Now that the hurricane season has officially begun, the prevention of wind damage should be on the forefront of every North Carolinian’s mind. Although there is nothing we can do to prevent hurricanes or other storms from occurring, there are steps we can take to minimize the damage these storms cause to our homes and property.
As the straight line winds from last Thursday, June 13’s fast moving storm front has already has shown us this year, limbs and tree damage are an ever present concern from even sudden onset thunderstorms.
The first step is to inspect your roof for any loose, damaged or missing shingles. This pre-existing damage makes your roof more susceptible to damage once the storm winds begin. While inspecting your roof, also check your attic for swollen wood or moisture that could indicate a leak in the roof. Also check your windows and doors for maintenance issues and verify that the caulking to your windows and door jambs is in good condition. These simple steps could save you thousands of dollars in damage repairs once the wind begins to blow and water starts looking for a way to get into your house and cause damage.
You should also check your property for dangerous-looking limbs and branches. Wind is Mother Nature’s way of pruning, so check trees on your property for potential hazards. If any limbs are hanging over your home and looking as if they may be dead or damaged, these limbs should be removed immediately in order to avoid wind damage.
The Beaufort Wind Scale, as set forth by the University of North Carolina, has set forth the following guidelines for the damage expected to be caused by the next wind speeds:
39 MPH – Gale force winds; twigs and small branches blew off trees.
47 MPH – Strong gale force winds; minor structural damage may occur, such as shingles blown off the roof.
55 MPH – Storm winds; trees can be uprooted and structural damage is likely.
64 MPH – Violent storm; widespread damage to structures.
74 MPH+ – Hurricane-force winds.
As indicated by the guidelines above, even a minor windstorm can cause a substantial amount of damage to your home and property. Although EMERG-NC Property Rescuers (emerg-nc.com) stands ready to assist North Carolina property owners with any wind and secondary water or mold damage insurance claims they may have, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the performance of a few pre-emptive steps may help to prevent headaches from wind damage down the road.