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Wind Damage – Fallen Trees and Structural Damage
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
When we sit through severe weather, we generally pay attention to things like storm intensity and rainfall amounts, but we generally do not pay much attention to wind, wind advisories, warnings, etc. The fact is, though, that wind is the single most destructive element of any storm, and with enough velocity behind it, wind can do some serious damage.
We've all seen neighborhoods sawing up fallen trees in the aftermath of a big storm, and news reports usually show those unfortunate folks who had trees fall onto or into their homes or businesses. Falling trees is one of the more serious dangers presented by high storm winds.
Steps to Take to Minimize Tree Damages
Trees are very susceptible to storm damage if they are not healthy. Weakened or dead trees may be easily uprooted and knocked over. You should examine your yard and verify the health of your trees. If you find any that are suspect, have them professionally removed.
Healthy trees should also be "thinned", removing some of the branches to make the tree less effective at catching the wind. Much like the sail on a ship, tree branches can collect wind, and if that wind is strong enough, the tree may be toppled. Thinning the branches nullifies this effect somewhat, making it harder for the wind to cause damage to the tree.
Steps to Take to Minimize Structural Damage
Structural damage may also be caused by high winds. Roofs with loose or missing shingles or damaged flashing may end up being more severely damaged in the event of wind. All the wind has to do is find a vulnerable spot to get up under, and with that the shingles can be ripped away in large numbers. Roofing repair technicians refer to this as the "peeling effect."
Homes equipped with vinyl or aluminum siding may also be at risk since siding may be similarly torn away if one part of it becomes structurally compromised. Structures made of wood or brick are preferable, since they are much stronger and resistant to the high pressure forces brought to bear by strong wind conditions.
Windows may also be broken under the strain of wind, either blown in due to sheer velocity and positive pressure being put on the glass panes, or blown out as the result of rapidly changing air pressure due to violent tornado based winds reaching in excess of 250 mph. At those speeds, very few structures or other items will escape serious damage.
Garage doors may also be blown off their tracks, mainly due to their size as well as inefficient cross members providing inadequate support for the central part of the door. Reinforcement kits are available for garages, designed to strengthen the door assembly and provide some much needed wind resistance.
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