The integrity of your building could be severely compromised by heavy storms such as heavy rains, hailstorms or strong winds. While we often forget about storms as soon as they subside, they generally inflict serious damage on the structure of the building which can deteriorate with time and degenerate into even more costly damages or premature ageing of the building. The damages will impact not just the integrity but also the value and usability of your property. This is why it is always a good safety practice to invest in comprehensive post-storm building inspections.
There are various kinds of building inspections that you need to carry out in order to be sure that your building has survived the storm in one piece. These include the following.
The roof is highly exposed and also poses a fairly large surface area making it vulnerable to storm damage. After a major storm, you should carry out a major roofing inspection to ascertain whether your roof has survived the storm in one piece. Minor damage to the structure of the roof or even the roofing shingles could transform into potentially costly roofing problems in the future. The main issue is that the storm is generally a trigger for an accelerated roofing deterioration. This could result in leaks, mold formation, deterioration in the roof support system or wood rot that may eventually lead to roof collapse.
HVAC System Inspection
Your HVAC systems have an external component that is exposed to the storms. After every major storm, these must be inspected for any signs of debris or damage. The system should also be tested to ensure it has sound mechanical and airflow operation.
Exterior Walls Inspection
Just like the roofing, the exterior walls are also vulnerable to extensive storm damage or even mild storm damage. Some of the areas such as stuccos or siding may be difficult to notice. The exterior wall should be visually inspected for signs of damage. Some of the things to look out for include the following:
- Chipping or cracking of the wall surface.
- Cracks in the wood finishes
- Holes or even breaks in the stucco
- Dents on the siding
- Paint discoloration
- Stripped paint
- Missing sections or torn sections in the siding
Fascias and Soffits
The main worry here should be the damage to the wood used in the fascias or soffits. With heavy storms, these areas are easily dented or get cracked. If they are painted, the surfaces can easily chip off in the face of heavy storms.
Windows can also be exposed to storm damage. If there are heavy storms, you might have to grapple with broken windows or even damaged window casings. To assess window damage, you can look out for the following:
- Broken window panes
- Shards of glass
- Shattered windows
- Cracks or dents in the window frames
- In thermal windows, look for signs of fogging in between the window panes
- Holes in windows
Gutters and Downspouts
The main damage here could be cracks or denting on the gutters and downspouts when they are blown by strong winds or come into contact with objects tossed around by heavy storms. The gutters may also be detached when hit by strong winds and the trims may break.
Driveways and Walkways
The driveways and walkways might seem safe but they generally see significant damage after a heavy storm. Common issue is the chipping or cracking of the driveway material due to a strong storm which can be a serious safety hazard. Ensure you inspect these for any signs of damage after a major storm.
Other areas of the house that you will need to focus your attention on after a serious storm include the electrical wiring, fences, railings and decks, and overhead doors and entry doors. Ensure you hire a professional building inspector and storm restoration specialist to work on restoring your building to its previous state.