Things You Can Do to Hurricane-Proof Your Home

One of the most damaging and devastating misfortunes that can befall your home is a hurricane. In just a couple of minutes, strong winds can break windows and doors, blow away roofs and create dangerous flying debris. During the hurricane season, it’s imperative to do your best to keep your home safe and dry, whether it’s just smaller improvements or bigger renovations. There’s a number of states in the hurricane-prone regions that have obligatory building code laws that demand certain requirements for hurricane protection and they most often refer to the roof, windows and doors.

Hurricane-proof roof designs

Besides destroying the entire building, having your roof blown away is one of the most damaging effects of the hurricane. Once the roof is gone, all the water and debris fall inside and additionally, the house structure is at a bigger risk of completely collapsing. In some states, such as Florida, roofs are restricted to certain shapes and must follow strict codes regarding the building material and drainage system.

Since roof structures are especially prone to detachment, the best changes you can make to the existing structure is to install a fastening system in forms of roof tie-downs and anchors. The choice depends on their location and your roof construction, so it’s best to consult professionals. Whatever safety measure you choose, it will give your home additional safety and bigger chances of withstanding a violent storm.

Windows and doors

Windows are your home’s most vulnerable spots during storms. The winds hurl objects through the air, they come crashing through the windows that break easily and send glass flying around like bullets. A great way to protect the windows is installing storm shutters. There’s a variety of styles and options available when it comes to the material and strength, but the main priority is their functionality. They are usually not a permanent fixture, but the fastening hardware on your house should be, as it enables you to easily put up the shutters when the need arises. The same hardware can be easily combined with any other outside improvements you decide to make.

Another weak spot on your home are the doors, especially garage doors. If they give in, the strong winds get a passage inside the house and may cause the roof to be torn off. Consider replacing standard garage doors with the ones that are storm resistant or if that option is not affordable, there are ways of reinforcing and retrofitting the existing ones. These improvements work well for your other doors in the house as well. Bracing the door greatly reduces the chances of them being blown down. You can also replace weak hinges and screws with sturdier pieces and add heavy bolts in place of your old locks.

The basement

The water always finds a way in, and during strong storms, the basement gets flooded easily. There are various options of drainage and pump systems you can choose. In order to be ready, just make sure you have a battery backup or even better, pumps that have emergency power. In addition, you can paint your basement walls with a liquid insulator, which, once it dries, acts as a waterproof rubber sealant that helps block out moisture.

Gutters and downspouts

It’s extremely important to keep the gutters and downspouts clean so that the abundant water during storms has a free flow. Otherwise, it will have no choice but to build up and eventually enter your home through the roof and the attic. A quick gutter examination will help you be sure there is nothing blocking the water flow.

Backup power and supplies

Losing electricity is usually one of the first things that happen as the storm strengthens, since power grids cannot withstand such force. A great thing for you and your family to have in such moments is a standby power generator that doesn’t have to cover the whole house but only the essentials. It’s clear that being unprepared for a hurricane season in places as Florida can push you to the limit and put you in extreme conditions, but having backup power and basic supplies (water, non-refrigerated food and candles) can at least help endure the hardships a bit better.

All these improvements and adjustments increase the chances of protecting your property during hurricanes, but they can’t guarantee your family’s safety. If things show signs of grave danger, consider evacuation as a possible option before the actual storm onsets.

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