How Much Will a Weather Disaster Cost You?
Weather disasters can cause billions of dollars in damage, and even those with the best homeowner’s insurance may find themselves struggling to meet the costs of returning their home to a livable conditions.
Here are a few common damage problems caused by weather disasters, and how much they cost to fix.
A Blown-Away Roof
We see the dramatic footage all the time: A roof blowing away. This happens because of wind going over the top of the roof, creating a space of low pressure. Once the pressure below the roof is greater than the pressure above it, and once those forces exceed the strain your house can take, the roof pops off like a cork.
Cost: $2,000 – $25,000
Stop It By: Installing or upgrading your roof to be more wind resistant. While you can’t necessarily guarantee this won’t happen, you can make it extremely unlikely.
Windows can break under several circumstances in a weather emergency. A drastic shift in pressure can blow out the windows. The house can be subject to such pressure that the window frames deform, breaking the glass. Or heavy objects can be slammed into your windows, breaking them. And then you not only have to replace the glass, you may be liable for the damage it causes.
Cost: $3,000 – $10,000, depending on the square footage of glass and whether or not the laborers will have to clean up the broken glass themselves.
Stop It By: Installing safety films on your windows. They help prevent glass from breaking, and if the glass does shatter, they will keep it from becoming high-flying, dangerous shrapnel.
Trees can handle surprisingly strong gusts of wind, but there’s only so much they can take. And if the wind is shoving them over, a tree can do anything from wrecking your roof to crushing your garage to smashing straight into the house itself.
Cost: $5,000 – $100,000, or even more, depending on where the tree lands and the damage it causes.
Stop It By: Having a professional arborist visit, analyze which trees are likely to fall on your home during a storm, and have them removed.
It’s not really a surprise that hurricanes and tornadoes can drop torrents of water in addition to dangerous cones of wind. But that water can cause a lot of damage to your home, destroying any appliances you have in the basement, letting mold take root, and even cracking your foundation.
Cost: $1,500 for damaged appliances to $40,000 for replacing key points that have been washed away.
Stop It By: Having an emergency pump connected to an emergency standby generator, so even if you lose power, your basement will be at least somewhat dry. Emergency standby generators can also help charge phones and radios to contact rescue services, operate cooking tools, and other handy functions.
Weather disasters can also leave a nasty surprise waiting anywhere in your home: The water, if not properly removed, will help mold take root in your home, leading to long-term health problems and even death.
Cost: $3,000 to $50,000
Stop It By: Having your home properly dried out, and replacing ruined drywall quickly.
A lot can happen to your home in a weather disaster, but if you prepare for it — with pumps, emergency standby generators, protective window films, and above all, knowledge — you’ll be better able to weather the storm.