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Understand the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2019 | Firm News

Since you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it’s essential that you understand them and the quality of materials that have to be used on your home in Miami to make it safe. To start with, you should get to know the categories of hurricanes.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale rates hurricanes from 1 to 5 based on the likelihood of causing damage due to high wind speeds.

  • Category 1 storms have winds between 74 and 95 mph. The storms have dangerous winds and can produce some damage, but the likelihood of serious damage is unlikely. Typical homes might have vinyl siding or shingles ripped off.
  • In a Category 2 storm, the winds reach up to 110 mph, and they are extremely dangerous. They can cause damage to well-constructed houses, damaging the roof and siding.
  • Hurricanes are considered major when they reach Category 3. During a Category 3 hurricane, winds reach up to 129 mph and create damaging gales that can damage gable ends and roof decking.
  • Category 4 storms reach wind speeds of up to 156 mph and cause catastrophic damage including roofs being pulled off homes and exterior walls being blown away.
  • Finally, in a Category 5 storm, even the well-framed homes in an area can expect to be destroyed. Total roof failure is common, and walls are likely to collapse.

One way to reduce the likelihood of damage in any of these cases is to use hurricane-grade materials when building or repairing a home. Your insurance company will come to the scene after your home is impacted and assess the overall damage. In the case that part or all of your home has to be rebuilt, it’s a good idea to negotiate with the insurance company for higher quality material coverage. While it might cost more for them to give you a settlement to cover the quality repairs you want to have, it’s better for both you and the insurance company if your home is able to stand up to a series of hurricanes when they occur again.

As you know, Florida is prone to hurricanes. Even if you don’t see another one that devastates the area for five or 10 years, there is likely to be one in the future. You shouldn’t have to fight with your insurance carrier to get coverage. If there is a problem with your claim, your attorney can help make things right.