Thunderstorms, microbursts, tornadoes and hurricanes are all associated with high velocity winds that cause billions of dollars in property damage each year. While certain regions of the world may experience strong winds more frequently than others, they can and do occur virtually everywhere.
Wind damage can cause everything from cosmetic or structural damage to a property’s complete destruction. Even seemingly minor wind damage can result in water being able to enter a property where it can cause damage to building materials and belongings. This moisture can also result in the growth of mold in less than 48 hours in many circumstances if the materials are allowed to remain wet or moist.
In addition to issues associated with moisture and mold, wind damage in older properties could also result in indoor environmental concerns due to the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials. If these materials are disturbed by the actual damage or during cleanup, demolition and rebuilding activities, there can be exposure risks.
Fortunately, there are steps that property owners and managers can take to help prevent damage due to strong winds. They include the following:
• Ensure any rooftop HVAC units are properly secured.
• Check shingles or roof tiles to make sure they are properly fastened and meet or exceed local building codes.
• Be sure roof sheathing is properly nailed down and that the connections between the roof and walls will not allow updrafts to damage the roof.
• Check chimneys, sky lights and roof exhaust pipes to ensure they are sealed and properly secured.
• Be sure exterior doors are hinged or braced properly and can withstand strong winds.
• The building’s exterior, siding and windows should be sealed and properly secured to prevent wind damage and wind-driven rain from reaching the interior.
• Trim back trees to prevent damage from broken limbs or uprooted trees.
• Be sure anything stored outdoors and any outbuildings are properly secured and that fencing is well braced.
• For commercial properties, check to make sure signage is properly designed, anchored and secured.
Fortunately, wind damage is covered under most standard insurance policies, but there can be exceptions. Property managers, owners and tenants that do experience wind damage should also be on the lookout for hidden damages that might otherwise go unnoticed.
These are just a few things to know about wind damage, moisture and mold. To learn more about this or other property damage, indoor air quality, health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown below.
Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. http://www.iecinc.net
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com