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The coming rain brings with it strong, gusty winds throughout the country. While we may enjoy the cooling effects of the winds especially on humid days, the winds themselves can cause serious damage to your home if they are too strong. So far we’ve covered Rainy Season is Here – How should you prepare?, 5 Safety Tips for Driving in the Rainy Weather, How to Protect your Home from Rainwater Damage and today we’d be addressing how the strong winds can damage your home, and the steps you can take to prevent this from happening.
1. Roof damage – Watch out! Flying galvanize! Strong winds are notorious for dismantling roofs that are not properly secured. Roofs that are made from galvanize, nailed onto wooden beams are particularly at risk as nails do not offer as much stability as metal rivets. This can lead to nails becoming loose during strong winds, and galvanize sheeting being ripped off.
What should you do? To completely overhaul your roofing is quite expensive and not everyone may be able to afford this on short notice. If you do have a roof made of galvanize sheeting, nails and wooden beams, do a check and ensure that all nails are properly hammered. Any crooked or rusted nails should be replaced promptly.
2. Reinforce and protect windows – Windows = glass, and strong winds and glass do not go well together. While wind speeds need to be considerable (80mph+) to actually shatter glass, most times the shattering occurs when the breeze blows objects at the glass. This shrapnel can be in the form of gravel, stones, pieces of wood; anything that is solid, sharp and thrown at the glass with force.
Luckily, reinforcing windows are relatively simple and easy for anyone to do. You can do two things:
- Create a protective shielding around your window using pieces of ply that are nailed or drilled into the wall.
- Cover your windows with hurricane film. Hurricane film is a transparent, plastic that is placed on window panes. While it is not a guarantee to stop your windows from breaking, it can prevent glass shards from scattering and causing you harm.
3. Prune or cut nearby trees – Trees and branches are often the culprits in home damage when blown down by heavy winds. Branches that are broken can have sharp points; perfect for penetrating windows, doors and even roofs based on your roofing material. Similarly, entire trees that are blown down during storms and heavy winds can completely destroy homes due to the sheer weight of the trunk.
What’s your next move? It is better to be proactive in your approach and prune as much of the tree’s branches (if it is a large tree) as you could. For large trees that are located too close to your home, you can consider uprooting and replanting at a more convenient location. Your very last resort should be to chop the tree down completely.
4. Secure outdoor furniture and appliances – Have an outdoor patio with furniture, a BBQ grill, and a couch? It is a good idea to have these things secured or bolted down to the ground in the event of strong winds and rainstorms. Strong winds can easily cause both direct damage or indirect damage to your outdoor appliances and furniture.
If you are unable to have these items bolted and secured, move them indoors temporarily instead.
5. Do a perimeter check – While your home, furniture, appliances, and roof may be secured, there may still be potential risks surrounding your home. Do a perimeter check and look for anything that could cause damage to yourself or your home in the event of a strong winds. This includes but is not limited to branches, old machinery, metal sheeting, galvanize, gravel, glass panes, broken fences, tiles.
Make the necessary renovations where you can and get rid of all other potential risk factors.
Don’t have Home and Contents Insurance yet? Call Guardian General Jamaica at (876) 926-3720 for more information on our HomeGuard Insurance!
We thank you for joining us this week and we hope to see you again next week for our next instalment. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!