Wind Damage: Securing Loose Objects to Limit Storm Destruction

Storms that produce heavy winds, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms, can cause major property damage as winds rip off shingles, break windows, and destroy structures. But much of the destruction comes from wind-propelled debris crashing into buildings. Properly securing loose outdoor items before a windstorm can significantly reduce damage to your property.

Potential Windborne Debris Hazards

Many common objects can turn into dangerous projectiles in high winds. Anything sitting outside that is loose or weakly tied down poses a threat, including:

  • Lawn furniture like chairs, loungers, and picnic tables
  • Grills, propane tanks, and DIY equipment 
  • Yard decorations and ornaments   
  • Plant pots, flowerpots, and planter boxes
  • Tree branches and firewood stacks 
  • Building supplies and leftover scrap material
  • Garbage cans, recycling bins, and dumpsters
  • Children’s play equipment like trampolines
  • Vehicles, boats, trailers, and covers/tarps over them

Strong winds can pick up even heavy items, hurling them large distances at high speeds. Getting struck by windborne debris is extremely dangerous to people and pets outside during windstorms. Indoors, these projectiles can smash windows, punch holes through walls, and wreak havoc once entering the building.

Securing Potential Hazards

Prevent wind damage and hazards by properly securing anything sitting loose outside well before a windstorm arrives. Consider bringing precious or valuable items inside a sturdy building to keep them from blowing away or slamming into structures. For objects left outside, follow these general guidelines:

Tie It Down

Use durable ropes, straps, or cables firmly anchored into the ground or attached to fixed structures to tie down lighter items. Things like grills, propane tanks, lawn chairs, flowerpots, and garbage/recycling bins can usually be secured this way. Make sure tie-downs won’t loosen and provide enough slack for some movement during intense gusts.

Weigh It Down

Heavier objects that can’t easily be brought inside may still shift, blow over, or slide along the ground during powerful winds. Weigh them down by placing sandbags, cinderblocks, or other extremely heavy items on or around them. Filling large planters, pots, and garbage bins with soil, rocks, or cement will make them harder to tip over or drag. 

Take Down Removeable Items

For outdoor structures meant to be dismantled, like pool covers, small sheds/enclosures, temporary event tents, and screened patio systems, attempt to fully take them down if a windstorm is approaching. Removing them eliminates the chance they will be ripped apart, protecting surrounding buildings.

Clear the Yard

Do a thorough sweep for any loose debris already scattered around the yard. Place rocks, lawn decorations, tools, trash cans, children’s toys, bicycles, and anything not secured indoors or in a locked shed or garage. Even small pieces become dangerous projectiles when blown by wind.

Inspect Trees and Vegetation

Examine trees and bushes to identify dead branches or any vegetation needing pruning before extreme weather arrives. Remove unhealthy limbs that may easily snap or uproot. Also, check for loose fence planks or pickets that need repair.

Protect Windows

Install storm shutters or durable plywood coverings over all windows on structures to defend against windborne debris and flying glass shards if window glass breaks during high winds. Leave window protections up until the threat passes.

Having an emergency response plan ready to enact can ensure you properly secure hazards when high-velocity winds threaten. Protect people, pets, and property by limiting potential windborne debris before storms approach.

Get Help Assessing Storm Damage

If intense winds cause damage despite preventative efforts, contact a licensed professional service specializing in insurance claims and repair estimates, like Storm Damage. We can properly evaluate destruction and work with your insurance company, supporting fair compensation to restore your property. With an expert assessment in hand, you can feel confident reconstruction will return your home or business back to pre-storm conditions.

Visit us at 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Call us today for a free consultation on (833) 941-7867.


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