Damage Series Part 1: The Damage of Hurricanes to Your Home
Your home is one of your biggest assets and should be properly taken care of to maximize its useful lifetime. Maintaining a sturdy home that is protected from the unexpected can be incredibly difficult, especially in the case of a natural disaster. One storm that can be extremely destructive is a hurricane and if you are not properly prepared, it can do serious damage that will leave you with many expensive repairs.
From uprooting trees, knocking over power lines, and severe flooding, hurricanes are a force to be reckoned with. Broken up into five categories by wind speed, hurricanes will do damage to your home at any level. So let’s break it down by each category to get an idea of what kind of issues you might run into during this wrecking ball of a storm.
Category 1: Speeding Ticket
When a hurricane is ranked as a Category 1 storm, you can expect to see wind speeds anywhere from 74-95 mph. That’s enough to earn you a speeding ticket. At a Category 1, the damages will be minor with the potential for small trees to be uprooted from the ground and branches snapping off of trees. Power outages are also very common in this category; lasting several days and leaving you feel like you are back in the Dark Ages.
Category 2: The Baseball Pitch
At this level, wind speeds reach anywhere from 96-110 mph, comparable to the average MLB pitch, and cause moderate damage to your property. You will see the damages of a Category 1 hurricane as well as small trees uprooted from the ground, leading to property damage and road blockage. A well constructed home will most likely have roof, gutter, and siding issues, where they will be loosened and can detach from your house.
Category 3: Tennis Serve
Now the wind speeds are really picking up, and are equivalent to the speed of Venus Williams’ tennis serve, ranging from 111-129 mph. The Category 3-5 hurricanes are considered major threats. At this level, your roof deck can be ripped off – that’s your base of the roof, not just the shingles. You can also expect electricity and water outages well after the storm passes. Flooding will make its way inland from the coast, causing water damage to your basement and first floor.
Category 4: Race Car
At this level, the hurricane will show catastrophic damage from wind speeds of 130-156 mph – enough to win the 2006 Italian Grand Prix. You can expect your roof and siding to completely detach from your house. Large trees will be uprooted and power lines will be knocked down leaving blocked roadways and keep you from any means of transportation. Between the power outages, blocked roadways, and severe flooding, your community may be uninhabitable months after the storm.
Category 5: Not Quite The Speed of Light
At this category, the hurricane is extremely dangerous and has wind speed of 157+ mph. It is advised to take shelter and not be anywhere in the vicinity of a Category 5 Hurricane. At this point, your house is at high risk of compete destruction. Catastrophic damages will occur to you property and the community leaving you homeless for months.
Hurricanes are so destructive due to the combination of high winds and heavy rainfall. It is important to be fully prepared for a hurricane and its aftermath. Storms can be tricky to predict, so do not underestimate the power of being prepared and continually working on your home’s maintenance. At the time you might dread the hurricane precautions, but these precautions could be the difference between a repairable house and complete destruction.