$121.4 billion in property damage is a jaw-dropping number. Yet, between 2017 and 2021, the US experienced $121.4 billion in reported property damage caused by severe weather. When heavy rains and strong winds hit, roofs, windows, and siding often suffer. These home-value decreasing headaches are hard enough without the added confusion from experts and insurers.
As insurance Claim Specialists, and long-time locals, we’ve seen everything and created resources to help you protect your home. This article continues our spring inclement weather series where we discuss the common weather-related issues in Missouri, what you can do to protect your home, what to look for, and what to do after you experience storm damage.
Here we will talk about some common types of damage and what you need to look for when assessing damage. Bookmark this article for future use and stay tuned for important tips and how-tos.
In Missouri, high-winds can wreak havoc on roofs, gutters, and siding.
What is Wind Damage?
Often caused by straight-line winds, severe thunderstorms, or tornados, most experts consider any wind exceeding 60 MPH “damaging winds.”
What to look for?
It is always best to let experts check for damage, especially on a roof. With that said, if you check it yourself, here is what to look for:
Shingles: Cracked, broken, curling, extra smooth, or missing shingles.
Flashing: rips, tears, punctures, or buckled flashing.
Gutters: sagging, broken, loose, or missing gutters.
Siding: loose, broken, dented, warped, or missing siding.
Windows: broken or cracked panes, chipped or dented glass, cracked or splintered window siding, chipped paint, or warped windows.
Ask any local and they know someone with a story about running into the rain to collect hail balls. This wildly unsafe practice was practically a rite of passage in our earlier years. Of course, we wholly discourage this practice and believe you should never take this risk. Hail causes significant damage to Missouri homeowners each year.
What is Hail Damage?
Hail or hailstones form when a thunderstorm’s updrafts carry raindrops into cooler layers of the upper atmosphere and then freeze. When this happens over and over, the hail grows from the size of a raindrop to the size of a pea, then a stone, then a golf ball, and even as large as softballs. Eventually, the hail grows heavier than the updraft can support and it falls from the sky. The largest hailstone in Missouri broke records with a 6 inch diameter and a 16.5 inch circumference. For reference, a softball is about 3.5 inches in diameter.
What to look for?
It is always important to remain indoors until storms completely move past your area. Don’t rush outside until you know it is safe. When the threat passes and if you do not see any downed power lines or flooded areas, you want to walk around your house looking for damages and dents. You want to look for unevenly spaced dents or divots. You might see obvious signs of missing paint, damaged air conditioning units, or broken glass. Often, the damage is imperceptible to the untrained eye and requires an expert.
Shingles: dented, broken, split, cracked, smoothed, or missing shingles.
Flashing: bent, dinged, broken, or missing flashing.
Gutters: dings, bent sections, sagging, broken, loose, or missing gutters and downspouts.
Siding: missing paint, impacted sections, warped, or missing siding.
Windows: holes in your screens or glass, shattered or cracked panes, chipped or dented glass, splintered or chipped siding, missing paint, or warped windows.
Other areas to review: Your garage door is especially susceptible to hail damage. Check for dents, dings, holes, and make sure it functions well. Listen to the motor if it is automatic.
Water Damage in Missouri
Finally, this wouldn’t be a Missouri inclement weather article if we didn’t mention water damage. The show-me state’s abundance of natural and man-made waterways welcomes visitors from all over to soak in the beauty of neck of the Ozarks. However, those same waterways come with a warning label: flooding possible. According to Risk Factor 2,685 properties in Springfield, Missouri have at least a 26% chance of severe flooding within the next 30 years.
What is Storm Water Damage?
Heavy rain, melting snow, or flash flooding are three primary sources of storm-related water damage. To qualify as heavy rain, it must rain more than 0.30 inches in a single hour. If the surface of the earth and snow melt because of a sudden temperature increase, but the lower levels remain frozen, then the ground won’t be able to absorb the melted water, resulting in flooding. When heavy rain or melting snow causes water levels to rise above the riverbanks, a flash flood can cause serious damage.
Did you know floods kill more people than tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning each year?
What to look for?
Shingles and flashing : warped or soft spots, discoloration, and missing shingles or flashing. Keep in mind, shingles and flashing protect your roof from water damage by diverting to your downspout and away from your home. If your shingles are in good working order, you are unlikely to see water damage to them. However, if they have damage, you might see the telltale signs of water damage in your crawlspace, attic, or ceilings.
Gutters: water overflowing instead of traveling through the downspout, broken or fallen sections, or missing gutters.
Siding and windows : bulges, soft spots, rot, and mildew on your siding.
Know Who to Call
Missouri is a beautiful place to live and raise a family. Protecting your home from the elements is a necessary step if you want to live in the Ozarks and preserve your home’s value and your family’s safety, so save our safety checklist and other resources for future reference. And, if you experience storm damage, know who to call!
Exquisite Renovations is more than just beautiful home renovations you can trust. We are also Insurance Claim Specialists. If you think your home has storm damage, let our team help.