Every year, the storm damage assessment and repair specialists at Johnson Exteriors receive numerous calls from the area’s home owners. Minnesota is on the northern border of what climate scientists call Tornado Alley, a section of the United States where these storms form and then wreak havoc in urbanized environments. We receive most repair requests from May through November, which Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources reports is when 77% of all hailstorms and tornadoes occur in the region.
Below, Johnson Exteriors’ repair specialists outline how to protect your home from hailstorms, tornadoes, and high winds to minimize damage to your home.
The Top Three Kinds of Storm-related Damage in Minnesota
Home insurers report gutter leaks as the most common storm-related damage effects. With 30 years of experience in the local repair and construction scene behind us, we tend to agree. However, Johnson Exteriors also helps property owners handle factors they cannot control, such as:
- Falling tree branches
- Missing shingles from their roof
- Flying debris and more
Water, hail, and wind also cause damage that Minnesota’s homeowners face each year.
Water Damage on Foundations and Gutters
Minnesota receives as much as 32 inches of annual rainfall, making water damage a chief concern. Undetected water damage is also one of the most common complaints people make when they move into a second-hand home. Unfortunately, it is not something you can remediate with a new paint job or replacing a few floorboards.
If you have a traditional roof frame and rafters that use lumber, moisture also causes untold damage through rot and growing mold colonies. The technical term for water-related storm damage is water intrusion, as water invades unseen corners of a home through:
- Leaking gutters
- Cracked shingles
- Shattered windows and other weak spots
Any wise property manager will hire a professional inspector to ensure their investment is free of moisture problems. A common issue is mold growth, which spreads unseen and can create long-term health hazards for tenants and residents. However, water intrusion’s other top concern is how quickly it can compromise the structural integrity of the house.
Why not reach out to Johnson Exteriors for ideas if you suspect moisture in a particular area of your residential property?
Hail Damage on Roof Frames and Shingles
Did you know that hailstorms cause billions in damage to residential structures across the United States each year? Tornado Alley is particularly susceptible, stretching from Minnesota to Wisconsin. In this area, hail the size of grapefruit can plummet to earth faster than 90 miles per hour, punching holes in cars, house roofs, and countless outdoor items.
Severe hailstorms shatter roofs and break off huge sections of gutters. A few seasons might be all it takes to penetrate the sturdy protective layer on even the toughest Minnesota roof. If it does get through the asphalt sublayer that shields the frame, water intrusion is sure to follow.
If you would like to avoid the steep costs of a roof replacement, why not take advantage of our preventative inspections?
Wind Damage on Sidings
The third issue that Minnesota property owners will face after a storm is inevitable wind damage. Freeborn and Hartland County frequently experience winds exceeding 100 miles per hour, which chips away at:
- Sidings and other fixtures
High winds are particularly dangerous when they cause unseen damage to a house’s internal structure. Wind also sends tree branches onto the roof or structures below and blows away shingles to cause leaks. Gusts exceeding 70 miles per hour can uproot entire sections of residential roofs; 90 miles per hour will shatter even flat residential roofs and tear away HVAC rooftop units.
There is no way to prevent wind, but services like Johnson Exteriors are an invaluable point of contact for damage inspections, speedy repairs, and more.
Which Parts of a Home Are Most Susceptible to Storm Damage?
One of our top customer requests is for advice on creative, cost-efficient ways to protect real estate investments during Minnesota’s hurricane season. The following areas of a house are of particular concern:
Roofs protect the house from rainfall, strong winds, and debris. It is usually the first casualty after a destructive storm, when lightning strikes, wind, hail, and heavy rain test its limits.
However, roof damage goes beyond what you can see. For example, if gutters sustain damage or the roof springs a leak, water might damage electrical wirings, the attic, and the foundations before you notice a problem.
Most people do not realize that powerful winds and flying debris can knock down doors, shatter windows, and damage interior fixtures. Johnson Exteriors receives countless calls from apartment and condominium developers to repair units ten and twenty stories off the ground after wind damage.
If you find a breach on your sidings or missing shingles from your roof, check for the following:
- Water stains on ceilings
- Chips and cracks on sidings
- Trickling moisture or damp spots on interior walls
- Musty smells in your attic or on the top floor
If you notice any of the above, it is best to call Johnson Exteriors right away. The early detection of structural problems can save you thousands in remodeling and mold remediation costs.
A home insurer may not always cover damage to electrical equipment after a storm, which can affect:
- Water tanks
- Solar panels
- Generators and more
This equipment could also sustain more damage if you turn it on without checking. So, if you see debris in your front yard or broken roof shingles, it is best to call our professionals to inspect your rooftop installations as well.
Tool sheds, gazebos, driveways, and exterior decks are also susceptible to damage after a Minnesota storm. One of Johnson Exteriors’ top tips is that home owners in this area should regularly prune their trees. It is the best way to prevent potential damage to roofs, pool decks, vehicles, and other outside fixtures.
Rely on Johnson Exteriors for Repairs and Advice When You Need It
Why take advantage of our licensed project planners, technicians, and inspectors? We offer some of the most cost-effective solutions to help you assess the damage to your home and repair it on the spot.
Storm damage is inevitable, but the Johnson Exteriors team can make it less stressful and help you keep the costs down—call us at 763-355-4458 today.