In Kansas City, we’re used to high winds. It’s the Midwest, after all—and the intense weather conditions that we’re known for go right along with our strong family values, friendly neighbors, and wide, open spaces.
As Midwesterners, we’re also known for taking great pride in the homes we live in. Maybe it’s precisely because of the challenging weather conditions that we’ve gotten so good at protecting our homes and preventing problems before they start. As any homeowner will tell you, intense weather can cause all sorts of problems if we’re not prepared for them, and maintenance and upkeep are two of the most important things we can do to keep costs down and our families well-protected, year after year.
Whether you live in the Midwest or anywhere else in the United States, wind speeds are something to be concerned about if you own a home. In this article from Smart Exteriors, we’ll go over some of the reasons why you should always take high winds into consideration when it comes to home maintenance—and what you should do to prevent exterior wind damage and other problems on your property.
When are High Wind Speeds a Problem?
Winds as low as 30mph for up to an hour in duration are enough to cause a “wind advisory” by the National Weather Service. A wind advisory alerts people of these types of winds or frequent wind gusts of at least 45mph, that are expected to occur over the next 36 hours. During a wind advisory, residents in the area should take care to remove small and unsecured objects on and around the property to prevent injury or damage to the home. A high wind watch alerts residents in the area of sustained winds of 40mph for up to an hour at a time, or of frequent wind gusts of at least 58mph, that are expected over the next 12-48 hours.
During a high wind watch, driving will be difficult—especially for trucks and high vehicles, and wind can also tear down power lines, trees, and smaller buildings such as sheds, barns, gazebos, treehouses, other types of makeshift constructions. A high wind warning happens when sustained winds of over 40mph or frequent wind gusts of at least 58mph, that are expected over the next 36-hour period. Residents are expected to prepare for strong winds, and to expect very difficult driving conditions and other hazards. In all of these situations, there is usually plenty of time to prepare beforehand, and during normal conditions it is useful to prepare the home exterior and property for extreme wind conditions wherever necessary.
What Can I Do to Prepare My Home for High Winds?
When winds are strong but on the low end of the scale, homeowners shouldn’t need to worry too much about protecting the home’s exterior—as long as the construction is solid and sound. Even in low winds, a compromised roof, lifted or loose shingles, poorly attached siding, and leaking windows are all problems that can become affected by windy days. Homeowners should also inspect the property before a wind advisory for loose branches or unsupported trees, especially when located near power lines, the home, or high-traffic areas like the street, driveways or sidewalks. Debris, patio furniture, trampolines, and other outdoor items should be brought inside or nailed down if necessary to prevent damage or injury during wind storms and high speed winds.
Other ways to prepare for high winds include:
- Roof Inspection: Perform regular inspections and maintenance and repairs for your rooftop, which is highly susceptible to wind damage. Look for loose shingles, damaged sections, clogged gutters, debris build-up, missing shingles, and other issues that lead to bigger problems after intense weather. If you have problems with your gutters clogging, consider having high-quality, steel mesh gutter guards installed to eliminate clogs, prevent water damage, and dramatically reduce maintenance needs.
- Inspect Windows and Doors: If your window or door products are not well-maintained or in poor condition, this can lead to excessive energy loss during storms and high winds. Ensure that there are no holes or leaks in or around the window, and check that the weatherstripping is intact.
- Inspect Your Siding: Just as important as it is to inspect the roof, windows, and doors, your siding is another critical component of your home that needs constant evaluation. Make sure that your siding is complete and intact, and have any holes or leaks repaired immediately. If your siding is not in good condition, consider replacement with a high-quality material like fiber cement.
- Protect the Pool: Make sure the pool is covered to prevent a messy clean-up after high winds. You may want to find out whether the pool pump should be turned off and put away, although this will depend on the make and model of your pump.
- Trim the Trees: As we mentioned before, trees can cause serious damage in high winds and thunderstorms. Make sure that your trees are well-trimmed and cleared of broken branches and other issues. This should be done before storm season and before wind advisories happen, so be sure to plan for this ahead of time. For best results, have a landscaper or tree-trimmer service inspect your property for potential problems with your trees.
What Should I Do After a Wind Advisory Has Passed?
Once it’s safe to go out and the high winds have passed on, go outside and take a look at your home. If you notice missing shingles on the roof, peeling siding, water pouring off the sides of the house, or other signs of exterior damage, it’s time to make repairs to fix the issues before they get worse.
If you suspect that there are issues that will affect your home’s performance after a storm, high winds, or other heavy weather, call a trusted professional roofing company right away. The right company will send a contractor to come over and perform an inspection for you. The roofing contractor will be able to spot wind damage issues and will offer solutions to fix or replace them. As long as your roofing materials are well-maintained and of good quality, having them inspected regularly will help you to save money and keep your home well-protected.
In Kansas City, our team at Smart Exteriors is proud to be one of the area’s most trusted home improvement companies. If you are concerned about high winds and wind damage or are worried about your home’s roofing, siding, windows, or gutters, we can help. For more information about our services, give us a call now or fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate.