The Pacific Northwest area typically gets around 27-30 wind storms per year. These storms can cause light damage to trees and buildings, but can also often cause severe wind damage due to short bursts of high-speed winds or long, strong sustained winds. Windstorms can last an hour to multiple days, and because these windstorms often happen during the winter season, it’s best to be prepared for any wind storms that may be approaching the PNW.
Wind Damage Prevention
If you live in an area with frequent windstorms, take the following precautions to reduce damage to your property as much as possible.
First, make sure your roof is properly equipped to handle a windstorm. If your roof has shingles, this often means getting your roof inspected for any necessary shingle repair and checking that the shingles won’t blow away and are securely fastened down.
Also make sure that your exterior walls, doors, and windows are well sealed, to keep air from getting inside and causing interior damage. Make sure the siding is securely attached and your doors are triple-hinged; it is also recommended to have a deadbolt for maximum protection.
If you have any objects outdoors, like dumpsters or fencing, make sure they are tightly secured to the ground. It is also wise to keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed to avoid branches from flying off into your home.
If you can, it is wise to store your vehicle in an inside garage to avoid any damage from the windstorm. Keep all cars away from trees and make sure all windows are raised beforehand.
Wind Damage Repairs
When wind damage happens to your home and/or property, the first thing you should do is call your insurance company. Have your insurance policy number ready and provide them with a phone number or email where you can be easily reached.
When it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage on your property and record any damaged items, including information such as how long you have had the damaged item, price, etc. Include pictures of your home before the damage, and send it in with your insurance claim.
An example of a damage covered under homeowner’s insurance would be if a tree falls on your house. However, if a tree from your yard falls on your neighbor’s house, the neighbor is responsible for the damage – and vice versa. If your car was damaged in a windstorm, your auto policy should also take care of the damage. Just be sure you did not opt out of comprehensive coverage, or else your car won’t be covered.
When trying to figure out what kind of professional to call to fix windstorm damage, consider different options. Call around for businesses that specialize in home and business repair or tree repair because will be able to do the job right the first time.
Wind Damage Checklist
- Did any of the trees in your yard get knocked down or damaged?
- Did any trees from another yard end up in yours?
- Did any trees cause damage to your property?
- Is your roof open and exposed to the elements?
- Are there shingles missing?
- Is your house leaking or experiencing a draft?
Check Sheds and Outdoor Space
- Are the doors to the shed still intact?
- Make sure that garbage has not been blown into your yard or off of your property.
Front and Backyard Inspection
- Has any damage been done to the ground, such as flooding or holes?
- Are power lines down on your lawn? Call the electric company to report any outages and power lines down.
Keeping Your Trees Healthy and Safe
Taking steps to keep your trees healthy and safe will reduce damage done by trees during windstorms at a significant rate.
If you plan on planting trees, try to plant them in groups of five to create a stronger base so that it’s harder to uproot the trees during a storm. It is also recommended that you plant trees of various species, ages and layers to improve diversity. Look for trees that are more apt to surviving windstorms such as some dicots and conifers. Remove any dead trees that may prohibit new trees from growing.
Taking these precautions to ensuring your property is safe before and after a windstorm is crucial in the PNW. Damages will occur, but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to natural disasters. If you are recovering from or preparing for a severe windstorm, Precision Tree Service provides tree removal and pruning services that will take care of the hard work for you. Contact them at (888) 520-2085.