Remember Hurricane Irma? The 2017 storm was the strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane EVER. It killed more than 100 people and caused more than $77 billion in hurricane damage throughout the Caribbean and United States. Now Irma was a Category 5 hurricane, which is the most severe type and also the rarest. Still, it raises a good question – what type of damage can be expected from each hurricane category?
Hurricane Categories and Their Damage Potential
Hurricanes are measured by something called the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This categorizes hurricane wind speed, which is an accurate way to tell how much damage you can expect from a storm. We’ll explore the different hurricane categories damage below, but first we need to take a look at tropical depressions and storms.
Tropical Depressions and Storms
Tropical depressions are storms which have wind speeds of less than 39 mph or 34 knots. Tropical storms have wind speeds of between 39 and 119 mph (34 and 64 knots). While neither of these quite hit hurricane wind speed levels, they’re still extremely dangerous. You can expect:
- Shaking and bending of trees, poles, bushes, and other objects
- Potential power outages as a result of damage to powerlines
- Rain and potential flooding
- Falling debris
Category 1 has hurricane wind speeds between 74 and 95 mph (64 and 82 knots). This is considered dangerous and expected to produce some hurricane damage, including everything listed above and:
- Roof damage – shingles, tiles, gutters, etc. damaged
- Some trees snapping and breaking
- Heavy rain and flooding
Category 2 hurricanes have sustained winds between 96 and 110 mph (83 and 95 knots). These hurricanes are considered dangerous and can result in the following damage:
- Major roof damage
- Many trees snapping, breaking, and being uprooted
- Power outages lasting up to several weeks
Category 3 and above are considered major hurricanes. These are extremely dangerous and produce significant hurricane damage. Category 3 storms have sustained hurricane wind speeds between 111 and 129 mph (96 and 112 knots). They can lead to all of the damage already mentioned and more, including:
- The compete removal of roofs, siding, decks, and other outer fixtures
- Major environmental damage – flying debris, trees being lifted into the air, etc.
- Significant flooding
- Power outages and the loss of clean water services
Category 4 hurricanes have wind speeds of between 130 and 156 mph (113 and 136 knots). These are devastating in nature and can lead to:
- Severe structural damage to homes – collapsed roofs and walls
- Deadly flying debris
- Heavy rains and floods
- Power outages, loss of clean water, and more lasting several weeks or months
Category 5 hurricanes have wind speeds over 157 mph (137 knots). These produce the most hurricane damage, lead to the largest loss of human life, and are catastrophic in all areas. Expect the following types of devastation:
- Destroyed homes
- Months without power and water
- A generally uninhabitable area
Let ASP Windows Help Protect Your Home
It’s clear that hurricane categories damage increases exponentially with each new level. You want to make sure your home is protected to the best of your ability – you want to make sure it has ASP Windows and Doors! Our impact windows and reinforced impact glass doors offer superior protection. Call us today at (888) 782-8342 for your free custom quote!