Hurricane Proof Your Home
Prevent wind and water damage!
Pro Home Manager: By Rubi Fingeret
If you live in a storm-prone area, consider taking steps to strengthen your home to withstand a hurricane. A storm-proof home must be able to stand up to wind and water. By focusing on these components, your home will better withstand a severe storm and you may be able to avoid post-storm repairs.

• Build your foundation with concrete block or precast concrete. Concrete is stronger than wood and will withstand wind forces better. Also, unlike wood, concrete does not retain water.

• Reinforce your roof and all exterior walls with galvanized metal hurricane straps that fasten them to the foundation. This will increase the house’s ability to remain intact in high winds. Also, if you have a gabled roof, reinforce the roof gables by installing braces in the trusses and at the gabled ends.

• Windows, doors and garage doors are a house’s weakest points. When they fail, the pressure inside the house increases and the roof may be blown off. Install impact resistant windows or, better yet, storm shutters. Many types of storm shutters are commercially available or they can be made from plywood that is at least ¾ inch thick. Doors should be strengthened with additional bolts if they are not designed as storm-proof, and all exterior doors should open out rather than in so when the wind blows, the door is supported by the entire door frame rather than just the latch. Garage doors, too, should be either designed to withstand a hurricane or retrofitted with horizontal braces on the panels and stronger hinges.

• Falling trees cause significant damage to homes and property. Inspect your trees for signs of damage or disease including dead branches, cracks in the limbs and trunks, and insect damage. Prune any limbs that overhang the house or power lines.


9/5/2008

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