How Storm Damage from High Winds Can Devastate a Home
Monday, August 1st 2022, 4:00 AM

High Winds: A Destructive Cause of Storm Damage to Media, PA, Homes and Businesses

Folsom, United States - August 1, 2022 / SERVPRO of Media /

Storm damage from high winds can devastate a home. Warm weather brings with it strong, sometimes violent, thunderstorms. Heavy rain, hail the size of golf balls, and high winds from this turbulent weather can damage a home or business severely. Fierce winds can leave the yard littered with shingles, uproot trees or snap them off at the trunk, peel away siding from a home or detached garage, and destroy a storage building or shed. Annually, financial losses from wind and storm-related flooding soar into the tens of billions of dollars. Much of these losses are due to hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, but high winds alone can cause severe structural damage to homes and businesses.

 

Types of Winds

The South Central region of Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, experiences several different types of storm winds. One of the most common wind types is straight-line wind. As the name states, these winds travel in a straight line along a uniform path. On the other hand, a hurricane or tornado produces winds that rotate in a vortex. The larger storm cell may take a circuitous route through the state. Straight line winds are produced by thunderstorms, which are a common occurrence in the area around Delaware County.

The National Weather Service classifies a wind as damaging if its wind speed is clocked above 50 miles per hour. Homeowners should not be lulled into thinking that wind must exceed 50 miles per hour before it can cause severe property damage. Small, isolated wind gusts of 20 mph can damage older or compromised roofs and other structures.

Risk Hazards Based on Wind Speeds

An understanding of the risk hazards associated with certain wind speeds can help Media, PA, residents, and businesses take the necessary precautions to avoid property damage and personal injury when turbulent weather is in the forecast.

Wind-speed-related damages are described by the National Weather Service (NWS) in the following categories:

25-30 mph:

No formal wind advisory is posted by the NWS. However, a heightened awareness should be exercised.

  • Power lines begin to sway.
  • Large tree branches begin to agitate.
  • Aging trees may shed weak or diseased limbs in parking lots, streets, rooftops, and lawn areas.
  • Umbrellas are useless and may be damaged beyond repair if opened in these conditions.
  • Walking is more difficult and may put the elderly or weak at a high risk of falling.

 

30-40 mph:

These winds elicit a wind advisory from the NWS.

  • Lightweight, unsecured items such as a garbage can, lawn furniture, a grill, or a trampoline may take flight and cause damage to nearby homes or vehicles.
  • Entire trees are shaking. The larger canopy becomes a swirling sea of motion.
  • These wind speeds make it difficult to drive a vehicle and can blow small unsecured objects such as plastic lawn furniture around. Entire trees will be in motion.

 

40-45 mph:

Wind speeds of 40 or more miles per hour trigger the issuing of a High Wind Watch from the NWS. This heightened state of alert is a signal to residents and business owners to secure or store objects that may become wind-driven projectiles. Avoid driving except in emergency situations.

  • Twigs, small branches, and larger weakened limbs break. As they plummet to the ground, these limbs may break other limbs. Stay away from trees as much as possible in these high-wind conditions.
  • Walking becomes hazardous.
  • Loose shingles can become dislodged. The impact from a shingle flying from the roof at 45 miles per hour can cause serious injury to the face and eyes. The exposed substrate on the roof can lead to water damage in the attic. If the roof is not soon tarped, water damage could be extensive.

 

45-55 mph:

Some degree of wind damage is inevitable in these conditions.

  • Shingles, rooftop HVAC systems, roof ventilation fans, or chimneys may be loosened, dislodged, or toppled, resulting in water damage to the structure.
  • Larger tree branches and compromised or dead limbs may break and cause property damage or serious personal injury or death.

 

55-65 mph:

Windspeeds this high are rare in this region.

  • Trees may be uprooted, especially if the ground is saturated from excessive rainfall.
  • Wind-induced power outages are possible.
  • Driving and any outside activity is ill-advised.

 

65+ mph:

Weather conditions with these wind speeds are treacherous.

  • The highest risk of damage to homes and businesses occurs when wind speeds reach 65 mph or greater. Heavy to severe structural damage may occur.
  • Trees may be uprooted, damaging or destroying anything in the impact zone.
  • Travel is dangerous due to the high winds and debris in the streets and roadways.
  • Above-ground powerlines suffer heavy damage.

 

Five Tips to Minimize or Prevent Wind Damage

  1. Secure lightweight lawn furniture and other loose items that might take flight when wind speeds increase. Remember to put the recycle bins and the new grill in the garage.
  2. Restaurants and businesses with umbrellas and picnic tables should bring the umbrellas inside and make sure the picnic tables are securely anchored to the ground or concrete.
  3. Have the roof, gutters, downspouts, and windows inspected and assessed each Spring or after severe weather by a licensed, bonded, and insured roofing contractor.
  4. Secure the services of a certified arborist to remove problematic trees and branches from the treescape.
  5. Pre-qualify a damage restoration company when the skies are clear and the winds are calm. A frantic, pre-dawn scramble to secure the services of a cleanup and restoration company can be stressful. SERVPRO of Media, PA, is available 24/7, 356 days a year, including holidays. A skilled, equipped, and certified team can arrive in about an hour to begin the cleanup.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Newtown Square, PA, and surrounding areas, contact SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720 or email office@servpromedia.com.

Contact Information:

SERVPRO of Media

119 Springfield Avenue
Folsom, PA 19033
United States

Mike May
(610) 566-5720
https://www.servpromedia.com/

Original Source: https://www.servpromedia.com/blog/post/385966/storm/high-winds-a-destructive-cause-of-storm-damage-to-media-pa-homes-and-businesses

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SERVPRO of Media

119 Springfield Avenue
Folsom, PA, 19033, United States

E-Mail office@servpromedia.com

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