Whether you live in a coastal area prone to hurricanes or somewhere with occasional summer storms, you need to know how to safeguard a home from high winds in order to protect not only your home, but your valuables and loved ones as well. According to the University of North Carolina’s Beaufort Wind Scale, winds can begin damaging small branches and tree limbs at only 39 mph. Furthermore, significant structural damage can begin occurring at 64 mph. While hurricanes and tornadoes can generate winds in excess of 200 mph, high winds can occur in any storm anywhere and cause massive structural and non-structural damage. With the right safeguards, however, you can help protect your home from the strongest of storms.
Non-Structural Wind Protection Measures
There are a variety of ways to protect your family, home, and belongings without performing structural changes to your home. For instance, you can remove any tree branches that could potentially fall on your roof or nearby power lines. You can also identify and repair damaged siding, shingles, brickwork, and so on. If your area is hit with a hurricane or tornado warning, there are a variety of protective measures that can be performed in a moment’s notice. Aside from making necessary structural fixes ahead of time, clearing items from in front of windows and doors, bringing in outdoor furniture, turning off propane tanks, and boarding up windows and doors prior to severe weather are some of the best ways to safeguard a home from high winds.
Button Up Your Roof
According to FEMA, there are three primary ways to protect a roof from wind damage. Firstly, is the proper installation of plywood sheathings, which are the boards nailed to the trusses or rafters of gabled roofs. Secondly, is the correct bracing of roof trusses. Consisting of an X-pattern made out of two-by-fours and placed at each end of an attic, bracing is essential for the adequate protection of gabled roofs. Thirdly, is the installation of hurricane straps, which help fasten a home’s roof to its walls. Hurricane straps are difficult to install and often require the use of a contractor, but they play an essential role in protecting roofs from devastating wind damage.
Reinforce Your Doors
A home’s doors do much more than provide privacy and safety from the elements and unsavory individuals. As a vital part of a home’s protective shell, doors help keep wind from entering a home during a tornado, hurricane, or severe storm and placing added pressure on its walls and roof, resulting in serious damage. Single or double doors can be reinforced with the installation of top and bottom sliding bolt kits. In addition to standard doors, garage doors must be reinforced as well. If your garage door isn’t reinforced, winds can penetrate the inside of your home and blow out the windows or cave in your roof. While two-car garage doors are less secure when the high winds blow, many can be reinforced or retrofitted with horizontal bracing kits for added strength, which are often made available by many garage door manufacturers.
Protect Your Windows
Installing storm shutters is a must in order to truly safeguard a home from high winds. Storm shutters can be purchased or made for exposed windows, sliding glass doors, French doors, skylights, and other glass surfaces. There are a variety of prefabricated storm shutters available in steel, aluminum, or wood. If you don’t have room in your budget to buy storm shutters, you can make them yourself with exterior-grade plywood. If installed properly, plywood shutters can do a great job of protecting a home from flying debris. Before installing shutters, however, you should check with your municipality to find out whether or not a permit is required. By having storm shutters purchased or made and ready to be put in place, they can easily be installed and ready to protect your home prior to a hurricane.
Safeguard Your Home from High Winds Today
Is your home prepared to stand strong against severe storm gusts and 100-mph winds? While suffering some form of damage from severe storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes is often inevitable, the above steps can help you protect your family and minimize the damage done to your home. It’s too late to safeguard a home from high winds after a local severe weather alert goes out, so plan ahead and ensure the protection of your family and your home by following these steps today.
Related Resource: Retrofit a Window