What Kind Of Damage Can High Wind Speeds Do To A House?

aluminium windows and doors, hurricane damage, wind speed damage, tornado, sigmadoors

hurricane damage, wind speed damage, sigmadoorsA heart is happy when the house you have built is happy.??A happy house is characterized by how satisfied you are with it. Contentment can be measured by the comfort in the design and utility of the house, not just by the styles of your glass doors and awning windows. It is necessary you care for the structure and protect it as your own. By not treating it as a different entity, you will be ensuring the safety of the house and your family. The possible threats the building is likely to face are mostly uncontrollable and involuntary. Nature’s forces like the wind and water are not under the guidance or control of any man. Thus, it is essential for you to safeguard your house with insurance. Damaging wind speeds are detrimental since they take shape in various categories and forms. Awareness against all these odds will help in tackling these hazards smartly. The following is a detailed study of the same.

What are the winds and why are they harmful?

Wind, in its most comprehensive meaning, refers to a collection of gases. Winds flow faster than a regular breeze and tend to last for a longer duration. At a velocity, winds carry with them a certain amount of pressure which determines the direction of the wind flow. This velocity is also called wind speed. It is interesting to mention that on the following basis, winds transpire into various categories:

  1. Spatial scale- ?The spatial scale shows the amount of intensity of an object over a fixed distance, time and area.
  2. Wind speed- Wind speed is a noteworthy discussion that determines the damage and utility quotient of the wind.
  3. The region- Because winds all have differential pressures and directions at different points of time, the locational influence is an eloquent amplification.
  4. The forces- The forces refer to the ignition of climatic changes that generate differentiated winds.

A few winds are harmless while another few are highly damaging. Every wind has three aspects to it- the cause, the area of effect and the effects. On this basis, damaging winds are calculated and predicted. This analogy acts as an helpful precaution against impending horrors of nature that will affect your house.

The cause

Winds are generated across various locations due to the disparity in atmospheric pressure. This thermal difference in temperatures and pressures gives rise to various forces. These forces accumulate towards a common center, thanks to a centrifugal force. ?The friction at the eye of the winds slows the pace of the wind. It moves towards a gradient pressure area and starts collecting a similar army of winds which, as a result, increases the speed.

The area of effect

At the area of effect, the accumulated winds tend to cause havoc. The speed of the wind is alarmingly high. Since winds host moisture and collect humidity from the nearby air, water is a well-known companion of such high-speed winds. Soon after this, the storm starts to develop an eye. At this point, the winds start their action in dilapidating the region tormented with the storm. Coastal regions are the most suffered areas of damage. The sea and land breezes aid the winds which may cause widespread damage to your roof coverings, windows and front doors. This damage is inclusive of significant damage to houses and the community at large. The damage caused by these winds depend on the speed of the winds aroused in the region.

The winds that have attained the speed of 50-60 miles per hour (mph) are denominated as straight-line winds. These winds can easily reach up to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. The worst the winds have speeded across an area is 300 mph. Moreover, these accumulated winds have slight outbursts called microburst and macroburst. They are significant contributors to house damage to entrance doors, aluminium windows, and aluminium doors. Such high-speed winds are accompanied by previously uprooted flying debris, wind-driven hail and damage from a tornado. This debris includes replacement windows pieces, vehicle junk, and numerous splinters.

The scale used to determine the speed of the winds and the damage caused by them is the below-mentioned table.


Scale ( Fujita ) Wind speed (mph) Damage
EF0 68-85 Mediocre
EF1 86-110 Moderate
EF2 111-135 Considerable
EF3 and above >135 Total destruction


The effect

The intensity of damage caused by these winds is highly detrimental. The damage of such winds is ancillary to the wind speed, the direction of the wind and duration over which the storm persists. The debris comprises of broken pieces from glass doors, aluminium windows and more. This debris-storm causes more damage than the winds themselves.

Different wind speeds cause various levels of damage. Minimal speed winds which rage at 50-60 mph do not cause noteworthy damage. The most it can do to your house is to uproot the trees in your backyards and shatter the shingles of your roof. They are also capable of overturning a few light vehicles or fences. A regular house that has a foundation can withstand 120-140 mph winds easily. Trouble occurs when the winds go over the mentioned speed range. At this speed, the roof begins to fall off or blow away. The winds blow towards your house with a severe intensity that will pass through the unfinished ends and edges. This will weaken the wall and cause its destruction. Doors and windows have always been the weakest points of interest. Heavier pieces of previously stable aluminium folding doors and broken splinters and slivers of standard aluminium window sizes are nothing less than harmful.

Home damage of aluminium doors and aluminium windows

Coastal and disaster-prone areas are the most common sufferers of these hazards. The tropical depression that is created by the winds is of extreme concern to many construction workers and home designers.

  • At a modest speed of 50-60 mph, the shingles of the roof or slight breakage in the fence can be observed.
  • When the speeds reach to about 70-80 mph, building materials start of wear off slowly and steadily. At this rate of a wind change, the glass of the glass doors and windows and of other equipment would be shattered. Older and traditional methods of construction are weak and unadvanced. They will not be able to withstand the effects of the high-speed winds that are ravaging the community.
  • At a speed of 150 mph, trees and lampposts are uprooted mercilessly and, the foundation of the house is ripped beyond repair.
  • Manmade structures and buildings fall off at the wind speed of 210 mph. It is highly unlikely that any artificial structure can hold its strength against such damaging winds.
  • For instances, one of the most damaging kinds of winds hit Barrow Island with a speed of 253 mph. The costliest of hurricanes were Sandy, Katrina, and Andrew in the US that had a recovery expense of $125 billion.

Precautions to take

These are seven best precautionary measures which can help in preventing extensive damage to your house:

  1. Manufacturer addressed concerns – when a storm with high-speed winds hits the region, many houses are overturned or completely destroyed. The wind can easily overpower the strength of your construction. Thus, it is advisable for you to use those materials that offer permanent solutions to home-based queries. For example, if the doors of your house were likely to cause a break down during an upcoming storm, how are going to handle it? The material in question should be top notch and available.
  2. Extra add-ons- The most vulnerable parts of your home are the windows and doors. They are the main causes of flying debris entering the house. If the construction material had no significant specification for the door, then use an add-on. Equipment such as shutters, panel systems, and screens can be used to ward off debris. Moreover, this additional protection cannot easily be penetrated by debris (unless the object is heavy such as aluminium sliding doors). These systems provide an extra layer of safety to the windows and doors.
  3. Glass advancement- Using glass doors and windows is nice. They are tinted or transparent in their usage, but during high-speed wind crusade, these very glassdoors cause the highest amount of damage. Glass shattering is not only painful to the building, but the debris after the shattering of glass is extremely fatal. In a preventive measure, glass can be manufactured to be made impact resistant. This can be achieved by heat hardening the glass and chemically treating it. This involves the method of serious compression that limits the jerking of the glass doors.
  4. Leakage-resistant techniques- Doors and aluminium windows, despite being the best alternative, do not completely kee off trouble. They are very delicate and easily prone to damage. They are also habitats of water intrusion. Storms are often accompanied by water and debris. The debris will cause damage to the aluminium window and will allow the water to flow in and through it. This seepage will eliminate the remaining strength of the wall, and it will slowly succumb to the wind and water pressure. Thus, the use of certain extra tools like screens or shutter can be invariably helpful.
  5. Siding- Siding is a shielding material attached to the outlying side of a wall. Along with the roof, it forms the first line of defense against the natural forces. Therefore, it gives rise to a stable, and a really worriless interior. It also helps in reducing the interior temperature when it too high. Siding to houses should be looked after and taken as a piece of advice. Fibre cement siding is a material used to build one of the most powerful and strong holdings and long lasting walls. Can hold itself against ferocious coastal winds. Siding must be designed to withstand a minimum of 130-150 mph of winds.
  6. To build a home, you should consider wind load classifications and types of building materials that can withstand the winds.
    1. Age factor- the older the house, the less likely it is to withstand the wrath of the winds. Newer houses are equipped with more stabilized techniques which are preferable.
    2. Your home can withstand the air pressure if it is one-storied. Extra precautionary measures need to be taken in order to protect the house from such high-speed winds.
    3. The strength of your walls can be a known factor. Many homes use concrete block than wood framing to build their walls. A few houses even use a combination of the both.
    4. The type of roof is a dependent factor on which the health of the house is relied on. There are two types of roof structures- gable roof and hip-roof. The materials used in building a roof are significant to understand. Dimensional lumber is old and unfavorable. The problem with Dimensional lumber is that this wood is sharp across all edges and turns. That creates wind resistance. Dimensional lumber can be the reason why high-speed winds are capable of toppling your home. OSB or plywood is a recommended alternative to such wood. ?Despite being the least used housing material, concrete is still recommended.
  7. Insurance is the undisputable necessity among all other precautions. In order to ensure your home’s safety and recover the lost funds, insurance can help you to do that. Here’s a general list of questions to skim through when you’re deciding on your insurance:
    1. How to buy insurance for your homes:
    2. Home Insurance Overview
    3. What Does Home Insurance Cover?
    4. Storm Damage Insurance Buyers Guide
    5. Home Insurance Terms and Definitions
    6. Storm Damage Insurance FAQs
    7. Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know and How to Purchase Coverage
    8. How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim after Storm Damage

This list is as per the NSDC. Property owners can safeguard their entities by obtaining a good insurance policy to combat the after-effects of a storm.

It should be noted that winds are a topic of utmost importance. They do not cause the damage that amounts to that of a child?s play. Be it your fancy double sliding glass doors for entrance doors, and nothing is a match to high-speed winds. Only awareness and safety tricks are the measures for a healthier approach to human and house safety, at the least.

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