If there is something every homeowner knows by instinct is that you need to protect your property. But things aren’t as simple as they look, and there are way more causes of property damage than you might think. When you have owned a home long enough, you will start noticing that virtually everything damages your property. From weather-related events to structural damages that decide to show up when you buy the house, a homeowner needs to be prepared for all possible causes. That is why we have gathered a list of the leading causes of property damage around the US and what you can do about it.
Weather At The Source:
One of the most common causes of property damage is weather-related events. From strong winds to hail, thunderstorms, and even hurricanes, severe weather can wreak havoc on your home. Research shows that, in 2017, thunderstorms caused an estimated $15.42 billion in damages across the United States.
To protect your property from weather-related events, you should consider investing in impact-resistant windows and doors. These products are designed to withstand high winds and flying debris, which can help minimize damage to your home during a severe storm. You should also trim trees and shrubs around your property so they can’t fall on your home during a storm.
Water, Water Everywhere:
Another leading cause of property damage is water leaks. A small water leak might not seem like a big deal, but it can quickly turn into a costly problem. Water leaks can cause mold growth, wood rot, and other structural damage to your home. In a report published by the Insurance Information Institute, water damage and freezing were the second-most common home insurance claims in 2018, accounting for almost 14 percent of all claims.
To prevent water leaks, you should regularly check pipes and fixtures for signs of leaks. You should also inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles so that water can’t get into your home. And finally, make sure to properly maintain your gutters and downspouts so they can properly divert water away from your home.
Gone up in Flames:
Another leading cause of property damage is fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated 365,500 residential fires in the United States in 2017. These fires caused an estimated $23 billion in damages and resulted in more than two thousand deaths. To protect your property from fire, you should install smoke detectors and ensure they are working properly. You should also create a fire escape plan for your family so that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire. And finally, you should keep flammable materials like paper and gasoline away from heat sources like stoves and candles.
Hail Through the Roof
Hail can be a major problem for some states but not a concern for others. The states of Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas are all considered to have a high risk for hail damage. In these states, hailstorms can cause significant damage to roofs, siding, windows, and vehicles. In 2020 alone, hailstorms caused an estimated $11.75 billion in damages across the United States.
You should consider installing impact-resistant windows and doors to protect your property from hail damage. You should also inspect your roof regularly for missing or damaged shingles so that hail can’t get into your home. And finally, keep trees and shrubs trimmed around your property so they can’t fall on your home during a hailstorm.
Foundation Problems at the Root
While not a direct cause, foundation problems are also among the leading causes of property damage. The major differentiation between foundation problems and other causes on this list is that foundation problems don’t arrive out of the blue. Foundation problems start small. And if not taken care of, they can quickly become a big and expensive problem.
Research conducted by the Foundation Repair Association found that, on average, foundation repairs cost between $4000 and $10000 around the states. One of the best ways to deal with foundation problems is to have your home inspected by a professional every few years. You should also make sure to repair any cracks in your foundation as soon as you see them. And finally, you should keep an eye on the moisture levels around your home so that the soil doesn’t become too saturated and start putting too much pressure on your foundation.
While weather-related events and water leaks are some of the most common causes of property damage, there are other potential risks to be aware of. For example, fires, burglaries, and car accidents can all cause significant damage to your home. To protect your property from these risks, you should install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. You should also consider investing in a security system to deter burglars. While many things can damage your property, you can also do many things to protect it. By being aware of the risks and taking the appropriate precautions, you can minimize the chances of damaging your property.