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Wind and Hail Can Cause Severe Property Damage to Homes

Once again, the wind woke you up in the middle of the night. This summer, it seems, that is a pretty common occurrence. On this occasion, however, something seemed different, and then you remembered that you had forgotten to take down the umbrella on the table on the deck. Rushing downstairs, you feared that the noise this night was the table. You feared that wind would have caught the open umbrella and tipped the entire table over. You hoped that you were not going to be greeted with a deck full of shattered glass.

As you approached the last couple of stairs, however, you feared something much worse. It sounded as if tonight’s wind storm was coming right into the kitchen. A few steps closer and you realized that the door to the deck must have come open and hit one of the kitchen chairs. That was the noise that was making this night’s wind and rain storm sound so differently. Only one of the sliding door windows was serving its purpose. The other, left open by you during the day was useless. When the extra exterior door blew open, it allowed both the wind and the rain into the kitchen. Fortunately, the door hitting the chair wakened you and you got downstairs just in time. The rain was just getting started, you slid the sliding door window shut, latched the other door, and headed back upstairs to bed.

Storm Damage Can be Both Expensive and Extensive

With nothing more than sliding window doors, entry windows, and other glass features separating our homes from the elements, it is a wonder that storms do not cause even more damage. High-quality windows are meant to stand up to lots of stress, however, and it is often the roof and the siding of a home that suffer the most damage during a storm. Even the largest of picture windows hold their own during winds and hail that are capable of ripping shingles off roofs and shredding siding.

Unfortunately, even when the windows hold their own, a closer inspection after a hail storm can show divots and dings in the casing around these windows. These dents have the capability of causing the window to lose its seal and be vulnerable to leaks. As a result, even a seemingly undamaged window may need to be replaced. For this reason it is important to make sure that you have an adjustor at least look at your property after a damaging wind and hail storm.
Consider some of these facts and figures about sliding door windows, roofs, gutter, and other parts of your house that might fall victim to the wrath of Mother Nature:

  • Most siding installation is rated for winds up to 110 mph. Vnyl siding is much easier to re-install than other types of siding if wind does rip it off.
  • In the average home, 38% of heat loss is through windows and doors. If a home has drafty single-pane windows or sliding door windows, heat loss through these may increase to 50%.
  • The Census Bureau indicates that 36% of new single-family homes completed in the U.S. last year were covered in vinyl siding as the principal type of exterior wall material, 23% were brick, 17% stucco; and 13% fiber cement.
  • Even without a storm, in normal circumstances a roof should be inspected once a year.
  • According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost versus Value Report, the average cost of vinyl window replacement is $11,319; wood window replacement comes in a little bit higher at $12,229.
  • New windows can lower energy bills. In fact, depending on what part of the country where a house is located, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that home owners can save as much as $501 a year by replacing old single-pane windows with new Energy Star approved models.

Whether it was Mother Nature or a swinging kitchen door that woke you up during the last storm, make sure that you contact an insurance adjuster to see if the sliding door windows, roof, siding and other parts of the house survived. Even windows that still look great can have storm damage that can lessen the effectiveness of a seal, leading to higher energy costs.

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