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Hurricane and Storm Home Preparation

The Calm Before the Storm: Structural Preparations You Can Do Now to Safeguard Your Home

Chances are, you’ve heard all about what kinds of supplies you need to have on hand when a hurricane hits, but there is a whole lot more to hurricane preparedness than just buying bottled water, flashlights, and canned food.  If you really want to be able to weather the storm, there are specific steps you need to take that can keep you and your home safer.

And, you don’t have to wait for a storm to form to start getting ready.  In fact, there are things you can do right now to help safeguard your home from a storm.

It’s never too soon to structurally prepare your home for a storm! 

When it comes to a hurricane, you need to be mindful of high winds, storm surge, debris flying around , and even tornadoes that can develop inside the storm.  The sturdier your home is from top to bottom, the higher your chances of emerging from the storm without catastrophic damage.

After all, the goal is to keep the storm on the outside of your home.  If your roof, windows, or doors buckle under the pressure, the high winds, heavy rain, and flying debris will wind up inside your home – where the results can be devastating and deadly.

So, what kind of structural preparations can you make now?

Give your roof some extra support

Your roof may seem sturdy, but is it really strong enough to hold its own against a hurricane?  If you want to maximize your roof’s chances for success, reinforce your roof structure.

With the right tools and the right expertise, a professional can install additional wood, brackets, and screws in your attic that can make your roof even stronger.  That way, when the winds start to howl, your roof will have some help keeping them at bay.

Reinforce your windows and sliding glass doors

Long before the shutters go up, you need to make sure that your windows can withstand the force and pressure of a storm.  In fact, high winds can make their way through air gaps in your shutters and put a tremendous surge of pressure on your windows and sliding glass doors.  If your windows aren’t properly installed or properly reinforced, it won’t take much for them to shatter under the pressure.

If you want to give your windows some extra support, a professional can install screws or nails into your frame walls and window jambs.  That way, you will have enough anchorage to keep your windows secure.

If you want to see just how strong your sliding glass doors are, look to see what the pressure rating is.  The older your home is, the lower pressure rating your doors will likely have.  If your pressure rating is too low, you may need a professional to install new doors.

Also, take a look at the track on the floor.  If it’s not high enough for you to trip over, it’s not high enough to hold your sliding glass doors steady during a hurricane. 

Don’t forget your garage doors

Since your garage door is the biggest opening in your home, if it falls victim to hurricane-force winds or flying debris, the results can be devastating.

Did you know that your garage door’s sheer size can make it even more vulnerable to a hurricane? 

A standard 2-car garage door is 16’ wide x 7’ high.  In 100 mph winds, a garage door of that size is subjected to nearly 2,100 pounds of force!

Many newer garage doors are “wind rated” – meaning that the door is built to withstand high winds.  If your garage door is not “wind rated”, it can be replaced with one that is.  However, you will also need to replace the tracks around it for maximum protection. 

If your garage door is “wind rated”, you will need to make sure that the brackets that hold the track onto the wall are securely in place, that the hinges between panels are firmly secured, and that none of the panels are rusted, rotted, or dented. 
If you want even more support, you can have a professional brace your garage door with steel beams.

If you spot any problems, it’s something that a professional can fix relatively easily – and it’s something that can be done now, long before a storm threatens.

It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a “hurricane-proof” house.  The work you do now will not guarantee that you make it through a storm completely unscathed.  But, by providing some extra structural support, your chances of suffering serious damage go down… And when it comes to safeguarding your home, there is no time like the present to start!

If you’re looking for a team of experts to help you prepare for the storm – or help clean up during the aftermath – turn to Disaster Restoration Specialists.  A state licensed general contractor (#CGC 061708), Disaster Restoration Specialists can secure your home before a hurricane hits.  Or, if the worst happens, they can help you clean up the mess once a hurricane has passed.