You never know when disaster is going to strike your home and family. Your best bet is to be prepared ahead of time so that if you are affected by a wind that is produced by a storm you are ready for it. Hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms all create winds that can damage your home. Once they are here and affecting your area it is too late to worry about being prepared and more worried about staying safe. The things we will discuss are the preparations that come before a storm is in your area.
Most things that should be done to protect your home are simple and you can easily do them on your own. Others will require you working with a contractor to make sure your home is prepared for the wrath a storm can throw at you. Many factors will affect if your home is already prepared for a storm. The age of the house and the characteristics of the structural part of your home will all determine how prepared your home is for a storm. As technology increase the structural soundness of your home will also increase. As homes are damaged by storms research is done to improve the sturdiness, be it materials or the way they actually put the house together, to better protect the future generation of homes being built.
You will want to first evaluate the risk of your home. It is important that you look into local agencies such as the American Red Cross for potential hazards in your community. For instance, when purchasing our home we knew we were buying in a flood plain. We need more information though on the actual risk versus the implied risk.
We went to our local township offices and spoke with them regarding the actual number of times the river had reached flood level and what the rain levels need to be in the area to have issues. We found we were in a 500 year flood zone. There were no reports of incident on record. We then discussed the flood issue with the neighbors and found that the only issue that was found is dampness under their crawl space. The fix for this however, was simple for us to solve. We would just have to add extra ventilation on all sides of the crawl space.
Next evaluate the amount of insurance on your home. This is particularly important in areas prone to flooding. You will want to purchase separate flood insurance because most homeowner insurance policies generally do not cover flooding. The same is true for extreme weather situations. Make sure you coverage insurance coverage covers all forms of storm damage and natural disasters. Wind damage, storm damage and lightening damage are all different forms that storm damage can take on make sure your coverage is ample.
Homes need to be properly built. It is important when evaluating your homes storm worthiness that you look at the sheathing material. Your roof should have a sheathing material below the plywood and shingles that help properly transfer wind to the ground. You can inspect the sheathing through the attic by making sure it is properly nailed into the rafters and trusses. This will help prevent damage to your roof and home if high winds come in.
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes you will want to make sure that the gables are securely fastened to the roof and that the roof has been fastened to the house with hurricane straps. Theses straps are made out of metal that is galvanized and fasten the roof of your home to the walls. These projects are advisable upon initial building of your home or upon a renovation to the roof. These projects require extensive work and should be done by a contractor that is licensed in these areas.
When looking at the doors and windows on your home make sure that they are securely set in their frame. They are the protective barrier of your home. You want to make sure they stay intact in high winds and heavy rains. They should be secured at the top and bottom and also sealed correctly to avoid the winds from entering into the home. This is also important for the garage door installation.
Windows can also be protected by storm shutters. If you know ahead of time the house is in the path of a storm that will produce high winds you can install storm shutters on all exposed glass with 5/8-inch plywood exterior grade on all exposed glass. This includes doors, windows, skylights and any other glass surfaces that should be protected during a storm.
Wind can destroy your home which in turn turns your life upside down while you work to get the repairs needed done. It is easy to avoid major damage to your home by making sure the structure is sound and precautions are done to help avoid damage. Not all storm damage is avoidable. No matter what preparations you do if a tornado is coming right at your home most likely it is toast. It is important that you take necessary precautions and hope for the best in the event of horrific weather.