Tornadoes make the headlines, but even “gale force” winds that range from 39-54 mph are often strong enough to leave you with an ugly situation on your hands. After any severe winds, inspect your home for damage — and pay close attention to the four areas most likely to be impacted.
1. Check The Doors
French doors, sliding doors, and double-entry doors are most likely to be damaged by high winds. These doors also normally have windows, which can easily break when winds exceed 100 mph. With or without a window, doors can be blown open and become a welcome invitation for water and wind damage.
2. Check The Windows
When winds approach force 12 (64 mph and above), unsecured windows run a risk of breaking. If serious winds are predicted, close your shutters or board your windows in advance. Wait out the storm in rooms with no windows. Also, do not open windows during storms; that will only expose your personal belongings to wind and rain, and can do further damage to your home.
3. Check the Roof
According to FEMA studies, your roof is the part of your home most vulnerable to wind damage. Wind can tear shingles and boards from your roof. Additionally, if a window or door has been compromised, wind inside the home can increase the uplift forces and literally blast the roof off your house. After a storm, roof damage isn’t always obvious. In addition to looking for missing shingles, check your exhaust pipes, chimney, gutters and overhangs.
4. Check the Garage
Whether attached or free-standing, garages are especially susceptible to damage from high winds. The construction and large surface of double-garage doors tend to capture the wind, like a boat sail. High winds can pull the garage doors off their tracks or cause them to collapse under the pressure.
Ready.gov, an online resource of the Department of Homeland Security, is an excellent source for disaster response tips. You’ll find a wealth of information on how to respond to tornadoes and severe winds here.
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