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High winds are known to cause a couple of different kinds of damage depending upon their strength. Two major problems we see in Southern California are damage caused by high winds (typically Santa Ana's in the Fall), and damage caused during storms. Santa Ana winds and storm winds typically reach speeds of 40-80mph which have the ability to uproot trees, or more frequently simply break branches off of trees. Falling trees and branches have the ability to cause varying degrees of structural damage and brittle trees such as Eucalyptus, Sea Hibiscus, and Avocado which are more prone to damage, are common in our area. Strong winds can also simply loosen or blow tiles off of roofs, which can lead to roof leaks and evolve into water damage over time. At higher speeds they can also loosen or remove siding, trim, and other outer elements of your home. Especially during a storm situation the initial wind damage may be minor but the compromised area can become susceptible to more serious damage caused by the introduction of water into areas that were not designed to resist or withstand moisture. It is important to inspect any wind damage that may occur as, if left untreated, even seemingly minor wind damage can lead to much bigger problems down the road.
I have wind damage, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
First make sure you and your family are safe. If a tree or branch has fallen on your home there is a possibility that it has caused structural damage. Try to stay away from the damaged area.
It is important to act quickly as cracked roof tiles, damaged shingles, or a damaged wall are easily susceptible to water damage. If water leaks into any of these compromised areas it can lead to larger problems in the future including mold, mildew, drywall damage, flooring damage, and electrical damage.
Contact your insurance company right away to begin working on your claim. Do not wait to contact your insurer as many times they have time restrictions on secondary damage coverage. For example, if you wait a few days after water damage occurs, it is not uncommon for mold/mildew remediation to NOT be covered because the issue arose from not handling the original damage in a timely fashion.