In this article, we will take a look at some actions you can take to hurricane proof your home. What do Hurricanes Michael, Irma, Wilma, Andrew, and Donna have in common? They all made landfall in Florida, during the annual Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Florida has, unfortunately, weathered the fury of 120 hurricanes since 1851. Experts at the National Hurricane Center say storm data like this provides more than enough evidence to justify hurricane proofing your home. If you haven’t at least thought about it, or you’re still in the process of deciding what hurricane protection products you need, here are three considerations to help get you started.
Hurricane Shutters Help You Hurricane Proof Your Windows and Doors
There are many different types of hurricane shutters on the market today, but they all have one thing in common: they work by preventing storm winds, rain, and flying debris from penetrating an opening in your home, which can place the entire structure at risk.
The most common forms of protection against hurricanes are rolling shutters and removable panels. They are often made from extruded aluminum and fit over the frames of your home’s windows and doors.
There are even hurricane protection products to match the design style of your home. Hurricane shutters made for coastal areas, include Bahama and Colonial style shutters that are functional and not just decorative
Florida building codes are among the toughest in the nation, in large part, because of the Atlantic hurricane season every June 1 – November 30. In some communities, local governments call for specific hurricane proofing. For example, many communities in Florida require all hurricane windows be able to withstand the impact of a 2×4 wooden beam traveling at a speed of 34 miles per hour. That may sound excessive or impractical, but keep in mind the average hurricane we see in Florida has tremendous wind speed.
This means that every protection solution used in new construction and certified as “hurricane proof” has passed a series of tests to meet certain standards.
If your home was built before the new building codes were in place and you don’t have the finances to replace all your windows with hurricane proof ones, don’t worry. Hurricane shutters provide a strong and affordable option. You can cover your old windows with storm shutters manufactured to fit right over them. This will provide the added protection you need.
A Strong Roof
One of the worst things that can happen during a storm is for your home’s roof to be pulled off. Experts recommend that hurricane preparedness plans include inspecting your home in advance of hurricane season to make sure there aren’t any weak spots in your roofing.
If any portion of your roof is loose or damaged, it could make the entire roof vulnerable during a storm. If there’s a break in your roof, it could result in major damage inside your home as well. Damage from rain and wind leaking into attics or bedrooms can happen quickly.
Consider contacting a roofing company to request an inspection before the next storm. Some residents prefer to scan the surface of the roof on their own, but that’s not recommended for everyone and can be dangerous. Relying on a trained expert to examine your roof also reduces your chances of overlooking warning signs of existing damage or impending damage.
Among the first things a roofing expert will look for is whether your roof has hurricane straps, which strengthen the connection between your roof and the walls of your house. These roof straps are typically made of galvanized or stainless steel and are connected to the trusses or rafters right over the top of the wall sheathing. New buildings are required to have these, but older homes are not required to retrofit. If you’re not sure which one of these applies to your roof, an inspection will quickly reveal whether you have this extra layer of protection or not. The cost of hurricane straps, also known as roof ties, is minimal.
Remember, weak points or any damaged area can, ultimately, jeopardize the integrity of your entire roof.
Protect Your Home From the Next Hurricane
Now is the time to get ready for this year’s hurricane season. Specifically, take steps to ensure your home is hurricane proof and ready to withstand at least a Category 4 storm.
There are many different approaches you can take when hurricane proofing your home, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Experts recommend a combination approach to ensure your home is protected and ready to face dangerous weather conditions, no matter what type of the storm comes your way.
The experts at Home Safety Solutions can help you find the perfect solution to meet your needs and your budget: storm panels, shutters, and even “see-through” hurricane screens. Get a free quote today to assess what hurricane protection solutions can work in your home.