What You Should Know About Microbursts

Microburst Roof Damage Colorado

Microburst damage to house in Byers, CO. Click Image to see video footage here at 9News.com

You might be familiar with tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms but what about microbursts? Although smaller in magnitude, microbursts can still wreak havoc on a community. So what are microbursts? Microbursts are downdrafts of air caused by thunderstorms. They normally form in an area that is smaller than two and a half miles. They are sometimes confused with tornadoes, because of the large scale of damage they can create. In the worst cases of microbursts, wind can reach speeds of 150 miles per hour and can last 5-15 minutes. There are two types of microbursts:
  • Dry – These produce low amounts of precipitation
  • Wet – This is caused by precipitation mixed with dry air
Microbursts Diagram

Source: webskite.com

Microburst, Outburst, Cushion Stages

Source: wikipedia.org

Property Damage Caused by Microbursts

As you can imagine, a microburst could be very dangerous for an airplane flying nearby, forcing the aircraft downward. Similarly, the strong intensity of wind that is produced by microbursts can cause tree limbs to break off and can even knock over entire trees or power lines. A microburst has three stages: the downburst, the outburst and the cushion stage. It’s during the outburst that your roof can suddenly get ripped off as the wind curls upward after the downburst.

Preventive Measures against Microbursts

  • Trees – Any trees that are close to your property should be kept trimmed and should not touch power lines.
  • Roof – Your roof would receive the brunt of a microburst and other windstorm damage. Even if a small section of your roof is damaged, water can damage the rest of your home. Ring shank nails can strengthen the sheathing, while hurricane straps can help your roof survive most storms.
  • Inspection – If your area is affected by a violent storm, be sure to have your property thoroughly inspected by a reputable property roofing company. They can tell you what needs to be fixed, and prevent any further damage.
If you live in an area where microbursts and other windstorms are prevalent, you should make sure that your home is structurally ready to face storm seasons. Microbursts can cause serious damage to your home, but if you use preventive measures, you can reduce possible damage. Think you might have structural damage from a recent storm? Contact NuBilt today to about inspecting your property. Image source: http://www.webskite.com/weather-seminar/hazards/microbursts.htm
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