What Makes A Building Vulnerable To A Tornado
A typical straight-wall structure is dangerous because its components can be ripped off even in a mild storm. The wind enters through the smallest crack, demolishing the entire building as if a bomb had detonated within. During a storm, changing wind speeds can put pressure on different portions of a building. If it fails, it can cause serious injury or death.
The most severe damage from a tornado occurs at buildings with poorly constructed foundations or those that are built close to the ground. These structures are most common in areas where developers dont need to pay taxes on property they sell, so they build them quickly without regard for weather conditions. Even if a foundation is properly prepared, it can fail under the stress of a tornado if the house is not designed to withstand such force. A small building with no basement walls will likely collapse during a tornado.
Large buildings with many glass windows and doors are also prone to failure. During a tornado, glass breaks into sharp shards that can cut you like knives. The metal frames of windows and doors can also twist off their hinges or pull away from their moorings, causing further injury and destruction.
Finally, buildings with plastic siding or thin wooden roofs are at risk for collapsing roofing material. The wind can blow these materials off the roof and into peoples homes.
Most Insurance Policies Cover Wind Damage
The average homeowners insurance policy will cover wind damage caused by a storm. This is one of the main risks to your home, and your insurer is expected to cover damages related to wind.
The only two major catastrophic events that arent typically covered by your insurer are floods and earthquakes. Sometimes, if theres a storm that creates windy weather and flooding, it can be difficult to determine which event caused which damages. Thats where a public adjuster can help.
A public insurance adjuster works for you, the policyholder, and looks out for your best interests. Not the insurance companys.
Do You Want To Exclude Wind And Hail
Usually homeowners want good and broad coverage for their homes. But wind and hail is a different ballgame in many states. Insurers pass along the costs of past wind and hail claims to current homeowners. You may be able to choose to exclude wind and hail from coverage from your policy in the interest of saving money.
For example, State Farm offers these choices:
- Exclude windstorm or hail damage that may occur during a hurricane.
- Amend a policy with an endorsement that changes whats covered during a hurricane.
- Add a separate deductible for damage caused by a windstorm or hail.
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Wind Damage To Roof Shingles From Debris & Fallen Trees
Windthrow refers to trees that were blown over with the roots still attached. On the other hand, there is also a term called wind snap. Wind snap is when a tree falls, and the roots stay in place and the tree falls at the trunk. Blowdown trees can be detrimental to your home especially for those living in states home to the biggest trees including redwoods, mountain ash, Douglas firs, sequoias etc. If these types of trees, with the help of heavy winds, do cause a blowdown, then they can have some serious consequences for your home. They can impact the structural integrity of your home and cause significant damage, but they may even cause some minor damage.
What we recommend is have a professional arborist or someone from your insurance company come out and evaluate your property for risk of fallen trees. Overgrown or awkwardly grown trees should be taken care of by an arborist before a worst-case scenario happens and cost you thousands of dollars in property damage that your home insurance company may or may not cover.
Wind And Hail Deductibles
Separate wind and hail deductibles are common in states where tornadoes and windstorms are prevalent, including parts of Tornado Alley like Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Youre typically given the option to set your deductible at 1% to 10% of your homes dwelling coverage limits.
This means if your home is insured for $300,000 and your wind and hail deductible is 1%, youd have to pay $3,000 out of pocket before your insurer will cover the cost to replace your roof.
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Perform Roof Emergency First Aid
There are some things that you can do before professional help arrives. When the storm stops, and its safe to go outside, climb onto your roof, and, if possible, move around dislocated shingles to prevent leaks and protect your house.
If the damage is not too severe, you can cover the cracks with roofing cement or buy additional shingles and install them on the spots where theyre missing. You can use metal sheeting to cover the missing shingles as a temporary measure.
Replacing the whole roof takes time and financial resources that may not be immediately available. These repairs provide a temporary measure until you can replace your roof.
Siding Repair & Replacement Prices
The average cost of siding repairs is about $600. Labor averages between $40 and $50 per hour.In a normal, vertical downpour the siding of your home would be well-protected by the roof overhang and gutters. However, there are several circumstances in which your siding can take damage in a storm. Rain, sleet, or hail blown sideways into the side of the house can happen along with clogged or malfunctioning gutters. Don’t forget to have your siding checked after each storm.
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How Much Wind Can Damage A Roof
Whenwind surpasses 55 miles per hour, your roof is more prone to wind damage. Wind can tear off shingles, bring along debris that can hit your roof, and uproot trees, causing structural damage to your property. Poor installation and compromised roof shingles can make your roofing more susceptible to wind damage.
What does a wind-damaged roof look like?
High winds may not hit your roofing system uniformly. Instead, it can cause damage on the edges of your roof or in weak areas with loose shingles. Wind roof damage typically includes the following:
- Missing Shingle Granules: Shingle granules provide weather protection. Winds can cause granule loss. This shortens your shingles. Check your gutter for granules, as this is where they usually pile up.
- Curled or Lifted Shingles: Curled or raised shingles at stress spots indicate wind damage to your roof. If you suspect your roof has wind damage, contact a roofing specialist for an inspection.
- Damaged Flashing: Yourroofs flashingplays a key role in reducing the risk of water damage to your roofing. The chimney flashing is particularly vulnerable, as it can lift up when the wind hits your chimney. After a storm, inspect your flashing for signs of damage.
- Water Damage: If wind damages your roof, it could lead to water intrusion that damages your homes interior. Discoloration, flaking paint, and moist spots are common signs of leaks. When you detect symptoms of wind damage, call a contractor to prevent further damage.
What Type Of Water Damage Is Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Its important to address water damages as they occur in your home as they can aggravate the integrity of certain structures or appliances and cause a growth mold and mildew. Only certain types of water damages can be covered by your homeowners insurance like damages incurred through the inside sources of your home such as a busted pipe. Outside sources such as floods are not covered by a standard policy so its important to check with your insurance before any future damages incur. If you do have a policy or insurance that will cover water damages relevant to you, be sure to conduct Nuclear moisture testing as it will assist in the settlement of your insurance claim. This type of testing will advocate existing damages through professional testing.
For help with storm damages in Indianapolis, IN call with Hope Public Adjusters!
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Where Should You Get Your Insurance Replacement Estimate
Replacing your roofing system after a storm is something that you should hire a professional to do, but if you are taking on the task yourself then make sure that you have all of the required paperwork from your insurer before continuing with any work.
If you dont have a contractor that you trust, feel free to contact us for assistance.
It is also important to get multiple estimates from different companies before moving forward with work because prices can vary widely depending on the size of your roof and specific details about what needs replacing.
Insurance replacement cost estimators are helpful when trying to determine how much your roof replacement will cost because they take into account all of the details that go into replacing a roof, such as the pitch and materials.
How Do You Get Your Money
Once you agree on what needs to be replaced with the insurance company and contractor, they will start working together to figure out how much money is needed up front before starting work.
Usually this amount can cover everything thats needed including materials, labor costs, and machines. The contractor that replaces your roof will probably have to get a loan before starting work so theyll need up front money.
The insurance company might not give you all of the money required for replacement upfront because it takes time for them to receive payment from other parties involved, such as their underwriting carrier or loss-payee.
For example, if the underwriting carrier is an insurance company that you do business with for home and auto coverage too, they will need to verify all of your information before paying out any claims amount on your roof replacement.
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How Much Does Home Insurance Pay Out For Roof Damage
Every homeowners policy will be specific to the carrier and the policyholder. There are several coverage options when it comes to insuring your home. Roof damage is typically paid out in actual cash value or replacement cost, minus the deductible. Take a look at the difference below:
- Actual cash value: This is the amount the insurance company pays out for what the roof is worth in its current state.
- Replacement cost: This is the amount the insurance company pays out for the full replacement cost of the roof to like kind, and quality.
Exposure And Metal Buildings
The terrain surrounding a building also affects the winds force on the structure. A building right on a coastal beach has little protection from gales sweeping across the waters surface. However, trees, hills, or other buildings surrounding a structure may act as windbreaks, lessening the force of straight-line winds.
To account for these differences in location, the International Building Code developed these definitions to determine the exposure of a structure:
- Exposure A: An outdated designation, no longer applied in construction by the American Society of Civil Engineers
- Exposure B:Urban and suburban or wooded areas with many buildings placed close together, such as a residential neighborhood.
- Exposure C: Open, rural areas with scattered buildings less than 30 tall, or other barriers, including shorelines of hurricane-prone areas, farmlands, and grasslands.
- Exposure D:Flat expansions of land with zero obstructions, such as sparsely populated plains, salt flats, and the like. Also includes buildings constructed near large inland waterways that extend a mile or more from the shore, such as the Great Lakes.
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What Should You Do After Filing A Roof Damage Insurance Claim Wind
After working with your public adjuster to file a claim from wind insurance, youll want to contact some experience contractors to give you estimates for roof repairs, a possible replacement roof or new roof.
They will help you find experienced roofing contractors who can give you estimates for roof repairs and help to determine how much work needs to be done, or whether the roof needs to be completely replaced.
The contractors and your public adjuster will also help develop a timeline for repairs so you know how long itll be before you can fully use your property again.
Your adjuster will also work out a timeline for potential payouts so you can figure out your finances accordingly also keep in mind that you may be able to recoup some interim costs if your home or commercial property is uninhabitable for a period of time .
What Is Wind Damage
Wind damage to your property can occur when you experience any kind of storm or other weather event with high winds.
Most people associate wind damage with major storms like tornadoes and hurricanes, but any high winds can cause property damage.
Damaging winds or straight line winds are classified as exceeding 50 to 60 miles per hour but can reach up to one hundred miles per hour.
These types of winds are considered to be different from the types of winds that cause tornadoes.
They are often caused by downdrafts during severe thunderstorms, but damaging winds can be caused by a number of other weather scenarios as well.
That said, damage from severe thunderstorm winds accounts for approximately half of all severe wind damage claims in the lower 48 states.
Damaging winds can produce a stretch of damage that extends for hundreds of miles, and anyone living or owning property in areas of the world that are prone to thunderstorms are at risk for wind damage as well as other weather hazards.
Note that if you own or live in a mobile home, youre particularly at risk for wind damage, since these types of properties can be seriously damaged when winds reach 80 miles per hour or higher.
One thing that every business owner and homeowner should know regardless of whether you live or work in an area thats prone to windstorms be sure to document the state of your property and other assets before disaster strikes.
Damage Due To Wind Intensity
Winds that are below the 74 mph range often wont do any damage to your roof. If your home is in the path of a Category 1 to 5 hurricane, or is subject to very strong gusts during a bad storm or tornado event, damage becomes likely.
According to the National Hurricane Center , a Category 1 hurricane can cause damage to the shingles and siding. You can imagine the damage a Category 5 hurricane can do.
According to the EF Scale, tornadoes with winds of 73 to 112 mph can peel off your roofs surface, as well.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage
So, you just had a strong storm and found shingles in your yard. But will your homeowners insurance cover the damage to your roof caused by the strong winds?
The answer is yes, your homeowners insurance should cover wind damage and any other roof damage caused by extreme weather .
Be aware, your homeowners insurance wont cover the wind damage if your roof was improperly installed.
Thats why its crucial to hire a reputable roofing contractor with a strong installation history anytime you need roof work done. But how do you find a great roofing contractor?
That comes down to asking the right questions. To find out these questions, check out our article on the top 8 questions to ask a roofing contractor.
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Metal Roof Wind Performance
Properly designed and installed metal roofing often remains attached to the structure and, barring physical damage from flying debris, performs without leaks once the storm subsides. The overall performance of a metal roof is dependent on many variables that affect uplift pressures in addition to wind speed. The height of the building, shape, roof pitch, width of the building, and topography all affect the amount of force that a building may experience during a hurricane. Consequently, its challenging to broadly state that a specific system will perform well in all situations. But to offer some indication of the durability metal roofing offers, our Maxima or 238T panel systems are capable of safely withstanding wind speeds in excess of 200mph in many conditions.
Builds Trust Between You And The Roofing Contractor
Once your insurance claim is approved, it makes getting multiple bids pointless. With the sales process eliminated, your contractor can concentrate on getting you the best quality roof that your insurance allows as quickly as possible.
It also means that a roofer has no incentive to oversell or make promises they cant deliver. This builds trust between you and your contractor.
You trust the contractor for their honesty and for breaking down your insurance claim. The contractor trusts you for sharing all relevant information so they can do the job right the first time.
When you share your insurance paperwork with your contractor, not only is trust established but a partnership as well.
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Can You Prevent Roof Wind Damage
If you stay in a region prone to strong winds, you will continually worry about wind damage to your roof. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for wind damage to your roof. You cannot halt the wind however, you can reduce the damage to your roof. Here are tips that will protect your roof against damage by wind.
Contact Your Insurance Provider & Contractor
Once youve determined whats happened to your roof, call your insurance provider and contractor and explain the situation. Insurance companies typically have a limit when filing claims. Its crucial to properly document roof damage and submit your claim as soon as possible. It may not help to call them during the storm, though. No contractor or insurance provider will send you help when rain, wind, or lightning conditions exist.
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