South Florida’s hurricane season is notoriously brutal. Beginning in June and stretching to November, hurricane season brings with it a barrage of storms that seem to get worse every year. Thankfully, this year isn’t expected to be as bad as some previous years. Still, even the smallest storms can cause an outsized impact ranging from tropical storm damage to full-on, devastating hurricane damage. Keep reading to learn the importance of storm preparation and why even the smallest storms can cause huge damage.
The Hurricane Category Scale
Before we even begin talking about the aftermath of storms, we need to look at the hurricane category scale. Technically named the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS), this system classifies storms according to the speed of their wind.
Tropical depressions and tropical storms are the two categories that happen before a hurricane. Tropical depressions have a sustained wind speed of less than 34 knots (39 mph). Tropical storms have a sustained wind speed between 34 and 64 knots (39 to 119 mph). Once winds reach speeds above 64 knots, we move into the hurricane category scale.
There are five types of hurricanes, each distinguished by its maximum, sustained wind speed. These types are:
- Category 1 – Wind speeds between 64 and 82 knots (74 and 95 mph)
- Category 2 – Wind speeds between 83 and 95 knots (96 and 110 mph)
- Category 3 – Wind speeds between 96 and 112 knots (111 and 129 mph)
- Category 4 – Wind speeds between 113 and 136 knots (130 and 156 mph)
- Category 5 – Wind speeds above 137 knots (157 mph)
It’s clear from the hurricane category scale that a Category 1 hurricane can cause significant damage, and it only increases from there. Even a tropical depression, bringing with it 39 mph winds, can damage homes, offices, trees, and cars.
Tropical Storm Damage vs. Hurricane Damage
Small storms – usually classified as a tropical depression or below – shouldn’t be something you just shrug off. Let’s say there is a storm with wind speeds of 35 mph. Your roof will probably be damaged – think tiles ripped off in the wind and leaking caused by cracked flashing. If the storm causes surges and flooding, which is almost a given in South Florida, you’re likely to see significant floor, wall, and electrical damage. You’ll then have to replace your floors, open up and replace your walls, rewire everything, and treat your entire house for mold and mildew.
See what we mean by small storms causing huge damage?
If even small storms can cause this much damage, then what does tropical storm damage look like? What about hurricane damage? Well, you should expect everything mentioned above and more. Tropical storm damage regularly includes severe structural compromise in all parts of your home, landscaping, and vehicles. Hurricane damage regularly includes roofs ripped off entirely, houses flooded with several feet of water and even destroyed houses.
ASP Windows – Your Hurricane Protection Plan
ASP Windows is here to help your house stay safe, and dry, during a hurricane. We offer impact windows and impact doors to help minimize tropical storm damage. Call us today at (888) 782-8342 to request a free quote and find out why so many South Floridians trust us to protect their homes!