Storms are not a window’s best friend. Storms with forceful winds sweep up projectiles and debris and hurl them at the windows and roof. Flying broken glass can cause interior damage as well as let the storm inside and wreak havoc. However, not all window damage is obvious in the aftermath of a storm. This can lead to further problems with your home’s windows if left undetected. Here are some tips on what to look for after severe weather events and how to repair or replace windows in the event of window damage.

Window Damage After a Storm?

Signs of Window Storm Damage

Exterior Inspection

When checking for exterior window damage it is important to inspect every pane close up so that minor chips and dings aren’t missed on glass panes. Shattered glass is an obvious sign of window damage, however, you will want to look closely at the frames. Older frames and wooden frames may also be broken and even displaced.

In the case of older homes and old window frames, the sealants may have already been cracked and are in the process of perishing. In this case, storms and high winds can exacerbate the deterioration. It may not be good enough to replace the glass and reseal older window frames ahead of the next severe storm – they might need a full window replacement.

Wind Damage

Fierce winds can result in window glass shattering or cracking and frames receiving damage as well. Even double-glazed windows can crack or break from strong winds. It is best if you replace window glass that cracks as it probably won’t stand up to future windy conditions.

Hail Damage

In severe storms, hail can have the same effect that concrete balls would have on the windows. If hail can crack and chip a car windshield, consider the windows on your house to be just as vulnerable. Window frames, glass, and screens are all subject to the brutality of hail.

When assessing the damage, take the opportunity to check the flashing above the windows as well. The last thing we need is to have the newly fitted glass break later by a falling piece of flashing in the next storm.

Water Damage

Stormwater damage can be more difficult to establish in the wet aftermath of a storm. Leaks and mold growth around window frames not only cause interior damage but can also affect your home’s structure and health problems. Check to see if there is a buildup of moisture or fog in between the panes. Inside, be on the lookout for yellow or brown water stains on the walls and ceilings. Check for flaking paint and peeling wallpaper.

Post-Storm Recovery

Window Panes

You will need to replace broken panes and window frames sooner rather than later. This isn’t a simple DIY process and is best left to window professionals. Stronger windows, especially if made from insulated or double-glazed glass, make windows and glass doors more resistant to being penetrated and shattered by projectiles. Double-glazed windows consist of two panes that are fused through heat and pressure in an oven to a plastic interlay.

Window Frames

Look for dents and paint chips in addition to pieces of sealant that are missing or have cracks. Minor damage to window frames and seals can lead to bigger problems if left alone.

Vacuum Broken Glass

Broken window glass can result in small glass particles and splinters landing on the floor inside. No matter the type of flooring, vacuum it prodigiously after sweeping but before mopping. Only mopping will just move splinters and particles around.

Board the Windows

The professionals will be very busy after a storm and it may take a day or two to get back to you. If the weather looks more promising, seal up the windows from the inside with plastic sheeting once you remove all the remaining broken glass from the frame. Should the stormy weather look set to continue, use plywood sheeting to board up the windows on the inside. If the plywood panels are on the exterior, chances are they will rip off during the next storm.

Insurance Considerations

Dealing with window damage after a storm can be financially daunting, but many homeowners find relief through their insurance policies. Avoid a storm with your insurance company and familiarize yourself with these insurance considerations:

  • Review Your Policy: Start by reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand the coverage for storm-related damages, including window damage. Different policies may have varying levels of coverage, so it’s essential to know what yours includes.
  • Document the Damage: Before making any repairs, document the damage thoroughly. Take photos and videos from multiple angles to provide clear evidence of the extent of the damage. This documentation will be crucial when filing an insurance claim.
  • File a Claim Promptly: Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. Be prepared to provide details about the storm, the date of the damage, and evidence of the damage. Filing promptly can help expedite the claims process.
  • Understand Deductibles: Familiarize yourself with your insurance deductible, which is the amount you’re responsible for paying out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. Understanding your deductible will help you assess the financial implications of filing a claim.
  • Work with Contractors: Your insurance provider may have preferred contractors or guidelines for repairs. While you have the right to choose your own contractor, following your insurer’s recommendations may streamline the process and ensure compliance with policy requirements.
  • Keep Records: Throughout the claims process, keep detailed records of all communications with your insurance company, including phone calls, emails, and written correspondence. This documentation will serve as a valuable reference if any disputes arise.
  • Review Settlement Offers: Once your insurance company assesses the damage, they’ll provide a settlement offer. Review the offer carefully to ensure it adequately covers the cost of repairs. If you disagree with the offer, don’t hesitate to negotiate or seek assistance from a public adjuster if necessary.

Preventive Measures

While you can’t control the weather, there are proactive steps you can take to minimize the risk of window damage during future storms. Consider the following preventive measures:

Install Storm Shutters

Storm shutters provide an additional layer of protection for your windows during severe weather events. They come in various styles, including accordion, roll-down, and panel shutters, and can be customized to fit your home’s aesthetic.

Reinforce Windows

Consider reinforcing your windows with impact-resistant glass or protective films. These enhancements can help prevent shattering and minimize damage from flying debris during storms.

Trim Trees and Branches

Overhanging trees and branches pose a risk of causing damage to your windows during high winds. Regularly trim trees and branches to reduce the likelihood of them striking your windows during storms.

Secure Loose Items

Secure outdoor furniture, potted plants, and other loose items around your home before a storm hits. These items can become projectiles in high winds, potentially causing damage to your windows and property.

Create a Storm Preparedness Plan

Develop a comprehensive storm preparedness plan for your household. This plan should include protocols for securing your home, gathering emergency supplies, and evacuating if necessary. Being prepared can minimize the risk of damage and ensure your family’s safety during storms.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can help safeguard your windows and reduce the likelihood of costly damage during future storms. Additionally, maintaining a proactive approach to insurance considerations will ensure you’re prepared to handle any unexpected damages that may occur.

Learn more: Protecting Your Home from Wind Damage

Discount Window and Door of Omaha

At Discount Window and Door of Omaha, we are committed to providing the best quality doors and replacement windows. We employ the most skilled installers to ensure the highest standard of quality service. Our Omaha door and window installers are highly trained, certified industry professionals with years of experience, including some second and third-generation employees.

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