Windstorms and high winds pose serious risks to buildings and property. Combined with heavy rain, hail, and storm surges, windstorms can threaten lives, property and business operations. Fortunately, many common-sense precautions can help reduce windstorm risks.
Inspect and Maintain Roofs
Many roof failures start when perimeter flashing is damaged. Ahead of windstorms, thoroughly inspect all roof flashing and make repairs as needed. Replace any missing, damaged, or loose shingles or tiles. Ensure all roof-mounted structures like chimneys are sound. Consider contacting a roofing specialist for repairs beyond minor fixes.
Secure Roof-Mounted Items
Detached rooftop objects like HVAC units, solar panels, fans and lightweight structures can wreak havoc in high winds. Check the security of all roof-mounted items before windstorm season. Ensure roof hatches and doors are tightly closed. Add additional securing mechanisms if needed.
Clear External Debris
Storm winds can turn unsecured yard debris into dangerous projectiles. Clear grounds of furniture, storage containers, tree branches, and loose items. Relocate any movable objects indoors or anchor firmly to the earth. Protect windows and other glazed areas vulnerable to debris strikes.
Address Rain and Flooding Exposure
Heavy winds drive torrential rains into buildings. Flooding compromises structures. Ensure drainage systems are clear of debris. Seal all external vents and openings prone to wind-driven rain penetration. Protect windows and exterior doorways. Confirm sump pumps are working and install backups if concerned about flooding.
Create Emergency Plans
Power outages and restricted access often accompany storms. Emergency plans should cover equipment and utilities, accessing your property, protecting stock and facilities, and communicating with employees. Update plans annually and exercise them via drills. Be ready to enact emergency protocols before storms arrive.
Protecting your property from storms requires foresight, vigilance, and common-sense precautions. But with appropriate planning and commitment to structural preparedness, you can minimise disruptions and damage.