Hurricane Proofing Your Home for the Upcoming Season

Storm and hurricane-related flooding cause billions of dollars worth of damage to U.S. households. With the hurricane season approaching, it is essential for people living along the coastline to prepare their homes for possible flooding, tropical storms, and hurricane-force winds. We hope that you never have to experience disasters, but it is good to be prepared. Homeowners in hurricane zones can protect their homes from hurricane damage in various ways. Some protection measures involve cleaning gutters and pruning trees, but others will cost you a few hundred dollars, but the investment is worth every penny. Apart from giving your home a good resale value, hurricane proofing your home ensures that you still have a home to sell in the future.

How Do You Hurricane Proof Your Home?

Install Fiberglass Doors to Replace Wood Doors

Doors that lead out of the house should be wind and impact-resistant. Upon the occurrence of a hurricane, debris flies through the air, and it can be thrown on your front door. If the door is knocked open, water and waste, and wind will get inside your home. The result is flooding and structural damage due to increased pressurization. To avoid similar disasters, install hurricane-proof doors from the outside. The best hurricane proof doors are made of fiberglass as it is more rigid. Fiberglass doors do not warp, peel or scratch easily, and they last longer and perform better than wood doors as they endure different weather conditions.

Install High-Impact Windows

Windows are among the most vulnerable sections of the home when thinking about storm damage. Experts recommend the installation of hurricane-impact windows that can resist projectiles and breakage. The heavy-framed windows prevent water intrusion, which lowers your insurance premium costs as your house will be less risky for hurricane damage. After the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, many coastal cities applied building codes, which require the installation of high-impact windows in new homes.

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How to Choose the Right Window

When you visit a window company in Tampa, check the hurricane-proof window’s design pressure (DP) rating. The DP rating measures structural load, water infiltration, and air infiltration. Windows with a DP rating of 50 can withstand 75 pounds per square foot pressure and winds traveling 200 miles per hour. High-impact windows are either made of vinyl or aluminum, come in different sizes and features, which impacts the cost.

Permits and Post Inspections

When installing new windows, you will need a permit from your local authority, which usually involves post-inspection. Your window company in Tampa will liaise with the municipality and take care of the permits and post-inspection. To ensure that the windows do not get flagged during a home inspection, it would be best to have a professional install the windows.

Other Window Proofing Options

If your budget does not have room for high-impact windows, there are other things you can do to reinforce your existing windows.

  • You can add a film to your windows. Even though a window film does not increase impact resistance, it holds the glass in place in case of breakage and prevents the glass from shattering.
  • Add storm shutters to block water and wind but still allow light into the house in case of a power outage. Storm shutters come in different types, such as Bahama, accordion, and storm panels. Hurricane shutters cost much less than it costs to install high-impact windows. You can also caulk around doors and windows to prevent water from accessing your home.
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Install a Metal Roof

Every home in a hurricane zone should have a hurricane-proof roof if you want your home to survive a major storm. The roof is vulnerable due to constant exposure to the rain, sun, and wind. If your area experiences hurricane-force winds and tropical storms, it will affect your roof no matter its structural strength. Luckily, metal can withstand torrential downpours and high-speed winds. If your home does not have a metal roof, it is highly recommended to install one as metal roofing is a popular way to provide hurricane proofing to your home. Metal roofs can withstand winds traveling at 140 miles per hour. They also last for up to 50 years, which is twice the lifespan of conventional asphalt shingle roofs. Just like installing windows, a metal roof will have to meet all local and state building codes.

Additional roofing options

  • Install architectural shingles, which last for 20-30 years and can resists winds traveling at 130 miles per hour. Architectural shingles are 50% heavier and are thicker than traditional asphalt shingles.
  • Steel hurricane clips strengthen the link between the house and the roof.
  • Build an escape hatch into the roof to evacuate your family in case of excessive flooding.

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Strengthen All Entry Points

Your garage door is the most prominent entry point to your house, which makes it a highly vulnerable area during a hurricane. A garage door that is not impact-rated can be removed from the opening by heavy winds, which cause air pressure build-up and eventually blowing off the roof. Due to this, it would be best to install a heavy-duty garage door, which has spring components, extra hardware, and steel reinforcements that add strength and durability against extreme wind pressures. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for wind resistance to ensure that they meet your area’s code requirements.

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If you cannot afford to install a high-impact garage door, you can still reinforce your current door against hurricanes. Use removable aluminum panels and galvanized steel, and mount to the garage door before a storm.

Prepare Your Yard

Preparing your yard before the hurricane season is an excellent way to protect your home. Yard maintenance and regular landscaping can significantly prevent destruction and damage during hurricane season. Start by cleaning your gutters to remove leaves and debris to ensure the smooth flow of rainwater off the roof. Secondly, clear bushes and prune all trees surrounding the home. Remember to remove loose branches that pose a potential danger to the house. If any of the trees looks like it could topple over, call a professional to remove the tree.

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