Hurricanes are perhaps the most destructive force on earth. They carry every form of damaging weather on earth, from straight-line winds and tornadoes to torrential rain and coastal flooding, along with lightning and hail. These factors are incredibly dangerous to human life, but they are often as famous for their property damage.
But as destructive as these events can be in the short term, they wreak more havoc in the years to come. To make matters worse, many of these costs aren’t covered by insurance or federal disaster aid.
As a result, it is up to the property owner or resident to take whatever steps are necessary to recover from the hurricane without outside intervention. Understanding the nature of these issues is essential to getting a plan in place before disaster strikes.
Mold & Mildew
Moisture is the natural enemy of a building. When a hurricane passes through, there will be plenty of moisture getting into buildings of all kinds. Whether it gets in as storm surge, flooding, or rainfall coming through a damaged roof, water can and will be inside almost any building in a hurricane’s path.
Once it’s there, the trouble begins. We know to react quickly and remove damaged materials, but if we don’t remove all the residual moisture, we can end up with mold and mildew problems that can not only damage the building and endanger the health of occupants. And these problems can persist for years.
After the big-picture cleanup is over, it is helpful to get a professional service to finish things up and work to reduce the risk of mildew. Starting with a site like https://www.spauldingdecon.com/locations/tampa/ can get you connected with contractors who will help minimize the impact of the hurricane.
Everybody knows it is bad to have water inside a building, but it’s also destructive to have water under it. A home or other building sits on a footer that was designed to rest on solid ground. When heavy rainfall and flooding make that soil base too soft, the building can settle and shift, causing subtle damage like sticking doors and bigger problems like cracking mortar lines.
But it isn’t just buildings that can settle. Even the trees in the landscape can cause problems. If heavy rainfall or storm surge has made the soil too soft, the tree’s roots cannot hold tightly enough to withstand even a modest windstorm.
Making plans to improve drainage at your home before a storm can help. The sooner that deep water gets out of your soil, the better the chances that you’ll be able to dry things out quickly and stabilize things.
The ironic thing about hurricanes is that they can bring more salt water onto dry land than fresh water. Storm surge is nothing in the world but a high wave of ocean water. When it comes ashore, it will probably come into contact with materials that were never expected to be exposed to salt.
Mainly, this means steel. Not only can homes have steel components that may rust years later, but there will also be problems with cars. Many auto owners think that as long as they don’t have water in the engine or interior of a car that it’s okay, but salt could corrode the rails and subframe of the vehicle, not revealing itself until later.
Anything that has been exposed to storm surge or other forms of salt water should be thoroughly flushed with fresh water at the earliest opportunity to keep salt from accumulating on susceptible items.
A hurricane is an incredible force, but the issue isn’t so much its power as the variety of threats that it presents. The wind, tornadoes, flooding, lightning, and storm surge can cause death and destruction for a matter of days, but the residual effects can cause problems for years to come. Not every impact of a hurricane can be fully prevented or anticipated, but a little preparation can help.