Reuben Saltzman

Did your house leak during the storm yesterday?

Oh snap
Oh snap

Last night my kids and I watched one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve ever seen make short work of my neighborhood. My dog shook in terror in the basement while trees were uprooted or snapped off, and fences were demolished. It wasn’t quite tornado speed winds, but the National Weather Service reported wind speeds of up to 65 mph in my city of Maple Grove. Check out the NWS Twitter feed for several images showing the damage, as well as wind speed statistics:

If you experienced storm damage such as shingles blowing off your roof or trees hitting your home, you would probably do well to file a homeowners insurance claim. The Minnesota Department of Commerce encourages homeowners to begin the claims process if they suspect they have a claim. Click the following link for the full press release:

On the other hand, if you experienced water leaking into your home around doors or windows that you know were closed, it’s probably not anything to worry about. I know that may sound too nonchalant, but it’s the truth.  Buildings do sometimes leak under extreme weather conditions. As long as the building can dry out, a one-time leak event probably isn’t going to cause any long-term damage.

The photos of the wet windows below were sent in from a client who recently purchased a new-construction home in Maple Grove.

Leaking window Leaking window 2

Building-science-genius Joseph Lstiburek wrote a great article some years ago that got into discussing wind speeds, rain, and water leakage into building assemblies. Check it out: .

In short, when we have wind speeds above 35 mph coupled with rain, buildings may leak. That’s life. I especially like footnote #6 in the article above, which says “Yes, I have heard about hurricanes and nor’easters. But they are not common and buildings are expected to leak during these events. Buildings are not expected to blow away and people in them are not expected to die during these events. But they are going to get wet. Get over the wet thing. Things can dry. Especially if you design and build them to dry. Sheesh.”

Author: Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections