a thunderstorm downdraft.

Derechos and downbursts are two types of winds in the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, straight-line winds present during thunderstorms are called“derechos.”A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.

While derechos can produce damaging winds over 600 miles wide, they most commonly occur in the Midwest and Great Plains.

Hurricane Wind Speeds You Need to Know

During a hurricane, winds are often intense and destructive. As such, these hurricane winds are categorized based on their speed. According to the National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center, hurricanes are measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s maximum wind speed.

  • Category 1: 74 to 95 mph (119 to 153 kph): A Category 1 hurricane consists of powerful winds and produces moderate damage. These strong winds can damage a roof, leading to missing shingles and extensively damaged power lines.
  • Category 2: 96 to 110 mph (154 to 177 kph): A Category 2 hurricane consists of hazardous winds and will cause major damage, such as roof and siding damage. Power loss is certainly expected in the event of a Category 2 storm.
  • Category 3: 111 to 129 mph (178 to 208 kph): A Category 3 hurricane inflicts significant damage to homes. Well-built homes may encounter severe roof damage. In some cases, uprooted trees block roadways.
  • Category 4: 130 to 156 mph (209 to 251 kph): In a Category 4 hurricane, homes will encounter high winds and severe damage where most walls and roofs will collapse. Fallen branches and electricity poles may fall, leaving communities stranded.
  • Category 5: 157 mph or higher (252 kph or higher): A Category 5 hurricane is the most severe, with damaging winds that can level property and cause widespread power outages.

How Winds Cause Damage

Wind damage can occur in several ways. The most common type of wind damage is from flying debris. Debris can be anything from tree branches to pieces of buildings or road signs. Flying debris can break windows, puncture holes in roofs, and cause serious injuries.

Fallen tree branches are an example of hurricane debris. 

Another way that wind damage can occur is through wind-driven rain. Wind-driven rain is hazardous because it can cause flooding and water damage, in addition to wind damage. It can also harm buildings, especially if the wind is strong enough to cause the rain to penetrate through cracks or openings in the structure.

Ensure that all cracks and openings are sealed in your home or business to prevent wind-driven rain damage. This will help to keep water from entering your property and causing damage.

How to Protect Your Property

Now that you know how wind damage can affect your home, there are several things you can do to protect your property from wind damage. We’ve compiled a list below.

Build Storm Shutters. Storm shutters can be made from plywood or metal and installed on windows and doors. They should be securely fastened to your home or business and should be able to withstand high winds. 

Boarding the windows with storm shutters is one way to protect your home during severe storm season.

Reinforce Garage Doors. Garage doors are often the weakest point in a structure during a storm. To reinforce them, use hurricane straps or wind braces to help keep the door in place. You can also consider installing a wind-resistant garage door that is strong enough to withstand high speeds and flying debris.

Reevaluate Your Landscaping. One way to prevent wind damage is by reevaluating your yard. Ensure trees and shrubs are trimmed and any dead branches removed. This will help to prevent them from becoming flying debris in a storm.

A perfectly manicured lawn prevents flying debris.

Reinforce Your Roof. One of the best ways to protect your home from wind damage is by strengthening your roof. This can be done by adding hurricane clips or straps to secure the top to the rest of the structure. Contact a professional to inspect your roof regularly to ensure it is in good condition and can resist high winds.

Park Your Vehicles Indoors. If possible, park vehicles in the garage to protect your car and keep the garage closed. 

Parking your car in the garage can protect your vehicle and your home. 

Secure Outdoor Furniture and Décor. Outdoor furniture, grills, and lawn decorations can become airborne during a storm. To avoid them from becoming projectiles, ensure all outdoor furniture is stored in a safe and secure area, such as the garage.

During severe storm season, taking the necessary precautions to protect your property from wind damage is essential. By taking these steps, you can guarantee that your home or business will survive a powerful storm.

What to Do If Your Home Suffers Wind Damage

If your home or business suffers from wind damage, you should immediately assess the situation and ensure everyone is safe. Evacuate the area immediately and call 911 if you suspect any fires or gas leaks. Once everyone is accounted for, you can begin cleaning up and repairing the damage. 

Be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible if your property has endured wind damage. Your insurance agent will be able to help you assess the damage and start the claims process. Once your insurance claim is approved, you can proceed to begin repairs and mitigate the damage. 

For Emergency Damage Remediation and Restoration, Call PuroClean

If you’re dealing with wind damage, you must act quickly to protect your property so that no further damage is created. The first step is to call PuroClean of Massapequa. We are a leading provider of emergency restoration and remediation such as Water, Fire, and Mold Damage. You can reach us 24/7 at (516) 604-1200 to connect with your local PuroClean office today!

Last edited on 27th of December 2022