- The U.S. experiences a range of storms, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms, causing diverse damage to homes.
- Storms can cause wind, flood, hail, lightning, and snow damage, leading to varying degrees of home destruction.
- Regular maintenance of home exteriors and proper drainage systems can mitigate the impact of storm-related damages.
- Reinforcing roofs, trimming trees, and having an emergency kit can help prepare homes for potential storm damage.
- Greater understanding and preparation for storms can significantly lower the risk of home damage during these natural disasters.
Storms can cause significant damage to your home, and it’s important to understand the types of damage that are most common. Whether you are a new homeowner or have lived in your home for years, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with storms and how to protect your property. Here’s what you need to know about storms in the U.S., how they can affect your home, and ways to prepare your home for these storms.
Storms in The U.S.
It’s estimated that the country experiences 14 named storms and seven hurricanes yearly, with the peak season being from June to November. The Atlantic hurricane season, which affects the east coast and Gulf of Mexico region, typically sees around three significant hurricanes each year. On the other hand, the Pacific hurricane season, which impacts the West Coast and Hawaii, generally has fewer storms but can still cause significant damage.
Apart from hurricanes, other types of storms commonly seen in the U.S. include thunderstorms, tornadoes, blizzards, and winter storms. These severe weather events can bring heavy rain, strong winds, lightning strikes, hail, and heavy snowfall, depending on their type. While some regions experience storms more frequently than others, it’s important to note that no area is entirely immune to their effects.
Effects of Storms on Your Home
Storms can cause various types of damage to your home, ranging from minor repairs to severe destruction. Here are some of them:
1. Wind Damage
One of the most significant causes of damage during storms is high winds. Strong winds can uproot trees or tear off shingles, both of which can result in significant damage to your home. To minimize the risk of wind damage, it’s essential to regularly maintain the roof, siding, and other exterior components of your home. This includes trimming trees and shrubs around your home regularly, ensuring that gutters are clean and debris-free, and securing loose items, such as outdoor furniture, during storms.
Flooding is a common issue during heavy rain or in areas with poor drainage. It can lead to significant damage to your home, as water can damage the foundation, walls, and floors. To prevent flooding from causing damage to your home, ensure that your gutters are clear and functioning correctly. Consider installing a sump pump in your basement or crawl space to help pump out excess water. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home. Additionally, it’s better to avoid flooding in your home, as water restoration can cost as much as $1,300 to $5,600.
3. Hail Damage
Hail can cause significant damage to your roof and exterior walls, leading to costly repairs. While you can’t always predict when hail will occur, you can take steps to protect your home. If you know a storm with hail is coming, move your cars to a garage or under a carport if possible. Ensure that your home’s roof and siding are up to par, and inspect them regularly to catch any signs of damage early.
4. Lightning Strikes
Lightning strikes can cause fires, power surges, and damage to electronics. To protect your home, make sure you have surge protectors throughout your home and unplug electronics during storms. Additionally, lightning can be dangerous, and it’s essential to be aware of the risks. Avoid using electronic devices during storms and seek shelter indoors at the first sign of lightning.
5. Snow and Ice Damage
Winter storms can cause significant damage to your home, as snow and ice can damage your roof, gutters, and siding. To minimize the risk of damage, ensure your gutters are clear and your roof is in good condition before winter weather hits. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall or where ice dams are common, consider installing heating cables on your roof to prevent ice buildup.
Ways to Prepare Your Home for Storms
While you can’t control the weather, there are steps you can take to prepare your home for storms and minimize the risk of damage. Here are some ways to do so:
Storm Drain Repair
Storm drains are crucial for directing water away from your home during heavy rain. It’s essential to inspect and repair any damage to your storm drains regularly to prevent flooding or water damage. Hire a local storm damage restoration service to do this for you. They can assess the condition of your drains and make any necessary repairs to ensure they are functioning correctly.
Reinforce Your Roof
As mentioned earlier, high winds can cause severe damage to your roof. To protect your home, consider reinforcing your roof with hurricane straps or clips. These devices secure the roof to the walls of your home, making it less likely for strong winds to lift off shingles or cause structural damage.
Trim Trees Regularly
Trees too close to your home can be a significant hazard during storms. Strong winds can knock down branches or even uproot trees, causing extensive damage to your property. Regularly trimming trees and shrubs around your home can minimize this risk and prevent costly repairs.
Create an Emergency Kit
In case of a power outage or other emergency during a storm, it’s crucial to have an emergency kit prepared. This should include essentials like non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, and necessary medications. Keep this kit in a designated area easily accessible in an emergency.
Storms can cause significant damage to your home, but there are steps you can take to protect your property and minimize the risk of damage. Regular maintenance and preparation can make a significant difference in how well your home withstands severe weather events. By understanding the types of damage storms can cause and taking proactive measures to prepare for them, you can keep yourself and your home safe during these natural disasters.