House Damage Caused by High Winds and How You can Prevent it

Construction

Anybody who has been living in the Colorado Springs area these past few months knows that the windy season is upon us. Here at Remington Builders Group, we understand and appreciate the hard work you put into keeping your home looking beautiful—nature, on the other hand, does not.  Because of this, you should know what precautions to take in order to prevent house damage caused by high winds, as well as what to do when damage occurs.

High winds are simply part of living in a state like Colorado. Winds become likely to cause damage when they reach around 47–54 mph. Luckily, taking precautions such as keeping loose items outside secure or moving them inside, trimming the trees and shrubs in your yard, and reinforcing parts of your home can prevent damage from occurring. It is important that damage to the foundation of your home is fixed as quickly as possible.

How does wind damage homes?

There’s nothing like a cool, refreshing breeze on a hot summer day. But gusts of wind topping 100 mph? Not so refreshing. How can something go from being so gentle and pleasant to such a severe weather event that it could cause costly damage to your home?

Most often, severe winds that will cause damage to your home come in the form of straight-line winds. Straight-line winds come from thunderstorms and exceed speeds of 50-60 mph. The reason for their name is quite simple: they move in a straight line; that is, in contrast to winds that come from a tornado, which twist and turn (and of course can also cause a lot of damage, but they are less common).  These intense straight-line winds plow through neighborhoods and can potentially wreak havoc on your home. When it comes to strong winds, your house can go from tidy and picturesque to severely damaged in a matter of minutes. 

Of course, winds are a regular part of life, and it is not necessary to become frightened of impending home damage every time they pick up a little. So when should you be concerned? A good way to tell that winds are picking up to a point that may potentially cause damage is if you start to see leaves and small twigs breaking off of trees. This means the wind is pretty strong, probably blowing around 39–46 mph, and is about another notch away from being able to cause damage. Once winds are blowing within the 47–54 mph range, damage is much more likely to occur. You can tell the wind has reached this point when you start to see full branches on the ground rather than just twigs and leaves. If you have loose items outside, they might start blowing around at this point as well, such as garbage cans, light patio furniture, etc. Any wind faster than that, and you are really going to be wishing you had been better prepared.

How to prepare for high winds and prevent damage

What steps can you take to prevent damage from occurring to your home? Of course, you don’t have to wait until you start to see winds picking up in the ways described above before you take any precautionary measures. It is always good to pay attention to potential wind speeds when you check the weather, especially if there is a thunderstorm in the forecast, and prepare as far in advance as possible.

One majorly important step in preparing your house for high winds is to secure all loose outdoor items. As mentioned above, this includes any outdoor furniture, BBQ equipment, garbage cans, children’s toys, etc., that may surround your home. The last thing you want is for these seemingly harmless items to become projectile weapons once they are picked up by intense winds. A patio chair going through your beautiful living room window is not an ideal scenario, and it is easily preventable. At the very least, moving these items into your garage or finding a way to secure them will prevent you from having to clean up a big mess later on. Who wants to spend their time after a storm collecting patio cushions that have scattered across the lawn? 

On a similar note, if you live in an area susceptible to high winds (such as lovely Colorado Springs) it is always a good idea to make sure the trees and shrubs surrounding your home are free of any loose branches. Just like patio furniture or the Big Wheel left in your front yard, loose branches can turn into missiles during an intense windstorm. Inspect the trees and shrubs around your home and see that any issues are taken care of before it is too late. 

Another good preventative measure to take is to reinforce the parts of your home most susceptible to damage. You can do things such as making sure all the doors are secure, installing metal storm shutters for your windows, and making sure your roof shingles are secure. These are smaller precautions that could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Of course, when winds become extreme, other more serious types of damage can occur. Strong enough winds could cause a home with a weak structure to tilt or lean. Fundamental damage to the foundation of a home can occur as well. While it is a bigger project than simply securing your doors and windows, in some cases, it may be worth reinforcing the structure of your home to make sure it is capable of withstanding intense windstorms without being damaged. At the very least, it is never a bad idea to get your home assessed by a professional.

What to do you if you suffer house damage caused by high winds

Of course, unexpected things happen all the time, and as prepared as you may be, you could still experience damage to your home thanks to high winds. Whether it’s a rouge branch from your neighbors yard, a loose shingle, or a structural problem within your home you were previously unaware of, life happens. Luckily, you can always count on companies such as Remington Builders Group to take care of any emergency restorations you may need. 

Damage to the foundation of your home is serious, and not always immediately apparent. This type of damage occurs when winds are strong enough to move the house itself and potentially separate it from its foundation. It is an insidious form of damage and only gets worse as time goes on, so it is important to take care of it as soon as possible. If you suspect your home may be damaged in this type of way, hire a professional to investigate and decide how to best move forward.

In certain parts of the country, such as our beloved Colorado, homeowners need to consider the effects of high wind. Luckily, there are many precautionary measures you can take in order to reduce the risk of high winds causing damage to your home. If you ever find yourself needing to make emergency restorations to your home due to wind damage, or would like to reinforce your home to prevent any future issues, Remington Builders Group has got you covered. Contact us today to get a quote for your emergency restoration project.

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