Though not typical, category four hurricanes do exist. Not only do they exist, but they also can cause some significant damage to both the insured’s house and the surrounding property.
There are some commonly found damages you will come across while working a category four hurricane. These damages include heavy roofing and siding damage, heavy structural damage, fencing damage, interior water damage, and personal property damage. Here are the top five damages you can find during a category five hurricane and that of which they consist.
1. Heavy roofing and siding damage
The most visible damage that will be seen during a category four hurricane is damage to the roof and siding of the insured’s house. The roof damage will include damage to the shingles, sheathing, and framing. Other clearly visible damage are damages to the siding and exterior wall sheathing.
Typically, when homes are in the path of the hurricane, the high winds will start to pick on the eaves and overhangs of the home. The shingles are an easy target for ordinary wind to lift and damage; this means when higher gusts come, the wind will get under the eave and lift on the soffit and roof decking quite easily. If the gust is strong enough, it can cause some of the framing to let loose or come off. With the sustained winds continuing higher than normal, it can then trigger a domino effect causing the roof to blow off the home which causes even more damage to the rafters and trusses.
Homes that have vinyl or aluminum siding can be affected just the same. These types of veneers are yet another easy target for the wind to pick on and get under. When this happens, the reaction is for the siding to come off the home taking as much of the home with it as it can.
2. Heavy structural damage
This typically encompasses homes that are affected by the eyewall itself or those that have large trees that have fallen and hit the structure. Structure damage can range anywhere from damage just to the roof framing structure all the way to the roof and exterior elevation walls. There will even be times in which you will come upon a home that has either been flattened or, in some cases usually right on the coast, is no longer there.
3. Fencing damage
During a category four hurricane, it is quite typical to see all types and runs of fencing on the property to be compromised either by wind, fallen trees, or flying debris. I have been to numerous properties that the fences were damaged by a roof that was blown off a home three doors down that finally landed on the fence of the property I was inspecting.
4. Interior water damage
It is quite common for 90% of the insured’s dwelling to have extensive water damage to the interior of the home. In some cases, you may have extensive water damage to every room in the house and may be writing an estimate for a complete “gut” of the home, meaning you will estimate to strip the interior of the home down to the studs and rebuild the interior. If you do not have much experience with interior damages, you could come out of the deployment as an expert!
5. Personal Property damages (contents)
This is unavoidable, typically, as folks keep outdoor furniture on their decks and patios or in their yards. But if the wind removes the roof and the interior of the home becomes saturated with rainwater, personal property damage is inevitable. This can become a lot of work on its own. However, as I stated on the interior damages, if you have not handled much personal property beforehand, you will be well rehearsed when you are done with this type of storm.
Every storm is different, and no two damages are the same. You never know what you are going to drive up to until you get to the claim and see it with your own eyes, especially with a category four hurricane. However, you will begin to notice similarities and patterns while out in the field. If you can learn the chaotic patterns and similarities, you will be prepared for anything—even the unexpected.