The Effects of Hurricanes on Residential Properties

Coastal communities are susceptible to some of the most devastating natural disasters, including hurricanes. High winds and severe rainfall characterize these storms. The occurrence of hurricanes was considered rare, and the storms that did occur had a low intensity. The risk of widespread hurricane damage was therefore seen as manageable within the purview of private home insurance and, occasionally, federally subsidized flood insurance by both homeowners and government agencies. Hurricane-damaged homes are typically repaired to their pre-storm condition rather than upgraded to lessen or mitigate damage from subsequent storms.

Preparing your residential home for a hurricane is essential to keeping you and your family safe. It also helps reduce the work needed once the storm has passed.

Wind Damage

The impact of hurricanes on residential homes can be devastating. They can cause significant roof and siding damage, resulting in short-term power outages and long-term property value losses.

Winds can also tear off windows, causing them to shatter and injure people inside the home. The stronger the winds, the more likely windows will break.

Some windows can sustain hurricane-force winds for a long time before they shatter, and hurricane impact windows can support even stronger winds.

The effects of climate change are putting more inland houses and properties at risk from tropical storms, according to a new analysis by the First Street Foundation. The report predicts that more category three, four and five hurricanes will land in the United States in the coming decades.

Water Damage

Hurricanes, which start in the ocean, gain power from the warm ocean air and can produce heavy rains that inundate areas of the coastline. The advancing water can flood roads and houses, causing significant damage and even deaths.

Storm surges can carry toxins and other contaminants that can affect the health of people in the area. It is why it’s essential to stay out of floodwater whenever possible and clean yourself up thoroughly if you come into contact with any.

If you’re a homeowner, you must prepare for a hurricane immediately. Ensure your roof is adequately shingled and secured, and remove any trees hanging over your home. Additionally, you need to confirm that you have enough insurance protection.

Structural Damage

Winds in hurricanes can rip away roofs and destroy the exterior walls of homes. It is especially true when a home is built with the wrong structural materials or construction techniques.

The most sensitive building components to hurricane damage are roofs, windows and door openings. These elements should be inspected and reinforced before the storm hits since they are the most likely to be damaged.

During hurricanes, flying debris penetrates doors and windows and causes the internal pressure to build up inside the structure. It can fail interior walls and ceilings.

The most common residential building method is concrete block and stucco (CBS), but wood-frame structures are also used in various areas, particularly elevated or flood-prone buildings. While wood-frame walls do not suffer as many component failures as roofs and openings, they sometimes fail (Sanders, 1994).


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