Unfortunately, natural disasters are a part of life for people living in virtually any part of the United States and even the world. Tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes, and more can plague your city, causing destruction to infrastructure and buildings, including your own home. Depending on what climate you live in, you may face a specific type of natural disaster, with some bad weather occurring certain times in the year when they are more prevalent. Your home is your livelihood, making it extremely important to protect your home against natural disasters. Below, we’ll go over the various types of natural disasters and how you can prevent and repair your home after damaging weather hits.
Different Types of Natural Disasters
There are several different types of natural disasters that occur across the country, including:
- Thunderstorms: While they affect relatively smaller areas unlike larger storms, thunderstorms are still harmful to your home’s foundation. Usually lasting around 30 minutes, thunderstorms consist of rain, thunder, and lightening. Thunderstorms are more common in the Spring and Summer than they are in the Fall and Winter; however, they can still occur out-of-season. All that is needed for a thunderstorm to form are three ingredients: moisture, unstable air, and lift.
- Tornadoes: Usually born from thunderstorms, tornados are powerful forces of nature that can rip trees from the ground and completely level houses. Tornadoes are narrow, rotating columns of air, making them difficult to see in just their natural state. However, once they begin to gather moisture and debris, they take on color and are visible to the naked eye. As many as 1,200 tornadoes affect the United States annually, and many parts of the country can be affected by this weather.
- Hurricanes: A tropical storm system, a hurricane rotates around low-pressure areas. This causes very heavy rainfall and strong winds. In order to be truly considered a hurricane, its wind speed must be more than 63 knots or 74 mph. For a hurricane to form, there must be a pre-existing weather condition like a tropical wave, warm water, low wind shear, and thunderstorm activity. All hurricanes start to form over oceans, making warm areas near oceans susceptible to these powerful forces of nature.
- Blizzards: A severe type of snowstorm, blizzards are defined by their considerable amounts of blowing or falling snow with winds that exceed 35 mph. Blizzards also have visibilities of less than a quarter mile for three hours, at least. They can be quite large, extending to lengths of hundreds of miles. These cold natural disasters typically occur in the winter, causing freezing temperatures, power outages, and dangerous driving conditions. These frigid storms are extremely dangerous and can be fatal to living things caught in its path.
- Droughts: A weather event characterized by a lack of moisture for extended periods of time, droughts can last from 15 days to even years. They usually disrupt agriculture and the ecosystems in the areas they affect, which can lead to a hit to the region’s economy. Droughts can affect virtually any part of the world, although they are more common in more arid areas. The lack of precipitation can affect the amount of moisture and water found in soil, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
How Natural Disasters Affect Your Home
Natural disasters – such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes – can cause your home to be damaged by strong winds and heavy flooding. Natural disasters with strong winds can damage your home’s gutters, siding, and structural stability. Heavy rainfall and flooding can seep into your home’s foundation, causing leaks, mold, musty smells, and more. Cold weather can also affect your home by weighing down your gutters and causing water damage as the excessive snow begins to melt. Droughts can also greatly affect your home by causing the soil around your home to dry, which can lead to sunken and cracking concrete.
Keeping Your Home Safe in Bad Weather
You can help protect your home against natural disasters by:
- Keeping Your Drains Clear: Your home will fair far better with a working drainage system than a system that is damaged or clogged. Your drainage system helps keep water away from damaging your home. If you live in areas prone to heavy rainfall, ensure your gutters and drains are free of debris and are funneling water properly.
- Sealing Cracks and Voids Around Your Foundation: Cracks in your windows and doors can lead to water damage when dangerous weather hits. You should be checking these areas for voids often, sealing them off when they are found. Cracks in your concrete can lead to excess saturation of moisture in the soil around your home, which can seep into your basement or crawl space.
- Remove Damaged Trees and Hanging Branches: Strong winds from natural disasters can cause trees and branches to fall onto your home. This can rip your gutters from your house, damage your roof, and can even cause a collapse of the area that has been damaged.
- Purchase Home Insurance: Home insurance can cover damage to your personal belongings, which typically happens when a home has been damaged by a natural disaster. While the insurance will not cover the cost of your foundation repair, it will ensure that your expensive possessions can be replaced in the event that they are destroyed by flooding, strong winds, or other aspects of certain natural disasters.
Repairing Your Home After a Natural Disaster
If your home – especially its foundation – is damaged by a natural disaster, you should not take matters into your own hands. In times when bad weather affects your home, you should contact a foundation repair specialist, like a Groundworks company. We offer FREE, no-obligation inspections where we provide you with a way to permanently repair your home’s foundation, basement, crawl space, concrete, and even gutters. We have the knowledge and team to solve your foundation problem, and will take special care to keep you and your home safe in dangerous weather.