If you live in an area that is frequently hit by storms throughout the year, it is best to have your home built to withstand the weather. Of course having it insured will ease the stress off your finances if it does get hit, but taking the time to storm-proof your home will save you even more money and peace of mind.
There are a lot of ways to storm-proof your home. Some are more expensive than others, but you shouldn’t let the cost deter you. When it comes to natural disaster, it’s best to minimize your losses in any way possible. More importantly, storm-proofing your home will give you peace of mind that your family will be as safe as possible during a storm. When the unthinkable happens, you don’t want to be left wondering “what if” and regretting that you weren’t better prepared.
Here are a few storm-proofing methods that are sure to help your home weather any storm.
Check for weak spots or areas that need even the slightest repairs. If possible, hire a licensed contractor to do the job, especially for large repairs. You might regret doing it yourself, unless you’re a qualified licensed contractor.
Concrete can withstand large amounts of water and strong wind. Having your walls, foundation, and if possible roof made of concrete will make your house withstand a certain degree of pounding in the event of a storm.
A storm can cause electrical fires. The use of fire-retardant materials in your home can reduce such risks. In the case of a flood, waterproof membrane extending to the foundation to the wooden frame will prevent water intrusion.
With any large storm comes the possibility of a flood. Factors like flood characteristics, structural and economic data should be taken into consideration in order to determine which of the flood-proofing methods you should be applying to your home.
The type of roof that your home has matters. Shingles, tiles, and metal roofs are among the most common. A qualified builder can help you install galvanized metal hurricane straps or additional braces to keep your roof from getting blown by strong storm winds.
Secure plywood sheathing to the roof rafters by using ring-shank nails or screws. Giving extra focus on the edges of the sheathing panels, use a tighter nail spacing typically 6 inches apart. Use the code-mandated, construction fastening system for uplift design roofing.
See to it that the gutters are securely connected to your downspouts. Making the extra effort to extend your downspouts as far away from your house as possible will prevent moisture seeping into your foundation as well as your basement.
A gutter free of dirt and debris will ensure the water will go where it’s supposed to go. If the flow of water is blocked it is bound to go somewhere. More often than not it ends up inside your home. You wouldn’t want that to happen.
Garage doors are the weakest link in your home, according to the National Storm Shelter Association. Once you lose the garage, the whole house goes. You can replace your garage door or strengthen it by installing an aircraft-grade aluminum vertical bracing system.
Reinforcing your door with a steel frame coupled with steel and plywood on the entrances will give it a solid core. This will protect your door from being blasted inwards by flying debris. Make sure your steel frame is strong and solid to support the rest of the steel doors.
11. Strengthen Doors
You can purchase reinforcing kits from door manufacturers or you can bolster the fixed door at the top and bottom areas.
Installing your windows with shutters or a track system will enable you to easily slide the metal shutters in the event of a tornado. Make sure that the glass windows and doors are also impact-resistant for a higher degree of protection. Adding clear plastic hurricane window film will give added protection against broken flying glass pieces.
Robert Brenner is an expert in heating homes off the grid during emergencies. He says the use of different methods like wood burning stoves and insulation can keep your home warm during winter storms.
Get rid of dead branches and trim surrounding trees regularly or before a storm. Loose furniture and items in your patio or your lawn like trash cans, potted plants, and garden gnomes should also be removed as these can become projectiles once the storm brews.
Despite all the precautionary measures and preparation for a storm, it is best to always have a plan B. The safe room would be your family’s go-to place should your home face utter destruction from a tornado or other storm. It is best to ensure your family’s overall safety.
Flood insurance, hurricane deductibles, unreported home improvements, coverage of valuables and the overall home valuation are just a few things to that a homeowner should really look into when getting an insurance policy.
17. Stay Informed
No matter where you live, you should keep up with local weather alerts. Some areas are more storm-prone than others, but no area is safe. Make sure you know when a storm is coming by signing up to receive weather alerts on your phone, or check the weather online frequently.
These are preventive measures that will help you storm-proof your home. Ultimately, as a homeowner you want to minimize the damage, shorten the time on repairs and lessen the overall cost. Above all, never lose sight of the end goal, which is to keep your family safe and secure in your home when a storm is coming.
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