Help! My Windows Have Storm Damage: A Comprehensive Guide

April 20, 2023


Spring and summer storms can be particularly brutal on homes, causing significant damage from high winds, hail, heavy rain, and falling trees or debris. One of the most vulnerable parts of a home during these storms is the glass-paned windows, especially if they are older or not designed to withstand severe weather. When windows are damaged during a storm, it's crucial to act quickly to ensure the safety of your family and protect your home from further harm.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss how to stay safe during a storm, assess the damage, contact your insurer, prevent further damage, and invest in durable, weather-resistant replacement windows and shutters. We will also explore other ways to fortify your windows for future storms. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be better prepared to handle storm-damaged windows and protect your home from the elements.

Prioritizing Safety While Weathering the Storm

When a storm hits and your windows are damaged or broken, your first priority should be the safety of yourself and your family.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

To minimize the risk of injury from shattered glass and flying debris, move everyone in your household away from the windows and into an interior room with few or no windows, such as a bathroom, laundry room, or closet. This will help shield you from broken glass and any objects that may be propelled by the storm.

Covering Window Openings

If the winds have slowed down enough for you to safely approach the damaged window, try to cover the opening with any available materials to keep out as much rain and debris as possible. Tarps, shower curtains, and bedsheets can be used as makeshift coverings. If portions of glass are hanging precariously and the storm is still ongoing, consider safely breaking out the remaining glass before covering the opening, but only if it is safe to do so.

It's essential to stay vigilant during a storm and prioritize your safety above all else. By following these guidelines, you can help protect your family and minimize the damage to your home. In the next section, we will discuss how to assess the damage to your property once the storm has passed.

Evaluating Storm-Related Damages

Once the storm has passed and it is safe to venture outside, it's time to assess the extent of the damage to your property. Taking a thorough approach to this step will help you understand what repairs are needed and provide crucial information to your insurance company.

Inspecting Property After the Storm

Begin by carefully inspecting the exterior of your home, focusing on the roof, siding, and foundation. Look for any signs of damage, such as missing shingles, dented or torn siding, or cracks in the foundation. Don't forget to check for loosened shingles, siding, or shutters around your windows, as these can be indicators of further damage that may not be immediately visible.

Next, clean up any broken glass from the damaged windows. If you are unable to completely clean up the outside areas, cordon off sections that may still contain glass shards to ensure the safety of children, visitors, or pets.

Looking for Water Infiltration or Leaks

After inspecting the exterior of your home, turn your attention to the interior, particularly the walls surrounding the damaged windows. Examine these areas for signs of water infiltration or leaks, as this can lead to mold growth and structural damage if left unaddressed.

Take note of any damage you find, and capture photos or videos to document the extent of the damage. This documentation will be valuable when you contact your insurance company to file a claim.

With a thorough assessment of the damage to your property, you can now move on to the next step: contacting your insurer to discuss your coverage and options for repair.

Reach Out to Your Insurance Company

After you have assessed the damage to your property, the next step is to contact your insurance company. It is important to do this as soon as possible to ensure a timely response and to meet any deadlines outlined in your policy.

Reporting the Damage and Providing Documentation

When you call your insurer, provide them with a detailed account of the damage sustained during the storm. Be prepared to send them photos, videos, or other forms of documentation that demonstrate the extent of the damage. This will help them better understand the situation and process your claim more efficiently.

Keeping Receipts and Following Policy Requirements

It's essential to keep all receipts related to repairs, emergency purchases, or temporary remediation efforts. Your insurance company may request these documents as part of the claim process. They can also provide valuable evidence if there is any dispute over the cost of repairs or the extent of the damage.

Your insurer will inform you of any specific policy requirements regarding temporary remediation to prevent additional damage. Be sure to follow their guidelines and recommendations to ensure your claim is processed smoothly and you remain compliant with your policy provisions.

Once you have contacted your insurance company and reported the damage, the next step is to take measures to prevent further damage to your property. In the following section, we will discuss how to protect your home from additional harm while you await repairs.

Protecting Your Property from Further Damage

While you wait for your insurance claim to be processed and repairs to be made, it's crucial to take steps to prevent further damage to your home. Be sure to discuss any actions you plan to take with your insurance company to ensure you remain compliant with your policy provisions.

Cover Broken Windows

To protect your home from the elements and keep out additional rain or debris, cover the broken windows with plywood or heavy-duty plastic sheeting. A piece of plywood cut to fit the window opening can serve as a temporary solution until a replacement window can be installed. Properly secure the covering to prevent it from being blown off in case of further inclement weather.

Addressing Water Leaks

If you discovered any water leaks or infiltration during your damage assessment, it's essential to address these issues promptly to prevent mold growth and additional structural damage. Begin by cleaning up any water that has entered your home, using towels, mops, or a wet-dry vacuum if necessary.

Next, identify the source of the leak and patch it as best as you can to prevent further water infiltration. This may involve applying a waterproof sealant or caulking to gaps or cracks around the window frame or using a tarp to cover a damaged section of your roof temporarily.

Taking these preventative measures will help minimize the risk of additional damage to your home while you wait for repairs to be completed. In the next section, we will explore options for durable, weather-resistant replacement windows and shutters to better protect your home in the future.

Choose Sturdy, Storm-Resistant Window and Shutter Upgrades

If your home is located in an area that frequently experiences severe weather events, and you've had multiple issues with broken windows as a result, it may be time to consider investing in more durable, weather-resistant windows and shutters. These options can provide enhanced protection against storm damage and save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

High Impact Storm Windows

High impact storm windows are specifically designed to withstand the force of severe storms and protect your home from damage. These windows typically feature two panes of tempered glass with a layer of plastic film sandwiched between them. The tempered glass is highly resistant to impact, while the plastic film prevents it from shattering into your home if it does break.

Many insurance companies offer discounts for homeowners who install high impact storm windows, as they provide an extra layer of protection and can reduce the risk of future claims related to storm damage.

Storm Shutters

Another option for protecting your windows during storms is to install storm shutters. These can come in a variety of styles, including roll-up and accordion-style shutters. Storm shutters can be pulled over your windows and secured in place before a storm hits, providing a high level of protection at a lower cost than high impact storm windows.

Not only do storm shutters shield your windows from flying debris and strong winds, but they can also help reduce energy costs by providing an extra layer of insulation during hot and cold weather.

By investing in durable, weather-resistant replacement windows and shutters, you can significantly reduce the risk of storm damage to your home and provide better protection for your family and belongings.

In the next section, we will discuss other ways to fortify your windows and further enhance your home's resilience against severe weather events.

Additional Methods to Strengthen Your Windows

In addition to investing in durable replacement windows and shutters, there are several other methods you can employ to fortify your existing windows and better protect your home during storms.

Hurricane Film

One cost-effective way to add protection and durability to your windows is by installing hurricane film. This clear plastic covering is applied directly to your window panes and, although it won't prevent the glass from breaking, it can help contain glass shards if the window breaks during a storm. By keeping the broken glass from flying into your home, hurricane film can significantly reduce the risk of injury and damage to your belongings.

As an added bonus, hurricane film also blocks harmful UV rays, which can help protect your carpets and furniture from fading due to direct sunlight.

Plywood Covers

Another effective method for fortifying your windows during a serious storm is to secure plywood covers over them. Experts recommend using 5/8" thick plywood, which can be painted or sealed for additional water protection. Measure, cut, and properly install the plywood covers before a storm hits, and label and store them for future use if you live in an area prone to storms.

Make sure you properly secure the plywood with appropriate fasteners for your home, so the covers don't rip off in high winds and cause further damage.

By employing these additional methods to fortify your windows, you can further enhance your home's resilience against severe weather events and better protect your family and belongings from potential storm damage.

If your windows have been damaged in a storm, consider reaching out to a professional contractor, such as Smart Builders Group, Inc., to discuss your options for window replacement. A reliable contractor can offer a range of beautiful window styles, quality craftsmanship, and expert installation to help ensure your home is well-protected against future storms.

Reach Out to Smart Builders Group for Expert Window Services

If your windows have been damaged by a storm, Smart Builders Group, Inc. is here to help. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing you with the best possible solutions for window replacement and repair, as well as addressing any other storm-related damage to your home.

Comprehensive Inspection and Free Estimates

At Smart Builders Group, Inc., we offer professional inspections of your home to assess the extent of storm damage and provide free estimates for all of your Iowa roofing, siding, and window repair and replacement needs. Our team will work closely with you to determine the best course of action to repair your home and protect it from future storm damage.

Quality Craftsmanship and Expert Installation

We understand the importance of quality craftsmanship and expert installation when it comes to protecting your home from the elements. Our team is dedicated to providing you with durable, weather-resistant windows and shutters that will stand up to even the most severe storms, keeping your home and family safe.

Wide Selection of Window Styles

At Smart Builders Group, Inc., we offer a wide range of beautiful window styles to suit your home's unique aesthetic. From traditional double-hung windows to modern casement windows, our selection is sure to include the perfect option for your needs.

Don't let storm damage disrupt your life. Contact Smart Builders Group, Inc. today for a professional inspection, free estimate, and expert guidance on repairing and fortifying your home against future storms. With our help, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is well-protected and prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

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