There probably aren’t too many property owners who are all that worried about a storm with a probability of occurring once in every 100 years. However, a storm that has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring in any given year is an entirely different kettle of fish.
As any meteorologist will tell you, there is a common misunderstanding surrounding what is known as a 1-in-100 year storm. Not only do they occur more than once in every 100 years, these storms can occur more than once in the same year.
The name “1-in-100 year storm” is derived from the formula used to determine the likelihood of a particular type of storm occurring. Further calculations are also used to predict rainfall levels and how long the storm is likely to last. So, when a 1-in-100 year storm is predicted, the odds are much greater than the name suggest.
Even if your property has been tested by a major storm in the past, you should still ready the property for the next storm. Over time a property is subjected to constant bombardment from the elements. The structural integrity of your property is the first line of defense against strong winds, rain or hail.
Homes build before 1981, especially, may not meet current building standards. Those properties will need inspection to ensure that all structures are suitably constructed to withstand major storm conditions. A building inspector can assess the structural integrity of your property and recommend any work needed to reinforce the structure.
The foundations and roof of your property are two of the most important structures. If these structures are in any way compromised, it can spell disaster when a major storm hits. While flooding is the most likely consequence of compromised roofing or foundations, your roof or entire property collapsing is very real possibility.
A major property structure collapsing could cause serious injury or death. Defects such as corroded or damaged fasteners, connector plates, or roof battens are all it takes to weaken a roof’s defense against storm conditions. Have both these important structures inspected for weakness or defects, before the reality of a 1-in-100 year storm arrives on your doorstep.
To help prevent or minimize flooding, you will need to ensure that there is adequate drainage on and around your property. Guttering and drains should be securely affixed to your property, and run-offs and downpipes must allow storm water to flow freely. In generally, it is good practice to keep guttering and drainage systems free from obstruction.
To protect windows and doors, you may want to consider having storm shutters installed. Storm shutters will act as a barrier against any flying debris that is caught up in the storm. If there are tall trees close to your property, they represent a potential storm hazard. A building inspector may suggest cutting down or providing support for trees that are too close to your home for comfort.
Even if you have storm proofed your property recently, you are not out of the woods yet. Gale force winds can and do lift extremely heavy objects. To further protect your home, you will need to do an inspection of your property to ensure there are no rouge objects that aren’t anchored down. Ideally, you should move any potentially hazardous objects indoors.
Remember to have outside structures inspected, too. Lightweight or poorly constructed outside structures present a significant risk during storms. Sheds, garages, barns and any similar structure must be readied in anticipation of severe weather. At the very least, avoid using weak structures for storm storage.
A professional building inspection will help you ensure your property is ready for a 1-in-100 year storm. By spending on the repairs and improvements your property needs now, you will save on the cost of repairing significant storm damage later.